Going Outside

"So let us go out to him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace he bore."  Hebrews 13:13

"Go outside and play!  You need some fresh air."

I remember those words from my mother as a little rascal--a little rascal who liked to stay indoors.  Thankfully, my mother knew what was best and encouraged me outside.

As I read the words in Hebrews 13, I am reminded of how we all need to go outside, wherever outside is for us.

Our Father knows what is best.

In this chapter, the author is concluding the text of the entire book of Hebrews with his encouragement.  He reminds us to show hospitality to strangers, to visit those in prison, to really feel the pain of others as though it were our very own.  He reminds us to be faithful in our marriages and be completely pure sexually.  He tells us not to be greedy--to be satisfied with what we have.  And, he reminds us of God's nature--He never changes.  He is faithful and all of His promises are sure.

Then, in Hebrews 13:10, the author reminds us of something very important--why it is important for us to go outside.

He says, "We have an altar from which the priests in the Tabernacle have no right to eat."  He goes on to explain that under the old covenant with God, after the animals were sacrificed for our sins, the bodies of the animals were taken outside the camp to be burned.  Hebrews 13:12-14 reads, "So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood.  So let us go out to him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace he bore. For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come."

Jesus wants us to meet Him outside.

Being a city girl, I didn't like it too much when my family moved outside the city of Houston to the small town of Trinity, Texas.  But, God knew what He was doing.  There in the quiet, I could hear God speaking so clearly to my heart.  I remember long walks home from church on Sunday nights with the crickets and cicadas when God's voice sang the lead in their orchestra, and it went straight to my heart.  It was the same each and every night when I would commune with Him in my room--alone--reading the Holy Bible before bed.  The five years I spent in that small town are so very precious to me.

Each time I step outside to meet Jesus is just as precious. 

Though God has spoken to me throughout my lifetime, it is only in the quiet, away from the distractions of the city, that I hear Him.  I hear Him calling me out to be different, to be set-apart, to be changed, to be like Him.

Do you hear Him?  He's calling you outside of the city, into the fresh air, too.

When the noise of the city, the office, a family member, a friend, social media, technology or anything else begin to stifle us, we need to go outside.  

We need to be reminded that the life of the Christian is not like the norm.  It is different.  It is freedom from the straight jacket of sin.  When we go outside, He reminds us that He is our example and we must follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21).  There is no substitute or shortcut for this.

Are you willing to go outside?

God will meet you there . . . in the quiet.

He will speak to you.

Will you be listening?

Goodnight, Runners.


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