In the last post, I shared how a drive past an Air Force ‘boneyard’ reminded me of how we can ‘sit-and-bake’ away our purpose when we were meant for so much more. You can read that post here.
Simply being aware of the danger of allowing ourselves to fall into disrepair is helpful, but one of the most frustrating things we can face is trying to get a handle on just what our purpose is and how to fulfill it. How do we know what it looks like to live out what God has for us? The reality is Scripture is full of explicit direction on what a follower of Jesus should do… flowing, of course, out of who we are in Him.
I like the explicit instruction–it’s relatively easy to boil those things down to legalistic, oversimplified check-list items (when they were intended to be so much more) and feel like I’m somehow earning my keep in this relationship.
But then there are aspects of this life of a follower which are so basic, so foundational to who we are meant to be, that they’re just kind of a ‘given.’ They’re reminders of the truth that what we do is rooted in who we are. In Hebrews 5, among discussion about Jesus, His obedience, and the need for us to grow in obedience, we see this:
In fact, though by this time, you ought to be teachers…
There’s a sense of frustration and incredulousness on the part of the writer. It’s like he’s saying,
You were meant to grow and mature… and as you do that, to become teachers. You were designed to be multiplying yourself in others. You were created for raising people up. It’s a natural part of who you are as you follow the supremely obedient Christ… but you’ve chosen to stop even trying to learn, much less teach.
Underlying the conversation in this part of Hebrews 5 is the clear sense that if we are maturing as followers of Jesus, we will engage in raising others up. We just will. It’s to be so natural an outflow of being a disciple of Christ there should be no need to unpack its reality.
One of the symptoms of falling into “disrepair” is that we’re not multiplying ourselves in other people. If we’re in that state or even wondering where to begin with the adventure of life that God has for us once we’re in Jesus, our challenge is to ask, “What part of Jesus in me would God have me model and multiply in others?”
We just might be surprised at the answer…and the opportunities before us every day affording new freedom and adventure.