22 Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.Hebrews 10:22
Our first step towards practicing real Christianity is to assess whether we’re drawing near or drifting away from God. It’s not too hard to determine if His spirit resides within us. That still, small voice will let you know. If you own up to what He tells you you’re on your way. It’s important to know that you won’t have full assurance of faith in your life grappling with the doubt created by active sin. You essentially need to reset to the beginning, to the cross on which Jesus shed his blood. You’ll need just a “sprinkle” of it though to clear your conscience and regain a sense of purification. It’s very much like taking a bath. Now you’re capable of drawing near.
This process is ongoing but should be less and less dramatic as time goes on. A spaceship needs only to fire one small engine to yaw right. Real Christianity requires continual adjustment to the route set out for us by Jesus. We retrace our steps to where we veered off and begin again. By nature, I hate to have to backtrack in anything. Likewise, there should be a growing distaste for anything but progress in your Christian life. Regarding full assurance, the quickest way to affirm your faith is to take an obedient step. Only a believer obeys Christ. It’s that simple. Constant obedience yields fully assured faith. You can’t be any closer to God than when you obey his Word in anything!
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
Once you understand the process you’ll tend to want to stick with what works. The loop will be constantly rolling in your mind, “I’ve confessed Christ.” You’ll reach the point where you draw far greater joy from obedience than from freelancing on your own power. It never ends well when you go your own way. Our lifeline is our confession and to this we must cling to for dear life. But there’s another hand on deck that helps us do this and that’s his right hand, the same one that reached down and pulled up a sinking Peter (Matthew 14:31). Here’s more on that right hand.
35 You have also given me the shield of Your salvation,Psalm 18:35–36
And Your right hand upholds me;
And Your gentleness makes me great.
36 You enlarge my steps under me,
And my feet have not slipped.
Do not fear, for I am with you;Isaiah 41:10
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
A drawn near, fully confessed soul possesses a full measure of hope. With every step of obedience your foothold grows firmer, and with this strength comes even more hope, “that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” (Philippians 4:13)
I’ve always loved being in shape. The muscles are taunt. The heart is strong. The lungs can be taxed at a moment’s notice. Real Christianity requires endurance built on faith made stronger each day by minute to minute Spirit appropriation and exercise. A strong Christian asks for the Lord’s helping hand in everything, because when we are weak, He is strong! (2 Corinthians 12:10)
24 Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.Hebrews 10:24–25
A drawn near, fully confessed believer is ready to spur and stir other Christians to take the same steps. This can’t be done in a spiritual bubble. Christians need to rub shoulders. That the writer warns against forsaking the assembly, it must have been a problem from the outset. We’ve all learned recently that you can very easily come to the conclusion “who needs church?” I’ve got multiple choices online. I’m good. We’ll, you’re not. That’s not how it’s done. Again, let Jesus help you muster the courage to step out of your comfort zone. If a body of believers is drawn near and fully confessed, can you expect anything less than open arms? Find one!
I think of a bride and her hovering bridesmaids. The same doting and interaction should occur amongst believers. I think of a coach’s pregame speech and the revving up of a team before hitting the field. You’re missing out on any number of folks itching to pat you on the back and send you out there to win it all. As they say, iron sharpens iron.
Here’s the context. Is there any doubt that we are living in the last days? All the more reason to huddle up and get coached up. We all face the same cruel world and we need each other!