In life we need fuel. People need to eat. Extroverts need people to charge. Introverts need solitude to charge. Yet, the greatest fuel we need to live the fullest life is God. The psalmist praises God for who God is. In all the chaos of life having a right perspective of God is essential. The psalmist concludes that God’s got it. It is very interesting the switch from praise to a self-awareness before God. There is also a sense of desperation or something not quite right as it ends. All is right with God, but all may not be right with the psalmist.
Simon is not immune to things not being right. When Jesus calls on him to go back out to sea, Simon is exhausted. He just finished working a hard night, and it being an unsuccessful too. He was likely tired to the bone, both emotionally and physically. Yet, he was obedient and respectful to this Jesus of Nazareth. As worn out as he was, he repeated his night’s work. This time he was blessed with a catch beyond expectation. This does not mean he was no longer exhausted. He was probably more tired than he was. Yet, there was now a positive side to his exhaustion. In the midst of his physical exhaustion, he had a God-fueled emotional recharge. While his catch was good and he had acknowledge Jesus, he was still beat.
The recipients of the letter to the Hebrews were also tired. The author chose a marathon (a tiring race) to emphasize the duration of the race of life. The author invokes Jesus as the source of the faith, which echoes the living water aspect that recharges the soul. This is essential as the author continues acknowledging the weariness of the readers. There is obviously a deep concern that they are exhausted and are being tempted to give up.
This is where the author of Hebrews digs in. Discipline. This discipline often takes the form of wearing us down, so that we are stripped of our pretensions and presumptions. God then really starts to work on us then.
1) One of the biggest themes of current culture is “not enough time”. When we don’t have “enough time”, we get exhausted. Is that something you have or are experiencing right now?
2) When you get tired and exhausted, what good things don’t happen, or what good things do you not do?
3)Have you ever had a “God-stripped” experience? What transformation occurred as a result?
FD) What is discipline? Why is it good?