Hebrews 13:20-21

“May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

The author of Hebrews ends his letter with an encouragement. What does it look like to live this life of faith while we wait for Jesus to return? What do we do in the mean time?

We live, but we don’t just live as the world lives. We live by faith with conviction in the foundational truth the book of Hebrews teaches us. This kind of faith will not allow us to stay the same. This kind of faith will call us into a life that sees beyond the here and now, that moves, and has its being in the God who we now have access to through Jesus. We can live the Christian life fully now as we understand who we are in Christ and what He has done for us. This key message of the entire book of Hebrews is what undergirds the life of a Christian. Life now becomes more than just mundane, day to day living. It becomes an adventure.

In these final verses, we see a perfect picture of God, our Heavenly Father, who calls us and invites us into a journey with Him.

A Picture of God

God is the God of peace. The adventure we are called to will include trying and turbulent times, but never are we to be filled with fear or anxiety along the way. In the most turbulent and trying of times, God brings peace to our souls. Wherever there is anxiety or fear, it is not because God has left us, but because we have forgotten God. Isaiah 26:3 promises that God will keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him. At the root of anxiety is unbelief. In most cases, anxiety is a belief problem. The battle against fear and anxiety is resolved when we completely give our lives into the control of God. The adventure God calls us to is one of complete surrender. This is a process; a daily surrender. If I am battling fear, I must ask the Holy Spirit to show me of what I am refusing to let go.

In the book, “God’s Smuggler” by Brother Andrew, he tells a story of how the natives of Indonesia catch monkeys in the forest. The natives know that a monkey will never let go of something he wants, even if it means losing his freedom. So, the natives take a coconut and make a hole in one end, just big enough for the monkey’s hand to slip through. Then, they drop a pebble into the hole and wait in the bushes with a net. Sooner or later, a curious monkey will come along and pick up the coconut shell and rattle it. Peering inside, he will slip his paw into the hole and feel around until he gets hold of that pebble. When he tries to pull out the pebble, he finds that he cannot get his hand out without letting go of the pebble. That monkey will never let go of what he thinks is a prize. It’s the easiest thing in the world to catch a monkey (or a person) who acts like that.

The author of Hebrews would ask us, “Are you holding onto something like that? Something that is keeping you from your freedom and peace?” It is only by letting go of the control we so desperately think will give us what we want, and surrendering our lives completely into the hands of the Father, that we will become at peace with ourselves, each other, and with God. He is the God who gives peace as we surrender to Him.

God is the God of life. The adventure God calls us to is filled with God’s life-giving power. As we let go of our control, we realize that God is not trying to “take” anything from us, rather, He is the One who gives. In exchange for our idols, pride, and self-sufficiency, He gives us power, hope and new life in Christ to join with Him in an exciting journey.

It was the power of God who raised Jesus from the dead. Any kind of power or control you think you might have over life is a lie when compared to the power that lives inside of you through the Holy Spirit, a power that is not yours, but God’s. This is why Paul boasted in His weakness. He knew that only through being aware of His complete inadequacy could God’s strength and life work through him. God’s love and power are the only things that can bring us peace and victory in this life. Jesus obeyed the will of His Father. He did only what the Father told Him to do. This is the example set before us. Through Jesus’ obedience, He overcame. So, too, through our obedience, our surrender of will, can we overcome through Jesus’ name. We receive life, and life abundantly. There is no such thing as a final disaster. Death, itself, is defeated.

God is the God who reveals His will to us and enables us to do it. The most exciting part of full surrender to God is the adventure He reveals to us as we partner in life with Him. Life becomes an adventure. We are His vessels, ready for each assignment He sets before us. Even the most mundane of days become opportunities for His glory to be revealed through us. God never gives us a task without giving us the power to accomplish it.

This begins with believing that God is for me. In every situation, the child of God has the favor of God. I must allow this truth to sink deep into my heart. Living a life of faith is putting my faith in Jesus, AND believing that because of what Jesus did, God is on my side. He is for me, and this means He does see me as valuable. The author of Hebrews spent 12 chapters reminding us that through Christ, we can have boldness to come into the presence of God. We are told to not “shrink back” in fear (Heb. 10:39), but to walk confidently in our status as children of God, not by anything we have done, but simply by the work of the cross. We must replace all doubt that God can use us, with faith that God has called us, and will gladly equip us for the work He has for us to complete.

The Invitation

I believe God comes to all of His children as He did to Abraham, to Moses, to Gideon, to Esther, to Mary, to Peter, to Paul, and so many others. He comes to us and says, “Will you partner with me?”

I believe God invites us to partner with Him in His grand plan. Too many times I make life about “me” and “my” plans. I have become the center of my world, and so, surrender is essential because it’s about knocking me off of my pedestal and establishing Jesus as Lord in His rightful place in my heart. Trials and sufferings are used by God to bring us to a place of surrender so that we can let go of our will and be brought into HIS will, so we can finally say like Jesus did, “Not my will, but yours be done.” Yes, there will be hard days. There will heartache and pain, but here’s one thing I do know: there will also be joy, beauty, new opportunities, growth, wonder, excitement, and so much more. How do I know? Because He has promised, “I will never fail you and I will never forsake you,” so that we can say with confidence: “The Lord is my helper: I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13: 5-6). We have the promise of His presence with us, and in His presence is fullness of joy!

The letter of Hebrews invites us into a great adventure through what Jesus Christ has done for us. Accepting Him as Lord and Savior is only the beginning. Jesus opens the way to God, and in doing so, He opens the way to a life beyond what we can imagine. Our only response is to come, hands empty, and heart fully surrendered.