Site icon Becca Harbert

Shrinking Back vs. Saving Faith


How many times do you hit the snooze button in the morning? Or are you one of those who jumps out of bed at the first sound of the alarm, ready to start your day with a smile? God bless you! Wherever you find yourself, I am almost certain that you, like me, find some days harder than others to be at your best.

Some days, I have literally told the Lord, “Can I sit this one out? Put someone else in the game, Coach God.” While that’s the unfortunate truth, it’s far from the willing spirit God desires for us. We’re not perfect and all have hard days, or seasons. Hebrews chapter 10 speaks to us in this regard.

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, ‘He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.’ But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved” (Hebrews 10:35-39).

So many good points in this passage: perseverance, confidence, the will of God, promises, Jesus’ return, living by faith, believe, saved. Sometimes God’s Word is just so rich!

The writer of Hebrews is supposedly writing to mature believers, who have already walked with God for a long time. Right before our passage, he reminded them of persecution and other things they already endured. Right after the passage, we read the Hall of Faith, about all who have gone before them and lived by Faith. But right here, in this passage, we see what they were to do then, and the struggle they faced at that time.

They were tired and weary and wanted to give up! I get it, and I know you do too. But it’s not just giving up on their faith or walking out on God. They were not that kind of tired. They were just tired of trying. This passage specifically encourages them to continue, not just in their faith, but to continue in the will of God (Hebrews 10:36). They were not done with God, but weary in their calling. Can you imagine how weary Noah became after he was called to build a boat and it took so many years to build? Or Moses, after leading a stubborn and obstinate people through a desert for decades on end? What about Jesus? He took a nap on a boat and His disciples nearly died. Yet He was right in the will of God. Weariness in the midst of pursuing our calling is normal. However, giving up or stopping completely is not OK according to this passage.

We’re reminded here of the urgency to keep doing His will, because Jesus is coming back soon (Hebrews 10:37). Specifically, the passage says to not shrink back. This is the main thing I’ve been pondering on lately. What does it mean to shrink back? Does it mean to give up? Does it mean if we have adversity, we quit? Does it mean when we’re intimidated, we slow down or stop what we’re doing? Yes! It means all of those things and more! Shrinking back is allowing the enemy to defeat us! It’s asking the Lord to sit this one out. Its looking for a way out instead of looking up to the Lord for a solution.

So how do we not shrink back? What does that look like? We find the answer in the same passage that warns us to not shrink back. God always addresses problems with solutions. Not shrinking back means persevering, despite adversity or challenges. It means pursing God’s will even though it’s hard and we don’t always see a way through. It means moving forward by faith, without the end in sight. It means having confidence in a God who knows all things and can lead us step by step where we need to go. Not shrinking back means taking steps of faith forward, with our confidence in the Lord.

Are you weary in pursing God’s will for your life? Do you want to sit on the sidelines some days? Take heart knowing that is expected. But also, take courage, knowing that you are not one who shrinks back and is destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved (Hebrews 10:39). Therefore, pray about what steps of faith you can take today. Then go take those few steps with your full confidence in the Lord. Amen!

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