As we have been sheltering in place due to the Coronavirus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19), I’ve had time to focus more on my relationship with God through reading His Word, prayer and praise. It’s been a time of reflection and introspection. The pause has offered clarity on what is important and really true in life! In the hustle and bustle, those aspects can get lost.
Back in December, I wrote about the Full Cold Moon. It was occurring at 12:12 A.M. EST on 12/12 and I thought that was pretty cool! For that moment, God gave me the verse Hebrews 12:12 NLT: “So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees." I didn’t fully understand why He was giving me that verse at the time, but He did put this takeaway in my heart then:
Isn't it amazing how God has beautifully aligned everything! All we have to do is follow His plan for us to fully see all the glory! Hebrews 12 discusses how God's discipline proves His love. If we strip away the sin that trips us up, by keeping our eye on Jesus, good awaits us.
Although I embraced that message, God’s kept the verse at the forefront of my mind. From my initial understanding, I wrote “Purposely Running Freely” and the words came to me rather quickly. It was at that time God was changing a behavior I’ve had all my life. I used to say that I didn’t have to agree with everything, but I had to understand why. God has shown me that I do not have to know why. I just need to look to Him, trust what He is doing and what He wants me to learn. This has shifted my focus to be on God and not my circumstances. During this quiet space, He’s led me to a deeper understanding.
Hebrews 12:12 is a turning point in the book of Hebrews, encouraging us to keep our energy high in following the Lord. It’s a call to endure God’s divine discipline to get to our peaceful harvest. Up until that verse in Hebrews, God has given me the following take aways:
• We know Jesus is God’s one and only Son because He testified about Him (see also John 5:31-40). God chose His Son to be the High Priest and to sit in the place of honor because He followed God’s commands. That is how we can get to a place of honor, by following God’s commands.
• We must remain firm and not drift away from what salvation through Jesus means. “So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.” Hebrews 2:1,18 NLT
• If we believe in God for all that He has done throughout the years of our lives, we will have rest in Him that gives peace beyond all understanding. The Israelites saw God’s miracles for 40 years in the wilderness, yet were still unbelieving, turning away from God. They were not able to enter His place of rest.
• Jesus has mercy and grace for us because He understands our weaknesses as He endured the same. He endured so much to die for us. Not embracing our salvation is like nailing Him to the cross again; “...by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame.” Hebrews 6:6 NLT
• Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice to make us clean. His sacrifice was once and for all, unlike sacrificing before Him, that had to be repeated. We must endure in appreciation of this miraculous covenant giving us access to God’s Promises through His Son! “Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.” Hebrews 10:36 NLT
• Remember what the people of faith endured and received from God. “All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.” Hebrews 11:39-40 NLT
This leads us back to Hebrews 12:12 NLT, extending to include verse 13, “So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.”
How do we mark out a straight path to gain this strength?
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” (Proverbs 3:5-8 NIV) Just as the way was cleared through the wilderness and a highway made straight in the wasteland for the Lord (Isaiah 40:3 NLT), He has made a way for us!
During this uncertain time of COVID-19, we can feel as though we are in the wilderness. But know, we are not abandoned! Keep your focus on God and your path will be made straight! We may not know where it is leading us, yet we can be certain it will lead to victory. “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19 NLT) God is doing a new thing! Let Him have His way!
The book of Hebrews concludes reaffirming the truth that God will never fail or abandon us. We can be confident that He is our helper, so we don’t have to fear. Our strength comes from Him. “Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name…may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.” Hebrews 13:15, 21 NLT
Let this time of pause allow you to enter God’s rest, so when He does this new thing, you are refreshed and ready to go even deeper with Him than ever before! So, take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees...boost your energy for what’s to come!