Hebrews 3:12-4:11 discusses the need for diligence in people who serve God. As Christians, let’s learn the Israelites’ example and not succumb to major causes of spiritual failure.
Unbelief steals what is rightfully ours through Jesus Christ —evident in the Old Testament, when God rescued the Israelites from Egypt’s bondage and brought them to the Jordan River’s shore. God delivered them from Pharaoh’s army by parting the Red Sea, and covered the Egyptian army with the sea; archaeologists have found Egyptian chariots, dated to that era, in the Red Sea to prove the story.
God sustained Israelites in the wilderness with manna and quail, and provided water for them, their flocks and livestock.
Still, when the Israelites spied out the land, they doubted that they could take it from the inhabitants. That generation lost what was promised to them by a mighty God.
James 4:4 says “that friendship with the world is enmity with God. Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
What does the world offer in comparison to what God has? Nothing. Look at the news: The world is so messed up. 1 Peter 2 says Christians must lay aside many things to succeed. We must get rid of malice, guile, hypocrisy, envy and evil speaking.
People will do anything to procure position, wealth or fame.
Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Often, Jesus told His disciples, “Fear not." Fear robs us of what God has for us. Fear grips us and keeps us from receiving what God wants to give to us. Fear keeps us from obtaining and claiming promises that God has given us in His Word.
As humans, we desire companionship. We need to love and to be loved, and we need to sense that we belong. We don’t want to be isolated or have others avoid us.
Christians have that sense of belonging. God tell us that He loves us; see John 3:15-17 and 1 John 4:7-11. He loves us and, because of that, we love Him.
This world says money, possessions, status and power make us successful.
TV ads repeatedly say we will find satisfaction in buying this car or having that financial portfolio with money, real estate and holdings.
But true security, true satisfaction, comes from knowing Jesus Christ. When we lie down to sleep, it is with real joy and peace in knowing that if we don’t wake up, we are secure in Christ and have entered eternal rest.
God wants to minister to your every need. Do not allow these five causes of spiritual failure to take root in you.
The Rev. Albert Corey is Oak Ridge Assembly of God's pastor.