God has been having me focus on the book of Hebrews lately. I like digging deeper and studying books of the Bible, letting my heart wrestle with different passages, pondering the words of God, and giving the Holy Spirit space to teach me His word.
As I study Hebrews this week, there is one particular passage I can’t seem to get over. It’s the last two verses of chapter three.
And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.
In this passage, the author is referring to the time when Moses sent out spies from their group to scout out the land God had promised to them in Exodus 3:16-17. The spies went there and were amazed. They reported back and said this place was genuinely flowing with milk and honey. Oh, and it was also occupied by the descendants of Anak (basically, giant warrior men) and it was an enormous fortified city, meaning the people were well-equipped to defend themselves against the Israelites. Also, to make matters worse, the areas around this town was occupied by powerful tribes. In other words, their land was everything God promised, except for the fact giants were settled there. (See Numbers 13:25-28)
I wonder how many times I’ve lacked faith in God’s promise because it felt impossible, His fulfillment of His word was not what I expected, there was the risk of failure, or because there would be extreme opposition if I moved forward?
Once upon a time, I would judge those spies for not having more faith, but I’ve walked a long time with God, and I know this fear and this unbelief, and all I can do it repent for my disobedience.
The Opposite of Unbelief is Faith
I admire Joshua and Caleb. They were the only two spies who truly believed. When they heard the other’s spies declare this mission would be impossible, Caleb and Joshua stood up and said, “The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.” (See Numbers 14:5-11)
What is hear is this: Do not let fear keep you from believing in the Lord who is faithful, who is able and who is with us.
Faith in God is the key to enter into God’s promised land.
Oh that my soul would always have such faith! It is my prayer. Lord, help me trust you. Let nothing make me stand still and slumber, but help me to believe in your word. Help me to cease my spiritual striving and enter this rest.
Reading onto Chapter 4, it begins with these verses:
Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. For we who have believed enter that rest.
Fear of Man vs. Fear of the Lord
Two things have stood out to me here, “let us fear” and “for we who have believed enter that rest.” Joshua and Caleb said, “Do not fear the people of the land.” I think they said this with such conviction because they were more afraid of disobeying God than men killing them. I am wondering if this was the anchor of their faith: fear of the Lord.
I did some research about the fear of the Lord, and I will share these three passages I found:
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” – Matthew 10:28
“Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! ” – Psalm 34:9
A Message from the Father
I want to be as bold as these two men who stood against a crowd of people and courageously declared God would be faithful to give them the promised land. As I study Hebrews, God has been telling me to move forward, and believe in Him like Joshua and Caleb. I want to share with you a word God gave me today:
“Start walking, daughter and see what I will do through you! Why do you doubt my word? Am I not the same God who conquered death itself? Am I not the same God who gives you your very breath? Declare my word! Know my ways. Am I not faithful? Take up your sword and feel my strength in your veins. Walk forward and see how I weaken the enemy with every step. Who am I, Beloved? Am I not the same God who brought down the walls of Jericho? Remember my works, what I have done for you and my people. I am the same God. I have not changed. What I did for them I will do for you. Put your faith in ME and watch what I will do.”
O Jesus, I know you discipline us for our good. Thank you for your word and for walking with us, teaching us, correcting us and giving us faith and courage.
Prayer For Us Both
Princesses, I believe the church is not a building but us as a family, learning together the mysteries of God, and teaching them to each other so we may grow together closer to Christ. Today, I am sharing with you what I am learning. I don’t know what giants you face, but let us fear the Lord. Let us remember He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). Let us obey God’s word and put our faith in only Him.
I do not consider myself a walking testimony of faith, but a student in training. I pray for both of us as we journey together closer to Jesus. Lord, we love you. You are good, and your ways are higher than ours. We know you who gives a promise is faithful to fulfill your word. I ask God that you would help us to unite our hearts in faith to your word. In this crazy world full of sickness, disease, poverty, sin, bullies, and so many giants we can’t see how to overcome, fill us with hope. May we boast in your promise. May we declare your truth to the giants. May we march on, swords in hand, towards the promised land. We trust in your strength, in your ability, to do what you’ve said you would do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
You ask, how is it going to be possible?
It will be through God alone.
With all my love,