Straight Paths for Your Feet

In Hebrews 12 we are taught that we must get rid of every hindrance to our walks of faith which is weighing us down and is keeping us from walking in full surrender to our Lord. And we are to forsake every sin which clings closely to us, i.e., which is our habit (practice, addiction).

For, we can’t walk the walk or run the race God has marked out for us if we are being dragged down by, distracted by, and/or involved in any sinful practice and/or anything that is pulling us away from our Lord and from our full commitment to him, and from our surrender to his will for our lives.

Then, it talks about how the Lord disciplines (reproves, chastises) us for our good, that we may share his holiness. “For the moment, all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (v. 11).

Hebrews 12:12-17 ESV

“Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no ‘root of bitterness’ springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.”

Therefore, we are to build ourselves up in our most holy faith by exercising good spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible study, obedience, and submission to Christ as Lord (master) of our lives. And we must rid our lives of everything that is contrary to living godly and holy lives, pleasing to God.

For, Jesus Christ died for us on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. In his death he put sin to death on our behalf so that sin would be put to death in our lives so that we would no longer be slaves to sin but that we would be slaves to righteousness.

So, in his power and strength, we are to daily put all sin to death by denying it any power over our lives and by refusing to yield to temptation. We are to no longer give sin a place in our lives by obeying its deceitful lusts. But we are to rid our lives of all filth, immorality, lying, and cheating, etc.

And we are to live holy lives, separate (unlike, different) from the world and unto God, because we are being made to be like Jesus. So, we aren’t to blend in with the culture or to become one (united) with the people of the world. We are not to make peace in the sense of compromising our faith, morals, and/or the gospel, in order to not offend the people of the world.

We are to see to it, as well, that none of us fails to obtain the grace of God, i.e., our salvation from our bondage to sin, and from the punishment of sin, and the hope of eternal life with God, because of bitterness of spirit to the point to where we turn away from the Lord.

For, the Scriptures are clear that we are all going to be judged by our works. If we live to the flesh, we will die in our sins. We will not inherit eternal life with God. But if we live to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8).

We can cry over our sins and it be nothing but worldly sorrow, and we can want to spend eternity in heaven, even to the point of tears, but if our hearts do not change, and if we do not repent of our sins, in truth, and then follow our Lord in obedience, we will be rejected by God.

Hebrews 12:25-29 ESV

“See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, ‘Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’ This phrase, ‘Yet once more,’ indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”

If someone has told you that if you “believe” in Jesus that you are now saved forever and that heaven is guaranteed you when you die, that may or may not be true depending on the context. For, there are many “if” clauses in the Scriptures in relation to those promises.

Basically, coming to faith in Jesus Christ means we die with Christ to sin so that we can live to Christ and to his righteousness, in his power and under his command. But then we must daily, by the Spirit, be putting sin to death, and we must be walking (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit.

And we must continue in that faith until the end, putting sin to death, walking in obedience to our Lord, knowing what his word teaches us and then putting it into practice in our daily lives. For, we must abide in Christ and in his word, and we must persist in our walks of faith until the end.

If we don’t, and if we refuse to submit to the Lordship of Christ, and if we choose not to obey his commands (New Covenant), because we think we don’t have to, and if we hold on to our sinful lifestyles and we deliberately keep on sinning against our Lord, we don’t have eternal life with God.

And one day soon, which may have already begun, God is going to (or is presently) judging the people of this earth, not yet in the sense of the final judgment, but in the sense of severe discipline on his people and on the people of this earth, in order to turn hearts to him or back to him.

For, this is what is meant by “in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.” He is disciplining his people and the people of this earth (Rev 13) in the physical realm so that they will believe in him and turn their hearts to him, and so they will forsake their sins to follow his commands.

So, we need to take this to heart. We need to fear (obey, respect, honor) God and not take him and his grace for granted. For, he will judge us by our works, and he is going to tell many people who called him “Lord” that he never knew them, and that they must depart from him. So, believe Him!

[Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8]

Here I Am, Lord

By Daniel L. Schutte

I, the Lord of snow and rain,
I have borne my people’s pain.
I have wept for love of them –
They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone,
Give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak my word to them.
Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night
I will go, Lord
If You lead me
I will hold Your people in my heart

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