Go Back to the Spring

Hebrews 6:11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

John Piper, in a sermon “The Full Assurance of Hope”

So here in these verses we have one of the most basic things to learn about living the Christian life: the way to be a servant of others, the way to be patient, the way not to be sluggish, the way to inherit the promises, the way to be remembered by God, is to show great earnestness—zeal, diligence—in being satisfied with God, loving who he is and hoping fully in what he will be for you in the future.

The most fundamental fight of the Christian life is to keep on being satisfied with God. When you look up, to keep on feeling love for the glory of his name. When you look forward, to keep on feeling hope in the greatness of his promises.

Is there a diligence in the Christian life? Is there an earnestness? Is there a fight and a struggle and a zeal and a passion? Yes. But the direct focus of that earnestness is not first on certain behaviors but on God—maintaining the assurance of hope in God and the sweetness of love for his name. All other obedience is a second commandment. And if second things become first things, we may have a rigorous religion, but we will not have evangelical, God-centered, biblical Christianity.

Go Back to the Spring

mountain-spring1Pause for a minute here with me and dwell on this. I don’t have time to say much more. I want this to grip you the way it has gripped me more deeply these past two days than in a long time. It is possible for Christians—even those who have drunk for decades at the spring of God’s grace—to slowly wander away from the fountain of life. It is possible even in the ministry—the water-carrying business—to stop going back to the spring and settle for pools and puddles down the hill.

This morning I think there are many of us who need to hear the simple, loving exhortation: let us go back up the stream and get down and drink until you are satisfied with God.

How many of us are trying to serve the saints? How many of us are trying to be remembered for our work? How many of us are trying to imitate some great saint? How many of us are trying to be longsuffering in some hard situation? And it isn’t flowing from a heart satisfied with God?

We need to go back up to the spring that overflows with God and there simply come to love him again for who he is, and find the assurance of hope again for what he promises to be for us in the future.

And I don’t mean go to him to get healthy or to get a job or to get a spouse or to get your marriage fixed or to get your bills paid. I mean go to him and dwell with him. Look upon him (Hebrews 3:1) until he becomes your heart’s satisfaction. Until you love him for what he is for you now, and until you have a full assurance of hope in what he will be for you in the future.

That is what many of us need above all things this morning. I invite you to be earnest and to go back up to God and be with him until you love him and hope fully in him.

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