Page 5 - July 2024 - Truth & Tidings
P. 5

the land, possession of it involved conflict   discernment (Heb 4:12). The Spirit’s
        and conquest, and dispossession resulted   ministry in applying the Word of God is
        from disobedience and departure. Both   a voice that can discern between soulish
        the present spiritual realm and the   and spiritual things, and which of the
        Millennium bear these marks.          two is behind the thoughts and intents of
          God’s rest on the “seventh day” after   the heart. He is able to discern when the
        His work in creation also pictures the rest   heart becomes hardened, and when the
        a believer enters through salvation by faith   deceitfulness of sin might influence our
        and “not of works” (4:3,4; Eph 2:9). The   thinking. He can point out that which
        enjoyment of “his rest” is realised when   is spiritual and what is carnal; He can
        one ceases “from his own works” (4:10; see   cut between reality and falsity and can
        Mat 11:28). For the Hebrews, this didn’t   distinguish between the leading of the
        mean the release from legal burdens, but
        repose or putting down the works of the   Spirit and natural instinct or impulse. If
        law (Rom 9:32; Gal 2:16).             we “shall hear his voice,” it will mean
          Another aspect of His rest is that which   coming to the Word of God with a tender
        remains for “the people of God” (Heb 4:9).   heart, and allowing the Holy Spirit to
        It is the future Sabbath rest we will enjoy   point out the areas in our life that are
        with God in eternity.                 either glorifying or wanting before “the
                                              eyes of him with whom we have to do”
        The Possession of Present Rest        (v13). His purpose in this process is to
          The promise of entering spiritual rest   conform believers to the image of His Son.
        here and now stands for all (4:1). But,   The application of God’s Word to our
        sadly,  not every  believer possesses  it.   own lives is so essential if we are to
        This is clear from the possibility that some   possess and enjoy “his rest.” Obedience
        might “have failed to reach it” (4:1 ESV).   is evidence of one’s application of the
        For this reason, the writer solemnly warns   Word in faith, and a lack of faith will
        his readers to “fear” missing out (4:1),   be manifested in disobedience and
        and exhorts them to “labour” (lit. “give   departure. At Kadesh-Barnea, there were
        diligence”) to “enter into that rest” (v11).   only two who were willing to hear, trust
        The Hebrews were to heed the warning   and obey. How is it with us? Are we
        through simple faith and obedience to   numbered among the faithful? Are we
        the Word of God (vv6,11), and abandon
        any thought of returning to the works of   giving the Spirit time to speak to us and
        Judaism. We, too, are to depend on the   teach us, “comparing spiritual things with
        same principles of faith and obedience,   spiritual,” so that “we might know the
        else we may forfeit the spiritual rest God   things ... given to us of God” (1Co 2:12)?
        promises every believer redeemed and   Are we prepared “today” to “hear his
        separated to Himself in Christ.       voice” and be doers of what we hear (Jas
          Faith is inextricably linked with hearing   1:22)? May the Lord Jesus encourage us
        God’s Word (Rom 10:17). Today, God    to hear His voice through the Holy Spirit.
        speaks to us by the Holy Spirit through   “He that hath an ear, let him hear what
        the Word of God, which is living, effectual   the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Rev
        and sharper than any other means of   2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13).

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