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15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 



I love this eleventh chapter of Hebrews. This is the famous hall of fame chapter of faith. Many different Old Testament heroes and heroines are listed as are the things they did by faith. We can look at this chapter and find situations that speak to what we must deal with today. From giving offerings by faith to leaving familiar territory in order to obey God by faith, this chapter contains one excellent example after another. 

So why would I be talking about what we are mindful of? Because our faith affects what we keep on our mind. These men and women who pleased God with their faith had to continue to think the right way. Some of them left home and family. Some lived very differently from the people around them. Some built a life only on what God had spoken to them, not what their community was experiencing. 

So, for these individuals to keep looking ahead to what God had promised was a step of faith. If they were constantly thinking about what they left behind, it would have been easier for them to go back. Abraham had to look ahead to God's promises, not the land of his ancestors that he left behind. Noah had to think about what God warned him was coming instead of looking at a world that had never experienced rain. Enoch walked with God when no one else around him pursued God in the same way. 

And as we look at this verse in the context of the entire book of Hebrews, it makes more sense. Because Hebrews was written to those Jews who were under pressure to go back under the Mosaic law, the writer was using these Old Testament examples to encourage these Jewish believers to not go back. And a key to not going back under the law was to be mindful of the promises that God had given them in Christ. If they continued to be mindful of their past life and all the relationships they left behind, it would influence them in the wrong way. In one sense, things were easier for these Jewish believers when they were under the law. But now, they had stepped out into uncharted territory when they accepted Christ. Now, they, like their ancestors before them, had to live by faith. So where they kept their mind was important. The writer encouraged them to continue to look for something better that exists with God and to be mindful of the unseen, better things that awaited them. 


In a similar sense, we face some of the same pressure that these Jewish believers faced two thousand years ago. It may not be the pressure to go back under the Mosaic law, but it can be the pressure to go back to the old way of life. Or it can be the pressure to merely live for today and what is seen instead of trusting God and living by faith in Him and His plans for our lives. 

It could be family pressure, peer pressure, or the pressure of not living with concrete certainty about the future, but it's all pressure. So what we keep on our mind is important. If you find yourself looking back to the good old days before you walked with the Lord, recognize that as the first step back in the wrong direction. This is where a church familyand godly friends can help us put our minds back in the right place. This is where a daily time spent with the Lord in His word and prayer can help us stay mindful of God, not what we came out of. Where we put our minds is the first step in a direction good or bad. 


Lord, I purpose to keep my mind in the right direction. What You have for me as opposed to what I came out of. Help me keep my mind in the right place.