God used many different means to catch my attention this past week. He used our family devotions in Hebrews, this Sunday’s sermon from Pastor Mike (listen here), my weekly book study, toilet paper, and even my husband’s anxiety and questioning of God’s provision for our family to remind me to enter God’s rest by believing in faith that God will keep me and will work everything for my good.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
I am teaching a book study using By This Name and the last few weeks we have been looking into Israel’s obedience and disobedience cycle. Because of their disobedience they were not able to enter into God’s rest and walk into the Promised Land.
And who was it who rebelled against God, even though they heard his voice? Wasn’t it the people Moses led out of Egypt? And who made God angry for forty years? Wasn’t it the people who sinned, whose corpses lay in the wilderness? And to whom was God speaking when he took an oath that they would never enter his rest? Wasn’t it the people who disobeyed him? So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest.
I believe Christ died to pay my sin debt so I now have eternal life and every spiritual blessing in Christ. I now have a new identity. I can rest in that identity and believe God’s promises about me to be true:
- I am free forever from condemnation (Romans 8:1)
- I am victorious through Christ Jesus (I Corinthians 15:57)
- God is for me (Romans 8:31)
- I am a friend of God (Romans 5:11)
- Jesus is pleading to God on my behalf (Romans 8:34)
- I am loved by God (I John 4:10)
OR I can live in unbelief allowing life’s circumstances to worry me and create unrest as I try to work things out on my own:
- Continually working out every contingency to a possible problem
- Coming up with counter attacks to misunderstandings
- Fearful God is not on my side
- Feeling too weak or broken to be used by God
- Feeling I am just a disappointment
- Feeling defeated by sin, sickness, or life’s situations
Moses was certainly faithful in God’s house as a servant. His work was an illustration of the truths God would reveal later. But Christ, as the Son, is in charge of God’s entire house. And we are God’s house, if we keep our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ. That is why the Holy Spirit says, “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled, when they tested me in the wilderness. There your ancestors tested and tried my patience, even though they saw my miracles for forty years.”
Our God Miracles
This week I needed to pick up toilet paper from the grocery store ASAP and I had been delaying it because it is a little bit of an overwhelming task for me. There are so many choices. It all stems from my time in South America. We were in a country that after a time of us being there lacked basic necessities. We could not just go into a store and buy toilet paper. It did not exist, as well as paper towels or napkins. There were times when we would be down to a few rolls and wondering what to do when we ran out and then low and behold there would be a few packages of toilet paper on the shelf in that particular store we went to, however, they flew off the shelf as fast as we saw them. This happened time and time again with the things we would need: milk, butter, flour. There would be none in the city and then at the moment when we would wonder what to do, God supplied what we needed. We were never in want. It was truly miraculous. How soon we forget the miracles God performed on our behalf. He provided for us at all times, but now back in America we question if He will take care of us whether it be a concern of our health or a relationship or our finances. God truly challenged me to keep faith in Him, not my circumstances. He has been faithful to keep and guide us so far. Our family can trust and believe in faith that He will continue to do so.
We live in our rest as believers when believe His promises for us and abide in Him. However, we are not to beat ourselves up when we flail in unbelief. Jesus understands. He will give us mercy and grace as we confess our unbelief and lack of faith.
So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.