OUT OF ZION 011 | HOW TO AVOID LOSING YOUR PLACE
Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. – Heb 4:1
When the right thing is done in response to God, His plan will incarnate in your life.
The background of the text is mainly of the children of Israel in the course of their wilderness journey; of those started a journey that they did not finish, not because there was no such plan for them but because when the word came to them they did not process it for their profit. The word of God will always come to express the good plan of God to everyone and to empower towards the end intended.
There are two implications from the text: 1). The promise still remains: inasmuch as it is yet to be fulfilled. Heaven and earth may pass away but not the minutest part of His promise, until it has been fulfilled. Matt 5:18; Mk 13:31; Isa 55:11; 2). The promise should not be missed: the word of God being omnipotent (Luk 1:34; Heb. 1:3; Ps 36:6,9) has the capacity to be fulfilled, if you would fully appropriate it. It is therefore a personal responsibility to avoid losing the place prepared for you according to God’s plan.
There are five imperatives from the text on how you can avoid the possibility of losing your place:
- Fear the possibility of losing the promise: The implications of the word ‘fear’ to instruct against the possibility of a repeat of the wilderness experience. Those who made it in God’s plan used every reason to run from what they have behind them to devote reverentially to the word which defines what is for them. Falling short, a cause for fear, is the failure to fulfil the reason for existence and a disappointment to God. The fear is not even for the material loss, but particularly for being in a state that is short of the promise as the state eventually leads to the material reality. This fear makes for the refusal to look back to what God has put behind you and the decision to press into the future by reverentially obeying the word of God which is the promise and the prompt for right actions.
- Process the word to enter into the promise – Heb. 4:2: God sends His word to everyone and every word from God is a seed, Luk 8:11; a good seed, planted in the heart for the incarnation of the divine plan. The word must be processed to realise its purpose, Luk 8:14; It must be mixed with faith in the heart so that there is a reality (representativeness, certainty and actuality) of the future now, though immaterially.
- Cease from your works to realise the promise. To cease from your works is used in parallel with God’s experience. His works were finished from the foundation of the world; He rested on the seventh day and ceased from the toil associated with creation. Since then, He has ceased from works, yet His plans continue to unfold. Those who believe are likewise entering into their rest. Faith removes the worry about how and is only busy with why we are focused on where we are going and what we are going to see when we get there. Once the word mixes with faith in the heart, the future becomes real today. The reality of the future that you have today via the word enacts a metamorphosis into the material reality; it sets off a spiritual transaction and a progressive disengagement from the previous realities to the ones ahead. Apprehension about the future reduces for rest sets in; struggle eases out because you can see it as already done. If in the process however, your attention is fixed on secondary matters, apprehension and struggle resume.
- Labour to enter into your rest/promise: Because of the possibility of misplaced priority and concerns about secondary matters which the process of faith finds not useful, cease from your labour finds useful the charge to labour. The labour is not toiling but the concentration of focus called diligence. This diligence is on its toes with the word of God and focused to see its material reality. This diligence is of the heart and it is to avoid being in a wrong state as they were in the wilderness. If the focus is not sustained on the word of God it will be a parable not understood and the result needed, impossible. Matt 13:14-16
Since the promise remains and it is for us let us labour, rightly process the word, to enter into the promise. There are no middle grounds in the process. When the right thing is done in response to Him, the plan of God incarnates.