Today I want to encourage you from Hebrews 10:23, and I want to begin by giving you a little background on this verse.
When the Early Church began, new believers were greatly persecuted. Many people lost their jobs and possessions, and they suffered all kinds of insults. Life became very difficult. At the time the book of Hebrews was written, the Church had been standing in faith for nearly two decades. They had been standing in faith for so long because they were believing God for something.
Are you believing God for something today? Maybe you’re believing for an increase in your finances. Maybe you’re believing for a new job. Maybe you’re believing for your health to improve. Often there comes a time when you stand for so long you grow tired. That’s why it is so important for you to be in a church where you can be surrounded by people who will encourage you.
I get tired sometimes too. That’s why I intentionally surround myself with people who will build me up and strengthen my faith. I know that I need their encouragement. And you need encouragement too.
Hold On to Your Confession of Faith
When the writer of Hebrews wrote to his listeners, he said, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised)” (Hebrews 10:23 KJV).
What is your profession of faith?
- What are you confessing?
- What are you believing?
- What is your faith saying?
This verse says to hold fast the profession of your faith. “Hold fast” is the Greek word katecho, which is a compound of the two words kata and echo. The first word, kata, describes something that comes down so hard and so heavily, it is overpowering and dominating. The second word, echo, simply means I have, and it is the picture of someone finally possessing something after searching for it for a long time.
When kata and echo are compounded into the word katecho, it literally means to embrace something tightly. It describes someone who finds the object of his dreams and then holds it down — taking control of it and dominating it — even sitting on it so it doesn’t slip away!
Whatever promise God has made to you, whatever you’re hoping for, you have to wrap your arms around it. You’ve got to hold it down and hold it tight because life has a way of trying to take it away from you.
Watch Out for Dream Thieves
At times in our lives, we all face what I call “dream thieves” — thieves that come to steal away the dreams in your heart. They can appear in a variety of ways because the devil wants to throw you off course, and he knows how to use different people and situations to do it.
The devil might speak to you directly and say, “Oh, give up. You’ve been waiting long enough for this.” But other times he may speak to you through family or friends. After sharing your dream, a family member might say, “Give up that dream. You’ve waited long enough for that.” And immediately you feel discouraged. Or, after you’ve waited a long time, a friend may ask you whether you’ve really heard from the Lord.
Other times, the dream thief is simply time. After you wait for so long, time can easily begin to wear away at you, making you feel so weary that you eventually just let go of the dream God put in your heart.
There has not been a single project that I’ve done where dream thieves have not tried to steer me off course. It happened when we built the Moscow Good News Church building, it happened when we built the Riga Good News Church building, and it still happens when I start new projects today.
Things don’t just happen instantly — usually. Most of the time there is a period of waiting. And during that time, we have to wrap our arms around what God has said and hold it tight. We have to make the decision that we’re not going to let the devil or anything else steal that dream from our hearts.
Stay in Alignment With God’s Word
Rather than let the devil steal your dream, come into alignment with what God has said. Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering….”
This word “profession” (or “confession,” as it is translated in other scriptures) means agreement, and it pictures one who has come into alignment with someone else, or one who has come into alignment with God.
To build our church building in Moscow, I had to be the leader, but it took all of us coming together and getting into alignment with the vision God gave to our church. For years we held fast to the word God had spoken to us; we were believing for the completion of that project.
But there were also moments when I felt myself getting out of alignment. I would begin to think, Are we really going to be able to do this? Each time, it was like the devil was trying to pull me out of alignment by creating doubt in my heart. In those moments, I knew I had to pull myself back into alignment with God. My heart needed to confess what God had said and believe what He said was true.
Surround Yourself With People Who Will Encourage You
During those difficult times, I surrounded myself with people who encouraged me. They told me, “We can do this — we will do this. You’ve done this before, and you can do it again.” And I want to tell you, there is such strength that comes when you reach out for encouragement. It is so important to surround yourself with people who will lift you up, especially in hard times.
Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent.” If God has made a promise to you, He intends to keep His promise to you.
You may have to grow in your faith before you receive the manifestation of what you’re believing for, but as you hold fast to your confession and come into agreement with God, you will see His promise to you fulfilled.
Most of the time it takes everything in me to come into agreement with God. But once I’m in that place of alignment, I can begin to declare and confess the Word of God in faith. And you can too.
The Power of Agreement
In Mark 11:22 and 23, we find Jesus teaching on faith. It says: “And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”
Notice that Jesus said, “Whosoever shall say….” Before you do anything else, you have to get faith in your mouth. You need to start saying what God has said and, as verse 23 says, “…not doubt in your heart.”
The word “doubt” means to hesitate, to waver, or to differ. In this verse, Jesus is saying when a person’s heart does not differ from what his mouth is saying, that combination of agreement will always make things happen!
I’ll give you an example from my life. When I was younger, I went to a big church meeting where people were giving testimonies about how their eyes had been healed. God did not speak to me — I had no faith for what I was about to do — I just had an empty heart and a mouth filled with words.
I said, “Well, if they can be healed, I can be healed.” So, I took off my glasses, placed them on the floor, and crushed them under my feet.
I did not have a revelation, and God did not tell me to do that. I just did what somebody else had done. And when I was driving home that night, I realized I was a dangerous weapon on the road. I didn’t have any faith for what I had done — and, on top of that, I couldn’t see!
My point is this: If you do not have faith in your heart, you can have a mouth filled with words that sound right but have no faith. Your heart and your mouth have to be saying the same thing. When you get the faith in your heart and the confession of your mouth into agreement, it has the power to move mountains.
Know What You’re Believing For
Look again at Hebrews 10:23 — “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised).”
What are you believing for? What are you hoping for? Is it the salvation of your spouse? Is it an increase in finances? Then you must wrap your arms around that hope and hold it down. Put all your weight on top of it because life will try to take that hope away from you. You’ve got to wrap your arms around it and hold on. And the Bible says to do this without wavering.
The word “waver” denotes someone who is bowed down or bent over. It describes someone who is so tired that he can barely stand or someone so exhausted that he simply gives up. It gives us a picture of someone who started out strong in his faith but then over time let go of his faith because this person began to wobble in what he believed.
That doesn’t have to be you. You can stand strong in your faith to the very end.
Stand Strong to the End
How do we stand in faith without letting go? I want you to look at the very last verse of Hebrews 10. It says, “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:39).
This verse is describing people who at one time were moving in the right direction but then let loose of their faith because they began to waver in what they believed. The Bible says they “drew back into perdition.”
The word “perdition” describes something so ruined and rotten that it is decomposing. In fact, it can be used to describe a piece of rotting meat filled with maggots.
Here’s what the Bible is telling us: If you don’t stand strong in your faith, the devil will take you down until you say, “Oh, I don’t believe that anymore. I tried that. I stood, and I waited. Now I’m done.”
People with this experience tend to become very bitter about believing God. They can become like spoiled individuals — ruined by bitterness. And once someone gets into that position, they are usually very difficult to help.
Don’t let that happen to you! What God promises, He WILL perform. It may take a while for that promise to come into manifestation, but it will come.
So I want to ask you today: What are you believing for? Are you believing for the salvation of your spouse? The redemption of your children? For your finances to turn around? Are you believing for a better job or for the healing of your body?
Whatever you are believing for, find out what God’s Word says about it, get your heart and mouth into agreement with that promise, then hold on to it — hold fast until you receive the manifestation you’re believing for.
God will answer your prayer, so make the decision today to keep standing no matter how long it takes.