Survival is dirty, mean and nasty, there is no referee to give you time out… You are on your own and your ultimate trophy… your life. Anything goes. – Megan Hine
Survival teaches us to sustain life with the tangible tools around us. Broken branches become shelter. Roots become food. Pine needles become kindling. Self-sufficiency is the rule of a survivalist.
That said, we are not called to be survivors in Christ; rather, we are called to thrive. And the only way to thrive in Christ is to receive His work of salvation. To experience Christ but reject His cross is to choose self-sufficiency. It’s choosing death with Jesus after being exposed to the living Christ.
To illustrate this spiritual truth, the author of Hebrews gives us a metaphor of two fields:
Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. - (Hebrews 6:7-8)
Both fields received rain and seed, but one is dead and the other is alive. One produces a useful crop, but the other produces thistles and thorns. One is blessed, but the other is in danger of being cursed. What’s the difference between the two fields?
The difference appears to be whether or not the field has drunk the rain – symbolic of the Gospel. Perhaps the ground in one field is tilled, while the other field is still hard, allowing the rain to run off.
Some will argue this passage shows how believers can fall away from Christ and become a barren field. I disagree. If this warning were intended for believers, then we’d expect to see a field that had once thrived but is now barren.
Instead, we have two fields – one that lives, and one that doesn’t – making this a message for nonbelievers experiencing a Christian lifestyle but living in self-sufficiency. Self-sufficiency cannot make the field live.
The metaphor invites nonbelievers who are experiencing Christianity to evaluate their relationship with the Gospel. If you’re immersed in a church, you’re immersed in the Gospel. Stop rejecting the rain. Take a drink of Living Water and do more than survive – thrive.
Lord, what grace! I cannot make it rain, but I can choose to soak up Your Gospel. Flourish in me and through me, Lord, so those around me might ask why my life thrives. Amen.
Listen to Pete, Jill & Stuart Briscoe on the Telling the Truth broadcast at OnePlace.com
Stuart, Jill, and Pete Briscoe’s Healing Broken Relationships CD Album