THE FAITH REST LIFE
THE NEW TESTAMENT
APPLICATION OF MERIBAH
Hebrews 3:7-11 is a quotation of Psalm 95:8-11. "Harden not your heart, as in the provocation" (Ps. 95:8).
"Provocation" is an old English word meaning the same as "chide" (Ex. l7:2), or "chode" (Num. 20:3), translated from the Hebrew word meribah. The Hebrew says literally, "Harden not your heart as in the meribah, as in the day of testing in the wilderness."
Look at Hebrews 3:7: "Wherefore as the Holy Spirit saith, To day [a continuous today, as pertinent now as it was then] if ye will hear his voice." What is His voice today? The promises of the Word of God! Will you hear His voice when He says?
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isa.4l:10)
Will you hear His voice when He says?
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (l Pet. 5:7)
Will you hear His voice when He says?
Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. (Ps. 55:22)
Will you hear His voice when He says?
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Prov. 3:5-6)
Will you hear His voice when He says?
Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. (Ps. 37:4-5)
When are we going to learn to crack the faith barrier; to move into the place of the moment-by-moment sabbath; into this place of faith-rest?
Verses 7 and 8. "If you will hear his voice [the promises of the Word of God], Harden not [through habitual unbelief and refusal to trust] your hearts [that is, your mind; the volitional part of the frontal lobe which exercises faith or unbelief],
as in the provocation [meribah], the day of testing in the wideness." What is the third chapter Hebrews saying to us today? In the past God had a moment-b moment sabbath for His people. For example,
He [Abraham] staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he [God] had promised, he was able also to perform. (Rom.4:20-21)
God gave his people promises. He demonstrated His faithfulness, at then He put them in the place of testing, and said, "Will you trust M or will you not?" And they did not! Now, God says to you today, "A you going to fall into the pattern of failure, or are you going to trust Me? You have trusted Me for the big thing, salvation; will you trust Me for the needs of your life—that no water situation that you face right now? Will you trust Me for that?" Will you hear His warning, "Harden not your hearts as in the day of meribah, in the day of testing in the wilderness, when your fathers tested me, proved me, and saw my works for forty years?" He was faithful to them for forty years.
Verse l0. "Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said! They always err [go astray] in their heart; and they have not known my ways." Notice, ignorance of His ways: Not only did they fail to trust Him, to mix the promises of God with faith, but the Holy Spirit says, "They do not even know about My moment-by-moment sabbath, even though it exists for them." Here is something that belonged to them, and they did not claim it. Here is something that belongs to you today, as a believer. Have you claimed it?
Verse 11. "So I sware [the solemn, divine oath] in my wrath [an expression of divine discipline], They shall not enter into my rest." And, as God promised, most of that generation did not enter His rest, the only exceptions being Caleb and Joshua.
Verse 12. "Take heed, brethren [believers today], lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief [it is evil to refuse to believe the promises of God, in departing from the living God [literally, keep standing off from the living God]." It is possible for people to possess eternal salvation, but to stand off from God in time. If you are facing a no water situation today, if you are falling apart, if you are upset, if you are disturbed, what is the matter? You are standing off from God who is waiting to bless you. But He will not bless you until you crack the faith barrier. "Stand still, and watch the deliverance of the Lord" (Ex. l4: 13, corrected translation).
"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength" (Isa. 40:31). To "wait" means to keep trusting, to trust moment-by-moment.
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength [exchange their strength for His]; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary: and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isa. 40:31)
What is the strength of the Christian life? It is in standing still. It is in God's gracious provision of the moment-by-moment sabbath, which is now called "rest." The word "rest" is used synonymously with sabbath, for the Hebrew word הַשַּׁבָּ֖֜ת, (hashabbat), "The Sabbath," means rest. Every phase of Christian experience depends on rebound (l John l:9) and understanding and using the faith-rest technique.
Verses 13 through 15. "But exhort [encourage] one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin [refusing to believe the Word]. For we are made partakers of [partners with] Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end; [In other words, if we keep trusting Him, if we mix the promises of God with faith to the end of our troubles or our no water situation]; While it is said, To day, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the meribah."
When we face a no water situation-a hopeless situation of some kind or another, it seems to be the most difficult thing in the world. Those of you with a heavy heart may be thinking, "I do not know if I can stand it much longer; I do not know if I can take it." But when God puts you in the furnace of fire, the furnace of suffering, He wants you to do only one thing-trust Him! Believe His Word!
Mix the promises of God with faith! Move into this place of perfect peace, perfect rest, and perfect confidence. That is what Peter meant when he said,
That the trial [testing] of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire [great crisis], might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. (1 Pet. l:7)
"Tried with fire," is synonymous with a no water situation. As a believer in Jesus Christ, you have your greatest opportunity right now. The darker the outlook, the more difficult the adversity, the greater the problem, the more He is glorified when we keep on trusting Him and crack the faith barrier.
But without faith it is impossible to please him. (Heb 11.6)
Remember the Meribah!
THE DEFINITION OF THE FAITH–REST LIFE
We might title Hebrews 4, "How to be happy though a Christian." Perhaps you are thinking this is in jest, but it is not. Do you realize that the most difficult state for a Christian to achieve is happiness? Are you aware that the pressures against the believer in Jesus Christ are a thousandfold greater than those of the unbeliever? This does not sound exactly like a sales pitch for Christianity, and this would hardly be the place to give an invitation to accept Christ as Savior. But I think as believers we ought to face the facts. In this world it is harder to be happy as a Christian than to be happy as an unbeliever. It is much easier for an unbeliever to be happy, temporarily, of course, simply because he is free from the tremendous, powerful, insidious pressures that are brought to bear on the believer in Jesus Christ. Often the greater the capacity for service and the greater the believer can be used, the greater are the pressures against him from all sides the world, the flesh, and the devil.
When the Air Force cracked the sound barrier in 1971, they over- came one obstacle but created others. Somewhere between twice and three times the speed of sound there is a tremendous heat problem. So, they found a way to insulate the pilot from the heat at such tremendous speeds. Yet the difficulties of cracking the sound barrier are nothing compared to cracking the faith-rest barrier, that is, the moment-by-moment sabbath barrier.
Years ago I had an interesting discussion with a Navy pilot. He related a most amazing experience. While flying a jet, he shot himself down. Going into a shallow dive, he fired his gun through the jet squeeze, then steepened his dive so that his speed increased beyond the velocity of the shells he had fired. He not only passed them, but as he began to pullout of the dive, he pulled up into his shells, which hit his plane and knocked him out of the sky. This illustrates very graphically what we have done with speed. We can fire bullets, pass them, catch up with them, and be shot down by them!
But this is nothing compared with what we do to ourselves when we fail to crack the faith barrier! We miss the wonderful and beautiful valley of blessing just over a ridge called faith. The trouble is, the ridge does not look as though there would be any green pastures on the other side. As a result, we who believe in Jesus Christ begin to deviate into all sorts of ideas and activities, missing the perfect resting place God has for each of us.
God has graciously provided salvation for us for all eternity. We know that we have the righteousness of God imputed to us and that we possess eternal life. We know our sins are forgiven. We are His children and the objects of His infinite, marvelous, matchless love. We know that God has a purpose for us by keeping us here. The very fact that we are alive and breathing today means that God has a mission for us today, tomorrow, and the next day. Just as we recognize the reality of our salvation and our temporal existence, we need to recognize that God has not forgotten our special need of happiness, peace, stability, and strength. God not only had us in mind when Jesus Christ took our place and went to the cross and died for our sins, but God had us in mind when He provided this wonderful moment-by-moment sabbath. All God is asking us to do is to walk over the next ridge by a step of faith.
We came to a ridge called Calvary, and there we accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We approached that cross by faith. We received Jesus Christ, we trusted in Him, we accepted the condition that, "Whosoeyer believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:l6b). Now God enjoins us to move over the next ridge. If you do not, the world, the flesh, and the devil, with their power, pressures, and strategy will neutralize your happiness. We need to realize that as believers we are vulnerable, we can become upset and depressed, we can be destroyed by the activities of our sin nature unless we move over this next ridge. Thus in verse 1 of Hebrews 4 we have the exhortation or warning of failing to reach the goal of the faith-rest life.
Verse 1. "Let us [believers] therefore [in view of the experiences of the Jews in chapter 3] fear." Generally speaking, believers are commanded not to fear in the Christian way of life (2 Tim. 1:7). Here is the exception. We are to be afraid of not entering into the faith-rest life. Without the faith-rest technique we cannot have the perfect happiness and blessing which belongs to every believer in time. "Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it." (Heb.4:l) The promises–those in God's Word dealing with time rather than eternity—are in danger of being left unclaimed. The promises are left behind in writing, and are continually waiting for believers to claim them. By claiming God's promises we enter into temporal rest. This is the definition of the faith-rest life. We crack the faith barrier. We move over the next ridge.
THE MECHANICS OF THE FAITH—REST TECHNIQUE
Verse 2. “For indeed we have had good tidings preached unto us, even as also they: but the word of hearing did not profit them, because it was not united (mixed) by faith with them that heard. American Standard Version, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995), He 4.1–2." A parallel is set up between the Exodus generation of believers and believers today. The analogy is obvious. They had promises; we have promises. They failed to claim the promises; we must not follow their example. The promises of the Word are only profitable when they are mixed with faith. This involves two principles: knowing the promises and believing them. The promises can be learned by study and memorization, but they can only be appropriated by faith. Seven thousand sacks of cement in a house are actually no good until they become concrete. To become concrete they must be mixed with water and sand in the right proportions. Before the promises of God for time become concrete, they must be mixed with faith. There is no substitute for claiming the promises of God.
Verse 3. "For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said,
“AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH,
THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST,”
although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.” New American Standard Bible: 1995 update, (LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), He 4.3.
God is still saying to us today, "If you have trusted in Christ. If you have received Him as your Lord and Savior, I have many wonderful things for you, but you must stand still to receive them." If we, as believers, would just stand still for a minute, He could give us blessing, He could provide peace. But we cannot seem to stand still. We always have to be on the move and try to accomplish this place of rest through our own efforts. We are seeking this elusive thing called happiness. We are trying to find something that will give stimulation, satisfaction, peace, or blessing to self. And the more we move under our own power, the more we reject what God has provided for us. He says, "Stand still so that I can bless you.” If we would first stand still to receive what God has provided, then we could move by grace, and in the right direction and at the right time. Here it is called rest—God's gracious, matchless, endless provision for believers in time. The word "rest" is the same as Sabbath, and it is a moment-by-moment sabbath. There is only one way to get in this place, and that is by faith mixed with the promises of God.
"We which have believed." “We" refers to every believe who "believed" the promises after salvation. Notice, it does not say; who have worked up an emotional reaction or an emotional experience, or we who have rationalized, or thought our way through, who have worked our way through." "We who have believed do enter into his rest." It all goes back to the appropriation of grace in the manner possible—by faith!
Another facet of this valley of rest is that it is located anywhere. It is located in Berachah Church. It is located in any part of Houston, any part of Texas or in any part of the world. There is a moment-by- moment sabbath which God has provided for us, but we have to walk over the ridge of faith to move into this rest—wherever we are.
Remember that in order to enter into this rest we must claim promises of the Word by faith. And we, as believers, can enter this rest at any moment we believe the Word. But notice, God has said back in chapter 3 verse 19, "So we see that they could not enter because of unbelief." This refers to that group of Old Testament believers who refused to trust God in the wilderness. I have read the history of those believers. For forty years God provided everything. He provided the picture of their salvation—their deliverance from Egypt. He provided the way through the Red Sea. He provided the blood of the atoning lamb. He provided guidance for them by day. He provided navigational aids by night in the pillar of fire. He provided a perfect textbook for them concerning the Person and work of Jesus Christ through the Tabernacle, the holy days, and the Levitical offerings. He not only provided these great spiritual benefits, but at the same time He provided a seventh day of rest for them. They were to do nothing. They were to be occupied with the Lord. This was to remind them of what He had provided for them every moment. He provided shoes for their feet. He provided clothing, knowledge in time of war, and deliverance from their enemies, problems, and difficulties. For forty years God was faithful day after day.
But, here is an astonishing fact. Day after day they turned against the Lord. They complained. They were bitter. They longed leeks and garlic and onions and the pomegranates-all the nice things they remembered from Egypt. They forgot His faithfulness, they forgot His provision. As a result, we see forty years of misery. They were believers, yet those people were continually miserable because they would not enter into a moment-by-moment sabbath. They would not trust Him. They would not lean on Him.
Everything in the Christian life, everything in the believer's experience by way of strength, ability, and stability comes through rest—God's gracious provisions. Without rest we have absolutely nothing in the spiritual life. Without this moment-by-moment sabbath, without trusting Him, we are powerless to appropriate His gracious provision!
I do not know what kind of a week you had, but if it has been a normal week, you have had heartbreaks, problems, difficulties, and trials. Perhaps you have been depressed, disturbed, upset. Many times as we look back over a past week, we can see so much that would break our hearts; then we stop and think of just how wonderful the Lord really is. How gracious He is.
In all these pressures, difficulties, heartaches, and problems there are only two choices as far as we as believers are concerned. Today we can stand at the threshold and choose one or the other. We can choose to believe the Word, or we can choose not to believe and be entirely confused, upset, and afraid until the day we depart from this earth. We can either believe the Word or enter into the faith-rest life, or we can hit the panic button and be miserable!
Unbelievers can have relative and fleeting happiness from dependence upon some person, thing, event, position in life, or some measure of success. But for the one who believes in Jesus Christ, God has provided perfect, permanent happiness through a place of rest, a place which does not depend upon any human factor in life. This place is a complete dependence upon the One who is the source of joy and strength, the Lord Jesus Christ. By dependence upon Him, we are able to help other believers as well as unbelievers. The secret of this whole passage is in one little word in verse 3, "rest."
It is impossible for us to fully realize how wonderful God is to us. God does some amazing things for us experientially to try to get us to move into this rest. Just as you would try to herd cattle into a special place in order to feed them, so God tries to herd us into this special place. He permits suffering; He permits testing; He permits us to run around and to bump our heads against a wall. He permits us to hit the panic button. He permits us to get discouraged and upset. He permits us to go through all of these things so that we will wake up and realize there is no rest or peace or satisfaction until we move into this sabbath which He has provided for us, this moment-by-moment rest.
After reading this passage many times, perhaps even more in the original Greek language than in the English, I realized one day that the key to understanding it was found back in chapter 3 verse 7, "To day if ye will hear his voice." I was missing the whole point of the passage. I was not listening.
Now, how many times have we heard this passage and have not heard a thing? We do not hear this particular word "rest." It's here, but we don't hear it! Yet God has given it to us. Just believe the Word. Claim the promises by faith. Move into this moment-by-moment sabbath.
In the center, or eye, of a hurricane there is a spot that is calm and quiet. The trouble with us is that we are all around this central spot. We are in the hurricane being blown this way and that, upside down, feet over head and head over feet. We have no stability; yet God says, "Look! In the eye of the hurricane it is peaceful." In the midst of all of our troubles and difficulties God says, "Move into the center!" In the eye it is quiet. Consequently, one of the most gracious things God does for us is to give us difficulties and hardships so that we will wake up and realize there is tranquility in the midst of turmoil. Therefore, we must be right in the very center of His plan for us. He has already told us how. Mix the promises of God with faith!
So, in verse 3 the Lord is saying, "Every time there is any problem or any difficulty or any adverse situation, you face a crisis. You must make a decision! You can do it. My way or your way. You can try your own solution, you can go through all the motions and activities of psychological sublimation and compensation." But do you know why you are still here? To glorify Him, to glorify Christ! "I want you, believer, to lean on Me, to trust Me. And to make it easy I have given you resources." God says, in effect, "I have given you the Word, the promises from the Bible. First, I want you to know them, and then I want you to claim them." God wants you to be so stabilized that you can take anything that life has to offer, including two of the most difficult things—prosperity and the approbation of man. Through a stabilized life, He wants us to be a blessing and a help to others, and to cause wonderful, precious souls to come to know Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. He wants us to be living proof that Christ is the answer. But our whole life falls apart unless we move into this one spot called "rest."
"As He said, As I have sworn in my wrath." Wrath is an anthropopathism that ascribes to God human thoughts and attitudes to reveal and explain divine policy and decisions toward mankind. In His "wrath" He will not pour out any blessing, unless we wait on Him. Unless we will stand still and let Him pour it out. The word "if” in verse 3 is deceiving, because the structure of the Greek in this sentence gives the force of an emphatic negative assertion or oath. God is saying literally, "As I have sworn in my wrath, they shall not enter into my rest." Why didn't they enter into His rest? For one reason only, and that is found in the previous verse—they did not mix the promises of God with faith. They refused to believe the Word. Now God said to that generation, and He says to us today, "Will you believe the Word? Will you lean on Me? Will you stop depending on yourself?"
One of the paradoxes in the Christian life is that God allows us to become completely miserable in order that we might become completely happy. He often must remove every human and material crutch we lean upon before He can bless us. We think, "My answer to happiness is this person," and we lean on that person. So God kicks that prop out from under us. Then we say, "It is this thing." And God kicks that prop out from under us. We try this and we try that. But God tells us, "There is only one thing that is necessary, and that is to trust Me and to lean on Me! My love for you will never diminish, despite the numerous human props on which you rely!"
We must not believe for just a second or even a day, but trust Him no matter how tough things become, no matter how long it takes. Wait on the Lord! Believe Him! Every time we use our positive volition and say, "I believe," then God is glorified, the Son is pleased with us, and our lives are changed. Otherwise, we as Christians are the sorriest people in the world.
God did not intend for us to be pitiful people. He made provision for us to stabilize and to move over the next ridge. He did not say we must have materialistic things, or that we must have a relationship, or a person, or an event, or the approbation of men. God says, "You must have rapport with Me!" In Me, "you have been made complete" (Col. 2:10, NASB). Sometimes it becomes necessary for God to remove everything in order for us to understand this principle. He may have to make us so miserable that we will crawl in the dust. God does no want to do that, but He may have to, so that we will learn to trust Him to lean on Him, to delight in Him.
Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. (Ps. 37:4-5)
"Trust" actually means, "keep on trusting also in him." But do you know how we trust Him? "Oh Father, I am in an awful situation. I am as miserable as I can be. I know I Peter 5.7, and so Lord, I am committing my problems to you. I am trusting you. The battle is the Lord's. This is your problem, Father; You take it and work it out. Oh wait a minute, I just thought of something. Give the problem back to me, Lord, I am going to try this first." So you try something, and it falls apart. Then becoming miserable again, you turn it back over the Lord, and for a few minutes you have peace. But all of a sudden, I thought—and you say, "Just thought of an answer! Give it back!" And so you spend most of your time passing problems back and forth while, chewing your nails and churning inside.
This is exactly why we have the word "wait" in the Bible. Wait always means faith, but it is not trusting for a second, or for five minutes. Wait means keep trusting, as we have already noted with Abraham,
He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. (Rom. 4:20)
What does it mean to be "strong in faith?" He kept on trusting; he never stopped trusting, even though all hope of fathering children was dead (Gen. 18:10-1 1). Here was a member of the human race who was tested repeatedly. Yet, all Abraham did was to say, "Thank you, Lord for Your graciousness to me." He kept right on trusting and God fulfilled the promise of progeny to him. Abraham, through faith, became one of the greatest believers who ever lived.
Along came another man. His name was Elijah. God gave Elijah I job to do. When Elijah finished the job he said, "All right, Lord, pin, medal on me." But the Lord, wanting to teach Elijah about grace, said t "Oh no, I want you to go down to a creek and watch it dry up" (l Kings 17:5-7). Elijah complained, "This is not fair, Lord." So the Lord sent Elijah into a far country to the home of a poor gentile widow. The Lord told Elijah that this poor widow would take care of him. God took a woman who was helpless, without food and in a desperate situation, who was on the verge of suicide, and used her to make Elijah a great believer (l Kings 17:9-24). Elijah learned to trust the Lord through a gentile woman! God did not take Elijah into the great courts of the surrounding nations. He did not leave him in the land of Israel. He did not take him down into the temple in Jerusalem. He took him to a helpless person who taught Elijah the lesson of helplessness and the power of waiting and trusting! After two years, God said, "All right. Elijah, you are ready to go back." Then Elijah went back into the Land and led in the great revival.
David learned the secret of waiting while tending a flock of sheep. God chose him as a young boy to be the king of Israel, but he had to learn faith-rest. David watched those around him advance; he saw them promoted and showered with favors, but he stood still and waited until God said. "Move." Then God promoted him. But immediately David began to so through the most severe testings of his life. He had to learn to wait and wait some more, to learn to trust the Lord implicitly. Then he moved into that realm of perfect peace, power, and strength. But God had to train him through trial and difficulty.
Now notice the last phrase in Hebrews 4:3: "Although the works were finished from the foundation of the world." When the Lord Jesus Christ created the world (Col. 1:16), He also created everything to make the Christian happy. God made special provision for every person who would ever trust in Jesus Christ. He created a valley, a true "fountain of youth." the one that Ponce de Leon could not find. It is not located in Florida or in any other geographical location. God created something on the inside of every believer and provided something on the outside, the linking together of which makes for perfect peace and perfect happiness. It is promises from the Word in the soul that produce the faith-rest life! This passage tells us that He has provided for us from the "foundation of the world." And, if He provided it then, it is still in existence, as this passage will show.
I wonder what percent of Christians go through life and go home to be with the Lord never having found out what this Christian life is all about—never having discovered the moment-by-moment sabbath, I place of rest, peace, and joy which results in stability and strength. Now I want you to understand that regardless of the initial cause your problems, difficulties, or trials, God is speaking to you through the Word and through the experience of your problems. Though your heart may be broken, your problems difficult, the situation hopeless, He bids you to try the only thing that works: continuous, unceasing trust! Wait on the Lord!
THE HISTORY OF THE FAITH-REST LIFE
Verse 4. "For he spake in a certain place (Gen. 2:2-3) of the sever day on this wise." The seventh day, which is Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, is an illustration of the moment-by-moment rest. God says regarding the seventh day, "And God did rest the seventh day from his works." Immediately we ask the question, "Why did He rest? Was God tired?" Think of the tremendous amount of work that went into creation and restoration! In Genesis 1:1 God created the universe instantly.
Then, in Genesis l:2-31 He restored the universe in six days. In the first act of restoration God created light and separated from the darkness. Next, He created the earth's atmosphere. After se separating the land from seas, He created all vegetation. Then, God restored light to all the celestial bodies in all the galaxies billions of light years away. Next, He created every creature beneath the sea and every fowl of the air. Then, God created every animal on the face the earth and finally, He created man. And you say, "Well, no wonder He rested on the seventh day. I would be worn out too." But that is r the reason for His rest. Omnipotent God needed no rest; He was neither wearied nor tired from His labors (Isa. 40:28). He rested on t seventh day because His work was complete!
Ceasing from work illustrates grace—undeserved blessing freely bestowed apart from any merit on man's part. God provided everything necessary to sustain the human race. Man can never add to the perfection of God's creation. Sabbath is a commemoration of the unmerited benefits of grace to mankind. That is why the Jews were told to sit down on Saturday and do nothing, for it was a memorial that God had provided everything. They were told to stop sowing, planting, and reaping every seventh year and let God provide food from heaven. Why? To remind them that everything was already provided.
If I said to you, "Dinner is served," and although you were very hungry, you turned your back and said, "No thank you, I am not interested in food," you would be foolish. Now God says to you, "Dinner is ready and on the table. I have prepared for you in the presence of your enemies a table" (Ps. 23:5, literal translation). Your enemies are the world, the flesh, and the devil. And He has prepared a ten-course dinner for you, starving believer, in the presence of your enemies. The table of food is waiting to be eaten—by faith. Do not be a fool! Believe the Word! Believe the promises! Claim the Word, apply the Word by faith, and then you will enter into what God has for you.
Let us go back to the Garden of Eden. Suppose Adam, looking about in his orchard, which God had provided, sees within inches of his head a big, luscious, juicy fruit. He says, "Oh, I wish I had a fruit; I am so hungry for a fruit, I can taste it. Oh, how I want that fruit." This fruit is right in front of his nose. What does Adam have to do? Nothing! God provided it. Adam did not work for it. Neither did he deserve it. All he had to do was to take it. Just like the fruit, the faith-rest life is in front of you! You need to take it, to crack the faith barrier, and move into that place of peace.
Just as God provided everything physical and material for man, He also provided everything spiritual. The spiritual life begins at the cross where Jesus Christ died as the substitute for our sins. We must come to the cross and claim its salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. But too many stop at salvation and do not advance and claim the promises He has for us. We have already trusted completely for salvation; why then, do we not trust Him completely for everything else?
There is a beautiful suspension bridge just downstream from Niagara Falls. The story of how it was built illustrates how to build faith-rest. One day an engineer flew a kite across the falls. When it came down on the other side, he had it anchored so that there was a slender cord stretched from one side of the falls to the other. Now who would ever have dreamed that little cord would become a great suspension bridge? The engineer tied a heavier cord to the little cord and pulled it across, then a heavier cord and another and another, until there was a steel cable across the river. To this was added other cables until finally there was a massive bridge where people can cross and look toward the falls. However, if the engineer had stopped with the slender cord, there would be no bridge. Likewise, if the Christian stops with a little cord of faith, there will be no advance in the spiritual life.
We all start the spiritual life with a slender cord of faith, which is salvation. But then we need to pull the heavier cords across, promises and more promises, adding strength day-by-day to our Christian life. This is the faith-rest life, the continual moment-by-moment trusting in Him. If we trust Jesus Christ for our salvation, if we trust Him for the greatest thing He could ever provide for us, if we trust Him for eternal life and the forgiveness of all sins, if we trust Him for the biggest thing, can we not trust Him for the little things-the problems? Can we lean on Him arid only on Him? Can we wait patiently for Him? Can we claim His Word? That is the issue!
Verses 5b and 6. "If they shall enter into my rest [speaking of the Jews in the wilderness]. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief." "It remaineth" means to leave behind, to remain over. This faith-rest life remains open to those who would believe the promises of God. Only two of the Exodus generation entered into the rest, Caleb and Joshua. The majority of the wilderness generation failed to believe the temporal promises of God, and thus did not enter into His rest.
Verse 7. Since the Exodus generation failed, what effect did it have on future generations?
Again, he limiteth [or, literally, he marks out] a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts [quotation from Ps. 95:7-8]. (Heb. 4:7)
In other words, even though they had failed in the day of the Exodus, the faith-rest life was still open in David's day. "To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts." As in the former generation, so the invitation remained open in David's day. If they would just believe the promises and the doctrines of God's Word, they could enter into this same rest.
Verse 8. "For if Jesus (literally Joshua) had given them [the generation which existed after the Exodus] rest, then would he [God] not afterward have spoken of another day." "If”' introduces a Greek second-class condition meaning, "if he had, but he did not." Since Joshua's generation did not enter the promise of rest, the Lord spoke of another generation. Joshua's generation failed to completely conquer the Land and they failed to enter into rest by claiming the promises and the doctrines which were given to them. Therefore, that generation stood as a defeated generation as well.
Verse 9. "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God." In spite of the failures of various past generations who did not use the faith-rest technique, it continues to exist. The people of God are those who have received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. The people of God are those who have believed in Him, as the Scripture says,
Whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:l6b)
For you are all the sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3:26, NASB)
The people of God have a relationship with God in time. Part of this relationship is the faith-rest life, claiming the promises of His Word, mixing the promises of God with faith, and having that peace of God "which passes all understanding." "There remaineth" is in the Greek present tense and thus the rest began in the past and continues into the present for the people of God.
Therefore, the faith-rest life is perpetuated right down to this moment and will continue as long as human history continues. There will always exist a provision which means peace and rest, joy, happiness, and blessing, simply by claiming the promises and the doctrines of God's Word.
For we which have believed do enter into rest. (Heb. 4:3a)
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FAITH-REST LIFE
The brief history in verses 4 through 9 shows that the faith-rest technique started when man was created. God provided for Adam a rest, and while it was interrupted by sin, the rest continues to be perpetuated. Our faith starts at the cross where we obtain eternal rest; then we must claim the promises of God's Word for the blessings of temporal rest, the by-product and the monopoly of the Christian way of life.
What are the characteristics of the faith-rest technique? How can it be described? What are some of the tests that we have to face in connection with the technique? Verses 10 through 16 describe these characteristics.
THE CHARACTERISTIC OF FAITH
Faith is a way of thinking which is often called "patience" in the Bible (Rom. 12:12). Patience refers to an habitual faith, continual trust to keep on believing the promises of God.
For the battle is the Lord's. (1st. Sam. l7:47b)
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.(1st. Pet. 5:7)
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Ps. 46:1)
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:19)
If you keep on claiming the promises and mixing them with your faith, then you enter into this rest.
If you have not realized it, these are times of unrest in the United States of America. The situation is not very promising. But there is an area in which you can have absolute and perfect peace, a peace which will cause you to be ready for the crisis when it comes.
In a crisis we need believers who can stabilize in a hurry, believers who do not fall apart and press the panic button. We need believers who do not have to run and check in with a psychiatrist or psychologist, or seek some other form of sublimation. We need believers who can stand in the crisis and mix the promises of God with faith. We need believers who know "that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28). These will be the believers who will use the faith-rest technique.
Who are the believers in the past who have seen the issues and stood fast? Those who knew and believed God's Word. It will never change. Those who can stand in the crisis hour, whose backbone is straight because it is built upon the doctrine of God's Word, whose thinking is based upon Scripture and divine viewpoint, are not duped by the double talk of people in public life and by the biases of the press. The world, linked by modern communication systems, is rapidly going mad. The only antidote is divine viewpoint. Who can stand in the crisis and declare the divine viewpoint? Those who live the faith-rest life. Those who continually claim God's promises. Those who claim doctrine and use it.
Verse I0. .'For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, even as God did from his." This is the first characteristic of the faith-rest technique—faith, not works. When you enter into this rest, you let God take up your fight. The battle—the problems, trials, and difficulties that you face—is turned over to the Lord. "For he that is entered."
Who "is entered"? The one who has "ceased from his own works."
Until you utilize the faith-rest technique, you operate on the energy of the flesh. To the believer who has not entered into the faith-rest life, spirituality is a frantic system of attempting to please God by hustling around the local church, participating in church programs, tithing, fasting, giving up something, 'calling on the brethren,' and a lot of other superficial, hypocritical “modi operandi”.
Then one day you learn that you can relax spiritually. You enter into faith-rest, where your life is no longer a matter of the energy of the flesh, a phony façade of hypocrisy or religiosity. You become a relaxed and stabilized individual. Even though things around you are falling apart, you have God's Word, you claim God's Word, and from God's Word you have strength. As you study, the Holy Spirit teaches you the Word (John 14:26), with the result that you claim these promises and enter into that place of perfect peace.
"He has ceased from his own (brand) of works." "His own" means your peculiar and individual brand of works, whatever they are. But remember, faith-rest is devoid of any works. The beauty of the faith-rest life is the ability to derive strength from the peace that comes through simply trusting.
THE CHARACTERISTIC OF DILIGENCE
Verse 11. "Let us labour (σπουδ-άσωμεν, spoud-ásomen) therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief." The Greek word σπεύδω (speúdo), translated "labour," should more accurately be rendered "diligent" or "eager. " The writer is inviting all Christians to join him not in works, but in diligence and eagerness to enter the faith-rest life. It is just as if the writer has said, "I have entered this faith-rest life; I find it wonderful beyond description. Come on in, the water's fine."
The word diligence also implies a mental attitude. We should have a mental attitude of eagerness to enter into this rest. This should be the most important thing in the world to us. Though unsuccessful, Ponce de Leon made a most eager and diligent search for the legendary Fountain of Youth. How much more should we have this same diligence in seeking that which God has provided-the faith-rest life?
Suppose I told you that one hundred feet behind Berachah Church, slightly under the surface of the earth is a miraculous spring, the water of which if drunk will guarantee that you can revert to the age you desire. There would be a lot of people out digging if they were absolutely convinced that what I said was true. Then suppose I added that in order to dig, you must have the correct mental attitude-that of diligence. "Let us be diligent and go seek this fountain that gives us the age we desire."
I have no doubt that everyone would rush out and start digging. Because of the right mental attitude you do not mind digging; you do not mind getting your clothes dirty. You would not want to dig under ordinary circumstances, but now you are eager to dig because you have a great objective in mind.
This is the connotation of the word "diligence." It means there is a worthy objective, the faith-rest life. This objective is so wonderful that once you obtain it you will never want to leave it as long as you live. It is the rest which we should be diligent to enter because it is the place of perfect happiness, adjustment, peace, and blessing. The verse continues, "lest any man should fall after the same example of unbelief." Those in the past failed to enter simply because of unbelief. We must not follow their example.
THE CHARACTERISTIC OF KNOWING THE WORD OF GOD
Knowing the Word of God is one of the most important characteristics of the faith-rest life. This is living in the Word of God. There can be no faith-rest life apart from knowing God's Word. Faith-rest is not a certain feeling you get, but having the Word as the object of your faith in the spiritual life. Verse 12 brings into focus this very vital factor in the faith-rest technique.
Verse 12. We have already seen that in order to enter into the faith-rest life it must be by faith and not works, even as salvation is by faith and not works. As is always the case, "to believe," or "to have faith," is a transitive verb; it must have a subject and an object. In salvation, the subject of the transitive verb "to believe" is any member of the human race, while the object of the verb is the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Savior. For example, in Acts 16:31, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." You believe in Christ in one moment in time with the result that you are saved forever.
But when it comes to the faith-rest technique, this requires a persistent faith, a persevering faith in the Word of God. The subject is the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ; the object of the verb "to believe" is the Word of God. The believer must consistently believe the Word.
But you cannot consistently believe the Word until you know the Word and understand it in its various components. For example, you need to understand the Word in its historical context, the dispensations; you need to see it from the viewpoint of doctrine and the promises. All of these things that are found in God's Word must become the objects of your faith.
For the word of God is quick (ζαω), and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb.4:12)
There are five characteristics of God's Word in this verse.
First, the Word of God is "quick" or "alive." The Greek word ζων (zon), is a present participle, which means it is "always alive, or living." It should be translated, "the Word of God is constantly alive or constantly living." If you want to know what life is, you have to go to the Word of God. If you want to understand what true living is, if you want to get the most out of life, and if you want to live according to the truth, then you must have the Scripture as your guide. The Word of God is living; it is the secret to life in time, as well as in eternity.
The second descriptive phrase for the Bible is the word "powerful." The Word of God is habitually living and powerful. The adjective used for powerful is the Greek word ἐνεργής (energēs), meaning "active" or operationally powerful; the efficacious power to live the spiritual life. Just as the secret to life is found in God's Word, so the secret to spiritual dynamics or operational power is also found in God's Word. Therefore, we must believe the Word of God, apply the Scriptures, promises, and doctrines in order to have divine operational power in our lives.
The third characteristic of God's Word is that it is "sharper than any two-edged sword." This word picture is very interesting. The Greek word used for "sword" is μάχαιρα (machaira) . Though a very short sword, the machaira was one of the greatest inventions of the ancient world. To emphasize the unique aspects of this weapon, I must first describe the other swords already in existence in the ancient world.
One of the swords which was very impressive was called ῥομφαία, ας, ἡ (rhomphaia) . A broad sword, usually five to six feet long with one sharp edge and a large double handle, it was first used by the Thracians. It was not worn in a scabbard, but carried over the shoulder, or sometimes by two men. When the barbarians used this sword, they would have to rear back, as it were, then come through with one mighty swing to the right or left. This always left the swords -man off balance and vulnerable to counterattack.
When the Romans first advanced on the barbarians, carrying only short machairas, the barbarians with their great rhomphaias looked down the hill at the advancing Romans and had a great big laugh. But the Romans had the last laugh.
Another sword in the ancient world was the ξίφος (xiphos) , which featured only a sharp point. The edges were useless in fighting. The only way the enemy could be defeated with the xiphos was with one, straight forward thrust. If the enemy rolled, bobbed, pitched, ducked, or managed to get out of the way of the thrust, the xiphos swordsman was also left vulnerable to counterattack.
The ἀκινάκης (akinákes) , invented in Persia, was not a combat sword. It had a dull point, dull edges, and was more ornamental than useful. Its handle was usually studded with precious stones, and therein lay its value.
Finally, there was the (dólon) , a sword which was hidden or disguised in some object, such as a staff or a cane, and again it had only one sharp point.
In comparison with these swords the machaira was short, which meant that anyone could handle it. One did not have to be a physical giant, for it was light and maneuverable. Second, the machaira never left the user off balance or vulnerable. He could thrust, parry, or slash to the left or right without having to regain his balance. The secret to the machaira was that it not only had a very sharp point, but both edges were also sharp, a feature that the other swords did not have. Some had one sharp edge or one sharp point, but the machaira had it all. As a result the Roman soldiers easily defeated the barbarians with the machaira. It was one of the most revolutionary weapons of the ancient world.
Why was the machaira used to describe the Word of God? The rhomphaia has but one sharp edge. The Bible does not consist of a point here and a point there, but every bit of the Scripture is valuable. Likewise, the ziphos (xiphos?) with its little sharp point on the end of a blade was not an accurate picture of the Word of God. The ornate akinakes was not used, for the Bible is not simply beautiful literature. Neither was the dólon used, for the Bible is not hidden in its meaning. But the Bible is called here the machaira because every part of this sword had a purpose.
Every jot and tittle of God's Word is valuable and important. Every jot and tittle of God's Word is useable to us as Christians. The Christian who uses God's Word is never off balance. The Christian who uses God's Word is stabilized, which is one of the characteristics of the faith-rest life.
One doctrine of the Word of God that can resolve every problem when applied to a situation is the doctrine of divine essence.
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Heb. l3:8)
This verse reveals an aspect of God's essence, His immutability. When we focus on this attribute of God's nature, we understand God is always faithful; He never changes; He never lets us down. When this divine attribute is applied to a problem, we realize He is always faithful to His promises. This leads to a firm conclusion that He never lets us down, a rationale for mental stability and tranquility.
The fourth characteristic of the Word in verse 12 is that the Bible is "piercing," διϊκνέομαι (diiknéomai). It penetrates; it is a sword that cuts deep. Sooner or later the Bible is going to cut you to the quick. Let me put it this way, the Word of God hits all of us hard! "Piercing," in the Greek present tense indicates that it keeps on piercing. Because piercing is also in the middle voice, we understand that when God's Word pierces or penetrates, it benefits us. This is the only time you can get slashed by a sword and benefit from it.
The Word penetrates into the immaterial part of man, or the inner being, and lodges there, as indicated in the next phrase: "piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and the spirit." The Bible is the only book that recognizes that the immaterial part of regenerate man has two parts, a soul and a human spirit. The Bible continually penetrates into the immaterial part of man.
You could stab someone with a knife or sword and penetrate the material part of man, his body.
But suppose I handed you a sword and said, "Go out and stab a soul." You could not do it. Where is it? Where do you start? Would you stab the brain? or the throat? Where is the soul—in some part of the torso? We don't know where it is, but it is there! It is impossible for any sword, or bullet, or anything else to penetrate the immaterial part of man. Even if you should riddle the body with machine gun bullets, you could never touch the soul. That is what this word means. Nothing else in the world can do it, only the Word of God can pierce the soul and the spirit.
Do you ever think about using the Word of God? Are there people who in some way disturb you, people who upset you, or someone who has it in for you? If you use God's Word, it can change your attitude. It penetrates your soul, changes your life, and provides peace and calm.
The next phrase suggests a medical analogy, "piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, [even as] the joints and the marrow." A surgeon, with an understanding of physiology, can take a knife or a surgical instrument and make an incision successfully in order to heal a patient. Just as cutting is necessary to perform a successful operation, so the Bible makes an incision in order to heal the soul and the spirit. The final characteristic of the Word goes on to develop how it does this.
The Bible is a "discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart'" A discerner is a judge, someone who judges a case between two people. He is a critic, a critical judge, and that is what the Bible does for us. The Bible constantly critiques us and we should be thankful for its judgment. It points out the error of our ways so that we can recover through rebound, get in fellowship, and use the resources God has provided.
Notice how the Bible judges. The Bible is a judge of our thoughts. People cannot judge our thoughts. Although they can sometimes guess what we are thinking, no one can consistently tell what anyone else is thinking. But the Bible is always a judge of exactly what we think'
The Bible is a judge or critic of "thoughts and intents." The word “intents” means motivation. Thus the Bible judges the thoughts and motivations of the heart, or the inner life, or the mind. If you are envious of someone, if you are jealous, if you are arrogant, if you are vain, if your motives are false, the Bible judges these motives. When we acknowledge these sinful thoughts and motives, the operation is performed, the sin is cut out (l John 1:9), and fellowship is restored'
THE CHARACTERISTIC OF DIVINE INSPECTION
For even as the Bible judges our thoughts and motives, God Himself is the One who reads our thoughts. How would you like to have everything you have thought today projected above your head on the ceiling? Suppose I had a button which when pushed, caused all your thoughts to appear above you. Thank goodness this could never happen! But God knows what we think every second, and this thinking is the object of divine inspection.
Verse 13. "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight [in God's sight]: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do." The phrase "with whom we have to do" is literally from the Greek, "with whom we have to give an account." The Lord Jesus Christ is going to take an account from us, and for this reason we are under constant examination. He knows what we are thinking all of the time. That is why His Word is a judge of our thoughts. So faith-rest involves continuous judgment of our thought pattern by God's Word. Why our thoughts? Why the inner part of man? Because the faith-rest technique is not something we do on the outside, it is something we do in our mind. The faith-rest technique is designed to give us perfect happiness and stabilize our thinking in every circumstance of life.
THE CHARACTERISTIC OF WITNESSING
Faith-rest involves witnessing for Jesus Christ. Witnessing is the responsibility of every Christian, not just of pastors, assistant pastors, evangelists, Sunday School teachers, and deacons. If you are a Christian, you are a witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. If you live the faith-rest life, it will be noticed by others. You will continually be presented with opportunities to speak a word, or more than a word, for the Lord Jesus Christ. With stabilized thinking and tranquility of soul, you will be confident and relaxed in your presentation of the Gospel.
Verse 14. "Seeing then that we have [we keep on having] a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens [perfect tense, He is passed into heaven in the past, with the result that He remains there], Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession." "Hold fast" is κρατέω (kratéo) which means to cling tenaciously. In the Greek present tense it literally means "let us keep on clinging tenaciously with all of our might to our profession," which is witnessing. The mood of the verb is subjunctive, by which the writer is inviting all of his readers to make the decision to join him in witnessing for Jesus Christ.
THE CHARACTERISTIC OF TESTING
Faith-rest involves constant testing. Most of you know that muscles are built by weight lifting, and remain strong and useful by continual training. The muscles bear weight in order to train them, in order to keep them in a constant state of power and strength. It is the same way with the faith-rest life: It must be tested to become strong. Many of the problems, trials, and adversities which come our way have no human solution and are designed to test our strength in the faith-rest life. Do we stay in the faith-rest life or not? Do we continue to trust the Lord? Do we continue to depend upon Him? Do we continue to claim the promises of God's Word? Do we rest in Him?
Do we trust His Word? Do we claim His promises? That is why God continually permits testing in our life. We have things which are beyond us, things which have no obvious solution. We must claim His promises, live in His Word, believe and use the things which He has provided for us. Therefore, you can expect periodic testing as long as you live.
Sooner or later every Christian will face some kind of a crisis. The roof will fall in, the rug will be pulled out from under you and your whole world will seemingly collapse—a crisis test to see if you will stay calm, claim the promises, and continue to live in the Word. And the big issue in that crisis is this: Do I believe God's Word? Will I claim God's Word or will I fall apart? Will I get upset? Will I be afraid? Will I become destabilized in some manner? Will I live in 'panic palace'? Or will I continue to claim those promises which are pertinent to the situation?
All things work together for good. (Rom. 8:28a)
For the battle is the Lord's. (1 Sam. l7:47b)
Stand still, and see the salvation [watch the deliverance] of the Lord. (Ex. 14:13b)
Fear thou not; for I am with thee. (Isa. 41.10a)
For with God nothing shall be impossible. (Luke 1:37)
Verse 15. "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tested like as we are, yet apart from sin." Our high priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, pioneered the way before us. He was tested in every way that we are tested, and more. Yet never once did He sin, nor lose His faith-rest life. The Lord has traveled the road of testing, has experienced the testing that can happen to us, and as I Corinthians 10:13 tells us, "[he has provided] a way of escape, that we may be able to bear it, (or bear up under it)."
THE CHARACTERISTIC OF PRAYER
Verse 16. "Let us therefore come προσέρχομαι (proserchomai) boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." The phrase "let us" tells us we have come to the final hortatory subjunctive in this passage. The hortatory subjunctive implies that the writer of the epistle is inviting his readers, all believers, to join him in something. He says, "Let us all get together at the throne of grace. Join me in prayer." We should also note that this verb, proserchomai, is in the middle voice, meaning that the subject is benefitted.
Therefore, prayer benefits us. We, as believers in Jesus Christ, are the subject and we are benefitted by coming to God in prayer. The verb is in the present tense. We are to keep on coming constantly to the throne of grace. In other words this phrase actually says, "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. 5.17). This means to enter consistently into the presence of the Lord through prayer. The word "boldly" means literally, "with boldness." We as believers, using the faith-rest technique, can come boldly to the throne of grace. How does this work?
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. (Matt.21.22)
This phrase "with boldness" means to come with confidence. We can come with the utmost confidence to the throne of grace. We have mixed the promises of God with faith.
You will notice that prayer is a throne of grace: We do not earn it, we do not deserve it, we do not have the right, humanly speaking, to come to the throne of grace. But because of God's grace this is now possible. Then the purpose for prayer is stated in this verse. It begins with the word "that," which introduces a purpose clause. ..That we may obtain," the verb λαμβάνω (lambánō) in the aorist tense, means that "in a point of time we may obtain mercy." The subjunctive mood means the obtaining of this mercy is potential. It is available for the asking.
"That we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Mercy is "grace in action." When God pours out His grace on us, it is divine mercy. Surely, we recognize by now that every moment in life is a time of need, and those needs can be met by going to the throne of grace. At this point prayer and the faith-rest technique coincide to form a basis of power for fulfilling the faith-rest life.
The filling of the Holy Spirit, or spirituality, maintained by re- bound, is the source of power in the Christian life and the faith-rest technique is the result of utilizing that power. Perhaps right now you have a need or some kind of a situation which has been disturbing you. Then go to God in prayer. The faith-rest technique is used with prayer. "Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." As you go to God in prayer, you claim I Peter 5:7, "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." This is the faith-rest life.
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THE DYNAMICS OF WAITING
The great principle of Isaiah 40 is found in verse 29. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength." Isaiah was facing a very discouraged nation.
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