A heavy burden lifted from my soul / I heard that love was out of my control. – Leonard Cohen, “Paper Thin Hotel”
New covenant living is a life defined by intimacy with God and others. But in a society where calendars are filled weeks in advance, how do we resist the urge to view relational intimacy as just one more thing to strive for?
Hebrews gives us a solid idea of what new covenant living looks like, doing so through a passage I refer to as the “let-us salad.”
• Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings… - (Hebrews 10:22, emphasis added)
We have what old covenant Jews longed for – intimacy with God! As new covenant believers, we don’t require a mediator; we have a direct line to Jesus and can have new covenant conversations with Him.
What does that look like? Open Scripture, read a portion or a verse, and ask, “Holy Spirit, what do You want to say to me today?” He’ll answer through your own quiet thoughts as they align with His Word.
• Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. - (Hebrews 10:23, emphasis added)
Your hope is realized by God’s faithfulness, not your own strength. When my daughter was little, she’d wrap her arms and legs around me with all her strength. I’d often wonder, Does she really think she’s the one holding on?
We are toddlers in the arms of our heavenly Father, and He’s saying, “I’ve got you, but go ahead and hang on!” He enjoys our embrace, and we will never slip from His.
The final ingredient in our “let-us salad” is investment in a community of believers:
• And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds… - (Hebrews 10:24, emphasis added)
Intimacy is the result of investing. When it comes to our intimacy with God, He has already done all the heavy lifting. All we need to do is show up in faith.
When it comes to intimacy with other believers – again, His Spirit does the heavy lifting. As we spur on – also translated “stir up” – one another, His life of love multiplies in us and through us.
Jesus, I can be certain of Your presence, confident in Your promises, and connected by Your Spirit. Today I ask: How am I trying to work for what You’ve already given? Amen. Today I ask: How am I trying to work for what You’ve already given? Amen.
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