“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God” (Hebrews 3:12).
The author here describes a common condition of Christians which is described as “unbelief” or “unfaithfulness”; it means the same thing. It is a condition that develops as a believer falls away from the “living God”; he is not falling away from God, but the “living God”. After all, the Jews to whom the author was referring, did not fall away from God; they still attended to the external aspects of their religion as prescribed in the Law; but the exercise of their faith was external only; it didn’t reach into their hearts and transform them for it was not possible for the Law to change anyone; the world had to wait for the Spirit to come after the resurrection of the Saviour for that power to be available.
But the greatest danger to Christians today is still this “unbelief”, this “falling away from the living God”. Modern Christianity, it must be said, has followed the example of the Jews and fulfilled their type; it has embraced external manifestations of faith at the expense of internal sanctification; it has taken to a doctrine – which says that becoming a Christian means you can become a better person – at the expense of the truth, which denies that the old man can ever be fundamentally improved and instead, demands the death of self altogether.
The emptying of self, of all that is of the flesh, is absolutely essential if God is to be able to fill us; we need to be able to say in all integrity, with the Psalmist;
“Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And there is nothing upon earth that I desire apart from Thee” Psalm 73:25).
There is nothing upon earth that I desire apart from Thee. We need to come to that place.