Yet a little while, and the Coming One will come and will not delay; but My righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.
Hebrews 10:37-38 ESV
Unbelief Is Shrinking Back
Oh, this scripture struck me when I read it Tuesday in Martha’s devotional, “His Righteous One.” The words that came popping forth were “shrinks back” and “no pleasure in.” Words I never wish to be stated of me.
Then to make sure it was really in my face, I took a call from a friend of the ministry who inquired about this very thing: “My soul has no pleasure in him.” Frightening words for sure.
Her question regarded God having a “soul,” and as I looked it up, I saw that the word “soul” here refers to the heart or desire. So while discussing it with her, I gained understanding on what the Spirit was communicating to me—our unbelief wounds the very heart of God. So in the JPT version of the Bible (John’s Paraphrased Translation – ha!), I read it as, “My children live by faith, but if they maintain their unbelief, My heart is wounded.”
Whenever I choose to believe something that’s counter to what God says, it hurts His heart. “So give me an example, John!” Okay, God says He loves me. But I don’t feel loveable, so I am going to believe that I am not loved. The examples could go on forever. God regularly tells me things that require my faith. And these often stand in the face of contrary circumstances.
Living by faith is living by His view, mind, life, and intent. And when I choose to believe my own vision, thoughts, capabilities, and purpose, I wound His very heart. I am calling God a liar when I refuse to believe Him. I put His character on trial every time I choose how I see it, over what He says.
Unbelief in the Righteous One
I use His love as an example here because this is usually our greatest stumbling block. I don’t love me, so how can He? God has a different definition of unbelief than most. He says unbelief is evil. “An evil heart of unbelief!” Unbelief is a big deal with God (Hebrews 3:12). “My soul has no pleasure in him.” This isn’t about someone who isn’t born again because He has no expectations of the unsaved person. He says, “My righteous ones live by faith, and if he (meaning the righteous one) shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him?” It isn’t an unbeliever issue; it has to do with the righteous believing what He says and counting it as true.
I confess I have had an evil unbelieving heart. I have sometimes doubted what He has said to me. I have believed what I’ve felt about a situation rather than what He has said. I’ve looked at the evidence I’ve seen with my eyes and tallied it as truth.
At the end of the day, I don’t want it said of me that I shrank back or that His pleasure is not in me. I choose to live in His gift of faith—believing Him, His Word and His character.
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