Scripture teaches us that we become like the company we keep. So, we might want to ask ourselves, “Whose company DO I keep?” Of course, that which is first and primary is the Lord’s company, living in the quietness of His presence, seeking to derive all from Him, living a life of communion with Him. But what of the vast company of people around us, or who have gone before us? Are we inspired, strengthened, encouraged? Does such company make us more faithful, effective servants and witnesses for Christ? Does such company inspire us to believe, and overcome all adversity to serve, and live for Christ?
In Hebrews 10, we discover that God is calling us “…to enter the holiest by the blood of Jesus.”(v.19) Our highest calling is to fellowship with the eternal God, and that place of communion is in the “holiest of all,” that place in the Old Testament, where God met man. More specifically, we are called to “…draw near (to God), with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” (v.22) What is Scripture saying here? Our place, the true and highest place of well-being and eternal blessing is in the “near” presence of God. It is as the blood of Jesus cleanses our hearts that we are able to have a good conscience before God, and know the cleansing from all that is of sin….clean hands and a pure heart. What does this have to do with the company we keep?
In Hebrews 11, we see that here is a list of those who have gone before us, who, in essence, drew near, and lived in the presence of God. Did they do it perfectly? No…although Enoch seems to have come close. What bound all of these individuals together was faith, a faith that was born out of a knowledge of God, and a commitment to Him. They ALL proved Him individually. They ALL overcame, howbeit sometimes through great trial(s). The company of these individuals is wonderfully encouraging, for they proved that it is possible to glorify God, follow Christ, and KNOW that God is a “REWARDER” of them that diligently seek Him. He IS a very present help in trouble (Ps. 46). He is faithful who has promised. And these individuals have shown us the way…not only in our approach to God, but in how we are to run the race.
Since we too are in such a great company of conquerors, we too are to “…lay aside every weight (“…casting ALL of your care upon Him, for He careth for you.”) , and the sin which doth so easily beset us (…for we have died to sin…), and let us RUN with patience (endurance) the race that is SET before us.” (Heb. 12:1) “…Looking unto Jesus…” (v.2) The testimony, the conditions of running, the race, and the Object of faith….may we live this day in the company of those who have gone before, with eyes upon Christ…run this race with joy this day.