Crosses             LBG                  HateLove

Devotional - week of March 18, 2007


RETURN TO THE FORMER DAYS

But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings … for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.  Hebrews 10:32-34

 

 

The Book of Hebrews was written to Jewish believers who were facing persecution because of their walk with the Lord and their rejection of the ceremonies of Judaism. They were struggling with their walk of faith because of the persecution.

 

The author of these verses indicates that the response of the believers to their sufferings was not as victorious as it had been in “the former days” of their Christian lives. Their best days had been during the first days of their salvation.

 

Today many believers look at their first days as believers as their very best days. They yearn for the joy they experienced during those first days after receiving Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

 

Why would a believer consider the first days of his new life in Christ to be his best days as a believer? There are at least two answers to this all-important question. First, God grants a period of sovereign grace for a rather brief time following the salvation experience. During that sovereign period, one is filled with the Holy Spirit and he is walking in faith. This sovereign period provides a foretaste of what life can be and should be for the new believer.

 

Second, very few believers are ever told how to continue to have a life of joy and victory once the sovereign period comes to an end. The only alternative for the uninformed believer is living in self-effort. This is what was happening to the Hebrew believers.

 

Living in self-effort is living in the flesh. This makes it impossible for one to live in faith and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

 

Living out his oneness with Christ and experiencing the crucifixion of the flesh is the believer’s means of continuing a life of faith and being filled with the Spirit.

 

When a believer understands and continually experiences his union with Christ, his inner joy and victory is on the upward swing.