On To Canaan
“To Canaan’s Land I’m On My Way”
By Jon W. Quinn
It was about 1400 years before Christ that
God had led His people out of slavery in Egypt toward the land of promise. He
helped them over tremendous obstacles, both manmade as well as natural. They
made their way through a wilderness on their journey toward Canaan, the land
that had been promised to them as descendants of Abraham.
It seems as if it would be rather difficult to get sidetracked and forget the
goal of the journey in such a short time, but that is exactly what happened.
They lacked the faith necessary to complete their journey despite ample
evidence of God's abiding care, providence and protection. Even events such as
the parting of the Red Sea faded to the back of the mind as the people faced
new obstacles. The journey which should have lasted less than a year lasted
forty years as a whole generation complained, grumbled, died and were buried
in the wilderness by their children, the generation which would claim the land
of Canaan as their home.
The New Testament book of Hebrews was written to some disciples who were in
danger of making a mistake similar to the one made by the generation which
never made it through the wilderness. We can also get lost in a spiritual
wilderness and waste our lives while never finding the way home. How? By
simply not having the faith necessary to trust God at His word and order our
lives accordingly. To be saved by faith we must live by faith. "And to whom
did He swear that they should not enter into His rest, but those who were
disobedient? And so they were not able to enter because of unbelief." (Hebrews
What can we do today to insure that our journey will be successfully
completed? This is important because there are far too many members of the
church who seem to have little more spiritual direction or cause in their
lives than the person who cares little about the promises of God. Their lives
are filled with mundane activities of life so they have little time to devote
themselves to God’s service. It is as if they are going through the motions of
the journey by perhaps "going to church" but really are just marching in
circles in a great spiritual wilderness never drawing closer to spiritual
Canaan, destined to fall in the wasteland having devoted their lives to
nothing. But it does not have to be. The journey can be challenging and
exciting as we tread new ground each day and discover higher and nobler
purposes for life and anticipate the day when we cross into the land of
promise. What can we do to be sure that we do not get lost in the wilderness?
Notice the 'let us' exhortative passages in the book of Hebrews.
"Let Us Fear" (Hebrews 4:1)
We must treat our spiritual needs with the utmost concern. Too many are
satisfied to give minimal consideration to the things of God, treating them
lightly while placing tremendous importance on the things of this world. Our
relationship with God must take first place and be treated with diligent
It is possible for children of God to fall short of the promised inheritance.
Do not take eternity for granted. If you do not have time in this life to give
these things their proper attention, then be prepared to fall short of
entering His rest.
"Let Us Therefore be Diligent” (Hebrews 4:11)
Entering God's rest requires diligence. You will not enter heaven haphazardly
or accidentally. Being careless in our discipleship is a sure way to never
find our way out of the wasteland. I fear for the souls of brothers and
sisters who will not make the necessary commitment to diligently serve in the
kingdom of God. To them I ask, "What are you doing with your life? Luke-warm
discipleship will not end in heaven!'
"Let Us Hold Fast Our Confession" (Heb. 4:14)
Jesus has proven His love and concern for us by His coming and dying, His
righteous character by His example and teaching and His power by His miracles
and resurrection. He has been true to us in every way; now let us be true to
Him by holding fast our confession.
It is a confession that is to be grasped tightly so as there can be no doubt
where your loyalties are. It is not one that will be held at arm's length or
hidden when the world makes discipleship inconvenient. Jesus, our high priest,
deserves better than that, and will not settle for less, and no one should
expect Him to.
"Let Us Draw Near” (Hebrews 4:16)
We ought to have ample confidence in the power and wisdom of our Redeemer so
that when the going gets rough our first recourse is to visit the throne of
grace. There ought to be a sense of openness and freedom as we take our needs
to the center of the universe, the throne room of our Creator. Our needs may
be great, but our Helper is greater.
"Let Us Press On" (Hebrews 6:1)
If we are ever to reach the goal of our journey, we have got to make progress.
If I am seldom covering new ground then I am going nowhere. The first steps of
discipleship are important, but so are the rest. It is time to head on to the
"Let Us Consider One Another” (Heb. 10:24)
The journey through the wilderness will be easier if we are actively concerned
with helping one another. The word for "stimulate" or "provoke" means to "stir
up". Christianity is outward looking, selfless and encouraging in those things
which are right. When a brother stumbles, it is time to lend a hand. When one
is ladened with a burden, it is time to share the load. When there is a job to
do, it is time to join hands and get it done.
"Let Us Run With Endurance” (Hebrews 12:1)
Shake off the sin of unbelief which causes lethargy in any life of faith. Run
with freedom, removing those things that would bind us or cause us to stumble.
And keep running for the goal is reachable and the victory is sweet. A great
cloud of witnesses verify the worthwhile nature of the race; from Enoch to
Noah to Abraham to Moses and so many others that were listed in the previous
chapter (Hebrews 11). And to those who would say you ought to give up, let
them know that quitting is for losers but you are following the example of a
winner. "...fixing our eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who
for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat
down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2).
From The Bradley Banner 5/12/2013
Published by the Bradley Church of Christ
1505 E. Broadway