“That you be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made a promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he swore by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” (Heb 6:12 – 15)
Many of you are familiar with my teachings on the three levels of living modeled by the Outer Court (natural principles), Inner Court (spiritual principles) and the Holy of Holies (supernatural principles). It’s available in download format here. In this passage from Hebrews we see that we are to obtain the promises meant for us by a combination of all three. First of all, we are not to be slothful or lazy. That means we are to engage ourselves in work. We are to apply ourselves with all diligence to the vision.
God does not reward slackers. It seems we have two camps here. The first would rather pray and be “spiritual” than actually do the work that needs to be done. On the other hand, there are those who would rather work 16 hours a day than to actually slow down and grow in spiritual strength. We must strike a balance and the rest of verse 12 tells us that work is combined with faith and patience. Patience is one of the fruit of the Spirit. It is a spiritual discipline, the result of having what you think you know about God tested in the crucible of life.
The word translated as patience literally means “calmness in the face of suffering and adversity”. Are any of you suffering? Are any of you in adversity? Remain calm. How? By pursuing God which means you can’t be so focused on work and activity that there is no time for meditating in His Word, seeking His face and listening to what He may say. The third element is faith. It is the potentially mountain moving force that can change everything but yet we are told to combine faith with work, not only here but also in James, and to exercise calmness in the midst of the test.
By the way, it is in calmness that we best hear the still small voice that is the Lord. Getting to the place of calm is critical. From this place, we hear the rhema word of God. That present word that the Lord speaks, that in hearing it, ignites faith. The kind of faith that moves mountains. It seems that the work reveals the limitations while developing in us patience. The patience creates an atmosphere where we can hear and receive what the Spirit is saying. When we hear God speak to us, (faith comes by hearing), we have faith and faith if it is living always produces more works. Work, faith and patience. Don’t leave home without them.