MARCH 28, 2008

I was studying in the book of Hebrews and the writer (who I personally believe was Paul) identifies a rest that remains to be entered into by the people of God.  As I was reading it became clear that the rest, at least for the people of Israel in the natural, as crossing over into Jordan.  What is fascinating to me is the realization that it was after they crossed over into their inheritance that the real battles of overcoming began.  Up until that point all of the battles had been primarily defensive actions, but once they crossed over the Jordan, it became warfare with a vision and a purpose.  The scriptures declare that there were some very hard battles that had to be fought and won before the land of Israel became an independent nation.   The “rest” spoke of in Hebrews concerning the Israelites, obviously was not the rest from having to overcome the enemy and take the land, for that did not happen until several years later, and even then some of the old inhabitants still remained to cause havoc all through the Old Testament times.  

I am reminded of Joshua and Caleb after they returned from spying out the land several years earlier.  They saw everything the other ten men saw, even the giants, but they stood resolute in their belief they could take the land, knowing within their heart and declaring openly that their God had given them the land for their inheritance and He was far bigger than any giants they would have to confront. As it turned out, because they believed (declared and demonstrated their faith), they were the only two of that generation who crossed over into their “rest,” all the others died wondering around aimlessly in the wilderness because of their rebellious heart and unbelief.  Joshua and Caleb knew resolutely that God was with them and that He would fight their battles for them.  Clearly, it was unbelief that prevented the others from receiving their inheritance.

I really am ashamed to say it, but I have came to the shocking realization that had I been one of the twelve spies, many times lately I would more than likely have been counted among the unbelievers.  All too often I have really allowed the size of the giants in the land to capture my attention, and cloud my vision.  I tire of the struggles that come with unbelief working within my members and I am taking steps to eradicate it entirely within my being. Jesus said that if I believed I could ask what I will and it would be done unto me.  I know that God has given me an inheritance in the heavens and I am diligently seeking Him to strengthen my faith by learning to identify and clearly hear and discern His voice.

It is a no brainer to realize that in order to have faith in Him, no matter where the faith might come from, I must build a relationship with Him through continual fellowship and communion, before I can truly learn to trust and believe enough in His word to ask what I will and believe it would be done.  I think one of my biggest obstacles that I must hurtle over is to believe that it is alright to receive from Him and I do deserve to have the goodness that He is so willing to give to me.  I don’t have to grovel before Him in the dirt in despair, pleading for forgiveness over and over for my failures.  Rather I must accept Him at His word believing that He is and that it is His desire to give me freely of Himself and all I need do is believe to receive.   I must be able to see Him actively working within me to cleanse away the failures of my past, to feel Him holding me in the warmth of His love, to gently speak words of encouragement and instruction, to bring guidance and correction when I need it in order to be able to spiritually grow and see Him exalted high and lifted up in my heart.  He is wonderful, He is my Savior in time of need, He is my life, and He is working for my good to bring me into Him.  Oh, that I come quickly into that resting place, where no matter what daily battles I may have to face, I am saturated through and through with confidence, knowing and believing with all of my heart, that I have access to all of the creative power of the universe, and all I need do is believe to overcome, for I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me.  If I choose to believe by putting all of my faith in Him (the living word), I can overcome any obstacle and walk in the heavens with my Savior, resting in Him, un- entangled and unaffected by the circumstances, conditions or cares of this world, because I know I am safely abiding in His presence.   

It is abundantly clear to me that I have allowed my thoughts too much liberty to entertain themselves on negative circumstances and as well, listening to too many different voices of fearful and doubtful dispositions; all of which have encouraged the weeds of unbelief to grow unchecked within my being.  The cry of my heart is just to hear the clear voice of Jesus, as I know that it is He alone as our ever abiding present Savior as the living word of life, who shows me the way to freedom, as I give my heart completely over to the word of truth and life to believe and follow Him.  I know, at least for me, that the rest is more than just believing, it has to be a walk of determined conviction that my God has given me the strength and the wherewithal to take the land, and His Holy Spirit goes before me making a way where there was not one.  He is Lord and He is bigger than any giant that may be in my land.  Lord I exalt you Lord, for you are able, “Move Mountain, move and be cast into the sea.”

Jesus said any man who ate His flesh and drank His blood, has eternal life, but any man who did not eat His flesh and drink His blood, he did not.  As for me, I believe that I will accept Him at His word and endeavor to do just that, feast upon His flesh and drink His blood for I desire to partake of and continually rejoice in that bread from heaven.  I must believe before I can receive, therefore as I learn to clearly hear His voice, and if I ever wish to receive my full inheritance, I must combine faith with His word that I hear, to the degree that allows me to boldly cross over the Jordan and enter into the fullness of His rest that He has promised was mine. 

It would be easy for me to get bogged down negotiating my way through all the beliefs and doctrines that are associated with the Sabbath and what it means, trying to rationalize this rest as being a specific day or an outward physical demonstration of setting aside a holy day of God in obedience to the Ten Commandments, but that would only be repeating the past which has not produced the rest within me that I so hunger to enter into.   I am very aware that I have many times I have been blessed to enter into realms of His glory and grace that have lifted me up and saturated my being with His loving presence, but as of yet, I have not entered into His rest to the magnitude that I know is available to me.  I have concluded that the obvious reason that I have not entered into it is not, at least in my case, because God has not saw fit to give me enough information about Himself to believe in, nor that there is not enough faith available for me to reach for, for He has made the treasures of His kingdom available at my disposal through His death and resurrection, but because of doubt and unbelief on my part.  The word declares that it is entirely left up to me to make a determined speedy effort to enter into His promise of eternal life or rest, so it is my responsibility to choose to believe or not believe.  It is clear that He came to give us His kingdom and He has already made a way for me to possess it through faith in His word, to possess it, so if I am not walking in what He has already provided, than it is my lack, not His, therefore I must take steps to rectify it. 

I have allowed too much unbelief to play havoc within my members for far too long now, and I like Joshua, know that the Father has given me an inheritance, and it is only through faith that I can possess it as my own.   Therefore, I am taking Paul’s words to heart, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the word.”  My continual prayer to the heavenly Father is “Feed me out of your word, whether it is out of the Bible or straight from your Holy Spirit, and let it mold me into the image you desire me to be.”  “We can take the land and we will, for it is a land of joyful abundance, where peace reigns and love rest in the heart of every soul.”

Hebrews 3, 4

12 Be wary brethren, lest there be an evil heart of unbelief in any of you that draws you away from the living God.  13 Indeed, encourage one another every day while it is still today, lest any of you be hardened by the delusion of sin.  14 For we become partakers of the anointed (Christ), if we hold the beginning of our confidence (determined faith) steadfast to the end (point aimed at).  19 So we see that they could not enter in through (because of) unbelief.  Chapter 4 1 Therefore fear (revere), lest you abandon (forsake) the promise and any of you seem to fall short of entering into His rest.  2 Indeed the gospel was preached to them as well, but hearing the word did not profit (benefit) them; for they did not combine faith with the word they heard.  3 For the believers entered into rest inasmuch as He said, “I swore in my wrath (passionate desire), if they enter into my rest,” Ps 95:11 and yet the works came into being from the foundation of the world.  4 For He spoke in a certain place concerning the seventh day in this way, “And God rested the seventh day from all His works. Gen 2:2-3 5 And in this place again, “If they enter into my rest.” 6 So since it remains for some to enter into it, and they that first heard entered not in through unbelief.  7 He specified a day by David again saying, “Today.” Even after so long a time as this it states, “Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.”  8 For if they had entered into rest, Jesus would not have spoken about another day after this; 9 therefore a rest remains to the people of God.  10 For he who entered into His rest, he also ceased from his own works, as God did from His.  11 Therefore be diligent (make an earnest effort) to enter into this rest, lest anyone fall by the same example of unbelief.  12 For the word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double edged sword, even penetrating up to separating the soul and spirit, both the joints and marrow, and discerns the deliberation (thoughts) and intents of the heart (mind).  13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest (openly seen) before Him, but all things are naked and opened before His eyes about whom we speak.



































































MY HEART’S CRY [Dave Garner] 3-28-08          1


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