I am seeing my hideous sin of unbelief writ large everywhere in my life. I cannot escape it, and I cannot bear it.
Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you
an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.
Hebrews 3:12 NASB
This verse is terrifying. First, the clear designation of an unbelieving heart as evil. Not regrettable, not unfortunate, not less than stellar, not in need of work – EVIL. I have excused my unbelief. I have allowed it to remain in my heart, unconfessed. That’s the bottom line that I’m seeing.
And it’s insane! If I don’t believe in God, in who He says He is and what He promises to do and provide, then WHAT am I doing? WHY did I bother with salvation at all if I don’t believe that God is, in fact, Almighty?
At the height of my unsaved rebellion, I attended an evening church service with a newly saved friend. The pastor performed a standard welcome to any visitors and gave a brief run-down of the church’s agreed-upon limitations. Most memorable was this pastor’s admonishment that speaking in tongues would get you a one-way ticket to the parking lot. “We’ll throw you out on your butts!” Yes, that’s an exact quote.
I remember thinking, “If you’re okay with a virgin birth, miraculous healings, the body-blood ingestion of communion, and death with resurrection three days later and then publicly ascending to heaven . . . how do you get tripped up over divine language?” He sounded like a loon and a fool. And now I find myself sailing stormy seas as Captain Loon on the SS Fool.
If He’s not the God of “all things are possible,” then He isn’t sovereign and the whole thing falls apart. I never really understood why C. S. Lewis’ objection to non-Christians referring to Jesus as a great teacher was so passionate.
“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.”
I finally get it. This is an all-or-nothing proposition because mixture is insane. Either God is GOD or the whole thing’s off. My unbelief is a vile pollutant that – if allowed to remain unconfessed – spreads in my heart until it “falls away from the living God.” That’s all it can do. That’s the second truly terrifying part of that verse. It can and WILL BE over.
And to whom did He swear that they should not enter His rest,
but to those who disobeyed [who had not listened to His word
and who refused to be compliant or be persuaded]?
So we see that they were not able to enter [into His rest],
because of their unwillingness to adhere to and trust in and rely on God
[unbelief had shut them out].
Hebrews 3:18-19 Amplified
I confess my unbelief and I ask for God’s forgiveness. May the Holy Spirit raze my heart, exposing this wretched evil in every dark corner it hides and eradicating it with Light.