12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today’, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. Hebrews 3:12-14
I need to know you’ve got my back.
Because that’s what we do at church. We look out for one another. We protect one another.
You see something’s out to get me. And I don’t always see it coming. But it’s there. All the time. Lurking undetected. And I can’t always spot it. But you can. You’ll see it. And you’ll be able to warn me. Have you got my back?
I need to warn you however that I won’t always welcome your intervention. Sorry about that. I might make it pretty unpleasant for you to look out for me. The trouble is that I’m my own worst enemy. Or at least part of me is. And that part is my sinful unbelieving heart. It’s got a death wish. Why do I say that? Because it’s got a habit of turning away from the living God. That’s just what it does. Perverse, isn’t it? Walking away from the God who made me and redeemed me for Himself. I know, it’s bonkers. I just habitually forget that.
But I do it because I’ve been hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. At least my heart has. It’s not always soft and receptive to God’s word. Sometimes it’s hard and impenetrable. Instead of believing God’s word, it believes sin’s lies. It gets deceived. Sin convinces me that I’ll be happier being independent of God rather than dependent upon Him. And I believe that empty promise that life will be better doing things my way rather than God’s way. And so I need protecting. From myself. And that’s where you come in. Have you got my back?
You can do what I can’t do. You can encourage me. 24/7. I’m not talking about empty affirmation by which you just rubber stamp whatever I’ve told you I’m doing. I’m talking about encouraging me to listen to the Lord. And so you may need to rebuke me when it’s obvious I’m not. Or correct me when I’m paying Him scant attention. If you don’t, I might not be entering the New Creation when you do. And that’d be horrific, wouldn’t it? I don’t blame you. I blame myself. It’s my heart. It’s my choice and my decisions. But I need to know you’ve got my back. Because sometimes I’m not the preacher I most need to hear.