InTouch.org with Dr. Charles Stanley
Saturday & Sunday, October 16 & 17, 2010
Read | Hebrews 4:13-16
The Believer’s Rest
1Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. 2For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.
3For 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. 4For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “AND GOD RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY FROM ALL HIS WORKS”; 5and again in this passage, “THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.” 6Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience,
7He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before,
“TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE,
DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS.”
8For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. 9So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 11Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. 12For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
13And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. 14Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
How many times have you gotten caught in a “guilt cycle”? This involves confessing the same old sin, telling God you’re sorry, and promising not to do it again—while suspecting that you probably will. Then around you go again. You’ve come clean dozens of times but still have no victory. Yet there is a biblical promise that states, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, emphasis added).
Friends, God is holding up His end of that promise. It’s people who fall short—we have turned confession into a rote recitation of our shortcomings. The attitude is, I’m disappointed in myself, but I am weak and God knows that. True confession means agreeing with the Lord about sin, and it is inseparably linked with repentance; they’re two sides of the same coin. To repent is to turn our back upon wrong. By looking at our sin from God’s perspective, we will see a vile, wicked habit with terrible consequences, and we’ll want to run from that as fast as possible!
In practical terms, to confess and repent requires the intentional decision to say, “By the Holy Spirit’s power, I’m turning away.” Satan will still tempt you, and failure remains a possibility. But God can break the chains of your sin, and He wants to set you free.
Victory can be immediate or a process of trading wrong choices for right ones. In some cases, temptation involving habitual sin never goes away. Then it becomes necessary to face each day in God’s strength. When you forsake sin, the power of heaven is there to help you.
THANK YOU LORD! lol, jams4JESUS