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Living in Victory, part Five:

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Hebrews 4:7 Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before:

“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” 

Hebrews 4 talks about how the children of Israel failed to enter God’s rest because of their lack of faith. They did not enter the Promised Land because they hardened their hearts, they stubbornly refused to believe and so they did not receive. Hardening of the heart refers to stubbornly refusing to listen or believe.

God has promised us many things in the scriptures. These promises are not for untold monetary wealth, but something more valuable. The promise is for peace, contentment and a sense of meaning and purpose in your life. The promises also include giving you victory over sin. You don't have to "try" to be a good Christian. The promise is God will make you one if you enter his rest and believe his promises.

They Hebrews of the Old Testament did not receive what God had promised them, as it is written in 4:2, because they didn’t mix the promise with faith. In 4:3 it says it is those that believe that enter God’s rest.

The passage does not refer to salvation, but to the promises, or provision, of God for His people. The writer has been talking about the Israelites stubbornness, and he says today if you hear His voice don’t be stubborn. The implication is, if you do hear – or understand – the promise, it can become yours if you will receive.

He is telling the sad tale of them not receiving the promises, and saying that we may do so today.

It is not so much that our faith makes things happen, it is just that our faith is the door through which blessings come.

If someone deposited a million dollars into your bank account you would “have” the money. If you didn’t really believe it, and never wrote any checks or made any withdrawals, it could be said that you “hardened your heart” towards either the bank account or the person who deposited it. To receive the benefit, you would have to believe it was there and you would have to “mix it with faith” by making some withdrawals.

The Children of Israel were promised a land of their own and they were promised that God would not only give it to them but prosper them after they got there. The land was there waiting while they wandered in poverty in the desert for 40 years simply because they didn’t believe. They refused to receive.

Now some pervert the gospel by making it into a get-rich-quick scheme and use things like this to spread their deception. We are talking about promises that are actually in scripture, and these are the things that are ours when we mix them with faith. God is not a sugar daddy or a servant to be ordered around, but out of His goodness, He has made certain promises.

Today then, let us not be stubborn like they were, but rather let us believe in the God who makes promises.

THIS IS a series on Entering God's rest as found in Hebrews 4. More series are planned. If you like these articles, consider subscribing. It is free, and you can receive them in your email when one is written. Just click here

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