So watch your step, friends. Make sure there's no evil unbelief lying around that will trip you up and throw you off course, diverting you from the living God. For as long as it's still God's Today, keep each other on your toes so sin doesn't slow down your reflexes. If we can only keep our grip on the sure thing we started out with, we're in this with Christ for the long haul.
These words keep ringing in our ears:
Today, please listen;
don't turn a deaf ear as in the bitter uprising.
For who were the people who turned a deaf ear? Weren't they the very ones Moses led out of Egypt? And who was God provoked with for forty years? Wasn't it those who turned a deaf ear and ended up corpses in the wilderness? And when he swore that they'd never get where they were going, wasn't he talking to the ones who turned a deaf ear? They never got there because they never listened, never believed.
I have tried so many times to change certain habits. I’m not good at it. I have failed at every single new year’s resolution that I have ever set for myself. Seriously, every single one. I get tired of the routine and breaking in new habits requires some routine.
This year one of my goals was to walk at least 15 minutes 365 days in a row.
Routine much? Ugh.
So far, I’ve walked 58 consecutive days.
Why? What’s the difference?
Very simple: Community.
This might be one of the first goals that I’ve set that I have truly invited others into and those others have entered with me. There are a small handful of people who I’ve asked to speak into this if I have not taken my walk by 9 pm. My assumption when asking for this accountability was that they would only speak into this when I failed. But, every day after I share the details of my walk they celebrate with gifs and encouragement. This has had a profound impact on my desire to get my walk in each day. I want to see what new gif they will come up with and it’s honestly a highlight of my day. Also, part of my accountability group are Amy, Ethan, and Libby. There’s just something awesome about having your kids tell you that they’re proud of you. Again, it just makes me want to keep going.
What does this have to do with the passage? Well quite simply, if we are going to hold onto faith for a lifetime we are going to need one another. The life of faith is not one that we can live on our own. There will be times where our faith is tested and tried. When those times come, we need people who will truly enter in with us into the struggle. We don’t need people who will enter in as experts but as other travelers on The Way.
Living a life of faith is not easy. It is one of the hardest things that we will do. Particularly living a life on The Way. Why? Because living this way demands that we set aside our egos and self-centeredness. Living on The Way means that we choose love and mercy over apathy and vengeance. It means that we choose to enter into life with others on The Way with authenticity. The simple fact of the matter is, we cannot live a life of faith on our own.
Peterson translates this as, “keep each other on your toes.” The NIV renders it this way, “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today.’”
It’s not every Wednesday and Sunday that we are to encourage one another. This is a daily thing. We need one another every, single, day. The resurrection life, life on The Way, is not a solitary life. It’s a life lived in deep community and relationship.
Life on The Way is a struggle. It is hard. It wasn’t meant to be easy. To live heaven on earth demands us to give all of who we are and what we are. We won’t experience the joy of heaven right here, right now, on our own. It only comes as we live in deep community with one another.
Are you diving deep in community? Or are you trying to live life on your own?