Successfully 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 3:18,19).

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 respect.

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 goal.

"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
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