"Perish every fond ambition, all I've sought or hoped or known. Yet how rich is my condition - God and heaven are still my own." - Jesus, I My Cross Have TakenMy Bible study finished Hebrews last Sunday, and as we did it became very clear that one thing should mark the life of a believer: an active forsaking of everything here in order to gain Christ and our heavenly inheritance. We are told that the believers of old desired "a better country, that is, a heavenly one" (Heb. 11:16). Abraham was left all that he knew to follow God's commands because "he was looking forward the city that has foundations, who designer and builder is God" (Heb. 11:10). Moses chose to be mistreated with the people of God because "he considered the reproach of Christ greater wealthy than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward" (Heb. 11:27).
Then, in chapter 12, we are commanded to run our race with endurance as we look to Jesus. And in so doing, we are told to lay aside not just sins, but weights that slow us down. They aren't bad things - they are good things that are distracting from the best thing: Jesus. Then we are reminded of what we are running towards: Mt. Zion, which can never be shaken, angels in celebration, the Living God, the assembly of the righteous, and to Jesus. To Jesus - this is the most glorious part.
And finally we come to chapter 13. This is where it gets difficult.
So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. - Hebrews 13:12-14Let us go to Him, outside the camp, and bear His reproach. This is a call to intentionally lay aside our comfort, the good things of this earth, and our desires, to follow Christ wherever He leads. There are many things in my life that are precious gifts from the Lord - friends, family, experiences, travel. These are not wrong to enjoy! But sometimes we are called to move away from those things in order to run towards Christ.
The hymn Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken has been on my mind a lot lately, especially the line I have quoted above. This is my prayer - that I would be willing to give every desire that I have held so dear in order to know Christ and be found in Him. And that as I go to Him outside the camp, I would see how rich my condition is - the Lord is still my own. May that always be more than enough for us.