Outside the Camp
There’s an idea that at some point a person who struggles with addiction can continue to do everything he did before except indulge in his “drug of choice”. I’ve heard it a hundred times, “I’m gonna go to the bar but only drink soda”, or “I think I’ll hang with my old buddies but won’t get high with them”. It’s only a matter of time.
You don’t have to be an addict to get caught up in worldly things or to walk close enough to the edge of the cliff to fall off. The writer of Hebrews in chapter 13 in closing his letter with an exhortation to separate themselves from their past way of life, be removed from the rituals that they use to do.
I’m not saying that we can never come in contact to the people of our past but I do believe it’s dangerous to make a habit of becoming too relevant with our past. The problem the writer is addressing is the Christian Jews were being drawn back into religious and ceremonial activities that would make the sacrifice of Christ of no value, therefore denying its power.
I know I’m guilty of “falling back” into a comfort zone of the fleshly things I did and even though they aren’t sinful they can become a stumbling block leading to sin. In chapter twelve the first two verses we find the writer telling his readers “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith”.
This idea of going “outside the camp” is one of leaving the comforts of the flesh, walking away of the things that ensnares us and even being cast aside and called disgraced. I find that the more we are willing to stand up to the things that matter to God the more “irrelevant” or unaccepted we are in today’s society.
But there is a silver lining, a glimmer of Hope and the one true place where God is leading us when we are willing to cooperate in the sanctification process. John records the promise of Jesus in the Book of Revelation in the letter to the Laodiceans in chapter 3 verse 20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me”. It’s the same idea of going outside the camp, where Jesus is, He tells us “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne”. I think that’s what the writer of Hebrews means when he says in verses 14,15 “For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. 15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name”.
This gives me “God bumps”, and should be exciting to you. So go “outside the camp”, where Jesus is and live life to the fullest, Amen! – Rob Russomano is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and serves full-time at America’s Keswick. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Think About This: God just doesn’t throw a life preserver to a drowning person. He goes to the bottom of the sea, and pulls a corpse from the bottom of the sea, takes him up on the bank, breathes into him the breath of life and makes him alive. R.C. Sproul
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29