So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief. Hebrews 3:19
The word of God is powerful enough, strong enough to pry into the secret chambers of the heart. The words sink in like a razor blade to the soul, exposing any lump of disbelief that has taken root.
Disbelief. It can be as fatal as cancer. So subtle in it’s advancement that the symptoms are not alaways obvious from the surface. All the while, deep within, its devouring us. It grows and spreads at lightening speed. Before long it has effected every area of our lives. The toxic trait of willful disobedience is the all too familiar sign that this spiritual disease has taken over our central belief system.
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” Hebrews 3:15
Rebellion is a ugly word to the Christian, but it’s what our flesh is prone to. The natural response of any one of us is to rebel, rebel against any authority beyond ourselves; especially something that brings change.
The word of God breathes change, it exhales newness. For newness to come the old must go. That’s hard for us, we want the new to come and co-inhabit with the old. But that’s not how God works. We want Him to make something new when we’re tired, fed up with the old. Not when we are still enjoying the benefits of the old, not while we’re still comfortable and secure. Our natural tendency is not to desire the new until we are done with the old. So, when God sets forth a new plan, a new purpose, one that changes our status quo, our first response in the flesh would be to buck it,to fight it tooth and nail because by golly we aren’t done. Like a two year old who refuses to leave the play ground, we stomp, kick, swing our fists, and throw ourselves on the ground when the Word tells us it’s time to move on.
Move on. God told the Israelites, the land He had promised them was ripe for the picking. There they stood, with their toes on the border of Canaan. It was all they dreamed it would be…and maybe more. It had grapes the size of small cantaloupes and the land was vivacious with abundant life. Still, there were the Nephilum; giants filled their promised land. As the voice of El Shaddai committed the land as their possession, they froze.
And so instead of believing God would fight for them, instead of taking God at his word, they stayed where they were-they hunkered down and settled for the old, handing over the promise of God. He never gave up on His promise to them, yet in a moment they surrendered that promise to the bully of disbelief.
“We were as grasshoppers to them” disbelief whispered in their ears. “Would not it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” Disbelief caused the people of Israel to cling to the old instead of embracing the new.
The new seemed too risky, too dangerous, too out of the ordinary. This “new thing” wasn’t like the “old way”,everything about it was different. Difference is a funny thing, we can miss the greatest awakening of our lives because it’s not the same as we have experienced before, or even hoped it to be. Different is usually what scares us the most about Gods call to “move on”.
Questioning the difference can throw us into a tidal wave of disbelief. The winds of change are often blown through the fraility of our souls by the unchanging Spirit through the word. When God speaks things change. The world went from void of life and formless to cascading with brilliance and life; all by a word. As God speaks action is envoked; springs fill the wastelands, ways are made in the dessert, the new is created. It’s the refusal to act that qualifies as rebellion.
Willful disobedience-the refusal to take God at His word.
“…for we who have believed enter that rest…”
Rest comes with obedience, obedience comes by faith. Faith brings rest to our hearts. As we believe God we find comfort and rest because now, we do not have to figure it out on our own. It’s not up to us, it’s up to God. Faith transfers the burden from our weary shoulders to Christ’s.
“come to me all who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest…”
Faith is the divine exchange; where the old becomes the new. Where those who were burdened find rest. Where Gods will becomes our own.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.See, I am doing a new thing!Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?I am making a way in the wildernes and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19