Monday, September 21, 2009

Piercing Within

Day 4 in Revelation--pressing on, questions and all

Wow, I was so tired last night. I try not to do much housekeeping on the weekend--my own little rule for myself--but by Sunday night there is stuff strung from one end of the house to the other. And just looking at it all makes me exhausted. Why should you care? Well, I guess you shouldn't. But understanding my mindset last night upon finally crawling into the bed, may help you appreciate the words I read this morning.

"Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest (the rest of God)..." (Hebrews 4:11a) Hmmmm, rest...remind me again, Lord.

You see I was led to this Hebrews passage because of something I actually read in Revelation this morning. Today's portion was 1:12b-16. In these verses John is describing the vision of Christ that he saw; and he uses a lot of "likes." "He looked like this or that." He had to use a lot of "likes" because seeing an actual vision of the Lord is His glory is completely "other-than" our understanding. John was doing his best to help the reader somewhat envision this view of the glorified Lord.

In verse 16--the verse that led me to Hebrews--he says, "out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword." Light bulbs went off because we had just read a verse in Hebrews yesterday at church that explains this description. Hebrews 4:12, "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Nice. One thing I understand.

This sword coming out of the mouth of Christ reflects His actual words. His word--the word, or truth, of God, the scriptures--is living and powerful. It pierces the depths within us as we submit our hearts and minds to it. I wanted to understand more. Why did the writer of Hebrews say this now? So I went back a number of verses. We learn that there is a rest of God that He gives to man--a rest of spirit, a peace within. But this rest can only be entered through belief, i.e. faith.

"They could not enter (into His rest) because of unbelief." (Hebrews 3:19)
"The word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith." (4:2b)
"Those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience." (4:6b)

Then we come to the verse just preceding this description of the word of God, "Let us therefore be diligent (persistent, strive) to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience." (4:11) At this point the writer describes the word of God. Why? Because it is through the word of God we learn how to truly love our Creator and Sustainer.

We will have to know the word, in order to have faith in the word, to then obey the word, and then enter the rest that He has promised in the word. Are you with me? His word is living and powerful. As we submit ourselves to it, and apply it to our lives, then we will enter the rest He gives--the peace that passes understanding.

Thankfully He gives physical rest--my bed was much needed last night--but more than physical He promises a deep spiritual rest to those who believe. Let us dig deep into His Word and stand firm on what He says, even when our feelings may declare otherwise--love the unlovely, forgive those who betray, speak only words that lift. He is that good.

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