Hebrews Chapter 3
6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
This verse states that those who hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end are of the household of Christ. It does not say that we accomplish this of our own accord. Only that those who are the true Bride will remain steadfast to the end.
7 Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,
8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
There is a clear warning not to harden our hearts. Could this be a clue that if we find our hearts being hardened in the midst of trials and testing times, that perhaps we should be concerned about the authenticity of our saving faith? Might this be an indication that some examination is in order, before the Lord, in honesty and humility?
9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in (their) heart; and they have not known my ways.
Keep in mind the Bible tells us “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”, and conversely it also says “the people which do know their God shall be strong and do exploits”.
Do you find it to be a pattern in your walk with the Lord, that when things start to pile on, you revert to doubt and anxiety?
Has anyone close to you, ever presumed or jumped to some conclusion about the way you might receive a particular action on their part, causing you to feel hurt and offended that they think so little of you, or don’t know you better than they apparently do?
It seems to me this is what is happening in this passage. In the “wilderness wanderings” God showed Himself strong on behalf of the children of Israel time and time again. When God has done that in our lives, and we persist year after year, in reverting back to insecurities and doubts at the first sign of trouble, that is an affront to God’s grace toward us.
11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)
12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
A heart of unbelief may well be an indication that you do not have that kind of faith/belief which is “counted unto you as righteousness”.
I don’t think that there is “big faith” and “little faith” or “strong faith” and “weak faith”. There is just faith. We either believe what God says about Himself or we do not. Presence of doubt does not equate to absence of faith. The two are not mutually exclusive. But it is what you do with the doubt. The doubt should be cast down, because if it does not line up with God’s truth as put forth in scripture, then it is merely “vain imaginations”. Which the scripture tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:5 how to handle those: Casting down arguments, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. (Did you catch that? Not all of the children of Israel left Egypt that day. Some stayed because they had no faith to believe the promises). In order to strive toward something, we have to know what God’s calling and purpose is for His called-out bride. Being made free from the law, having no righteousness of our own, we have a choice in whether or not to remain subject to the flesh, or to “reach” toward that which He will some day make perfect and finished within us. We make that choice repeatedly every day, and in every circumstance that arises.
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?
18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?
19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
I Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
That is an amazing thought!
In the same respect that “science” tells us we only use a miniscule portion of what the human brain is theoretically capable of, I think we Christians too often operate in this Earthly sphere without tapping into resources available to us through the Holy Spirit.
I grew up in a Presbyterian church. I have attended, at various times lots of different denominations, whether once, or for a period of time, and I think that at this point in the history of “the church” we have drifted far from God’s intent. Many Protestant and Baptist denominations have thrown out the Holy Spirit “baby” with the conservative “bathwater”. In other words, in fear of veering too far into things supernatural, they avoid the whole kit and caboodle. On the other hand, many Pentecostal and Assemblies of God churches have lost all discernment and are entertaining “another spirit” with “another gospel” in their midst. How can the church be fixed?
Only one Christian at a time!
You are the church and I am the church. Am I studying the Word, with the Holy Spirit as my teacher? Do you and I test every spirit? Do we even have enough discernment to recognize when any spirit, (Holy or otherwise) is operating in our midst? Do we squelch the very spirit which the Bible tells us we are dependent upon in order to be used of God? Professing Christians often get up in arms when someone among them seeks “more” in their relationship with the Lord. But isn’t that what we are meant to do? What draws us to Christ to begin with, if not the Spirit-enabled realization that we are made for “more than this”. This life on Earth is not our destiny. As joint-heirs with Jesus, we are just passing through here on the way to our real destination. Being content to settle for this one leg of the journey is a little like driving to the airport to start your vaction, but never getting on the plane. Salvation is just the beginning. It is merely “conception” while our time on Earth is “gestation” and our future in the Millennium, and the ensuing ages of ages to come, will be all about discovering what God truly made us for.
Wow. Selah! Think of that.