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The End of Unbelief

See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. As has just been said:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion.”
Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.  –Hebrews 3:12-19

Unbelief keeps us from God’s best.  God doesn’t unleash wrath every time we have a doubt about Him, but I believe if doubt is unchecked long enough we invite unbelief, which sees what God is capable of then chooses not to walk with Him anyway.

Let’s look a little closer at these verses

See to it…

Guarding against unbelief is our responsibility, not that we do it alone. The Holy Spirit will expose our innermost motivations if we choose Him, but choosing unbelief is turning from God. You have to receive encouragement from those around you.

…if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.

When you embrace Christ and His Lordship, you embrace a confidence in His salvation, love, and truth.  If you lost that along the way, it’s always in Christ if you return to your first love (Revelation 2:3-5).

Today, if you hear his voice…

There’s a relationship involved.  We guard against unbelief by knowing who He is, trusting Him, and putting our faith in His word. The author mentions Moses and Israel. They had seen the awesome hand of God’s deliverance, yet they still believed wrongly–that God was out to destroy them.  Unbelief is not the absence of belief, but believing wrongly.

…they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

Many people give up in order to find rest, but it’s an illusion. “It’s too hard to follow God. I’ve been disappointed. I can’t go through it anymore…”  The enemy still steals, kills, and destroys, but we’ve placed ourselves outside God’s grace and comfort. We need to realize and keep it in front of us: unbelief keeps us from rest.

Either the end of unbelief is your dealing with it or missing God’s best, but the choice is yours. The trials do come to a conclusion. The test does end.

And after the test is rest.

Happened with Jesus coming out of forty days in the wilderness, met and taken care of by angelic caretakers. Happened with Israel and the believing generation who entered the promised land who indeed found rest.

Still, in our better covenant, even in the midst of hardships and tests, we can still know Him and find rest simply by believing.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  –Matthew 11:28-29

Don’t waste time looking for rest in places it cannot be found. Choose to believe and trust again His unfailing love and eternal word. You’re day closer to God fulfilling His promise.

What are your thoughts?

9 Comments

  1. I love how you’ve described unbelief here, Jason. I never thought of it in this way of believing wrongly. Wake up call for sure!
    Blessings!

    • I know--I have to remind myself of this. We have each been given a measure of faith so that faith has to go somewhere--either in God’s promise or our own thoughts. Lord, help us see You! Thanks Martha.

  2. I’ve been using a devotional called New Morning Mercies and this is one of the themes he seems to keep coming back to. It is not our own power, strength, will or anything else which will bring things fulfillment. You hit the nail on the head Jason. Only in HIM! Thanks.
    Bill (cycleguy) recently posted..44My Profile

    • No matter how many times we try to convince ourselves that we can make it happen, it’s simply not true. It’s all about trusting and walking with Him. Thanks so much, Bill!

  3. Unbelief is not the absence of belief, but believing wrongly. Thinking of unbelief in this way puts a whole new perception on how we can chose to believe God not. I am reading the book Radical by David Platt which is challenging in a good way but a way that it will cost me to step outside myself and step into obedience to Him. Good post brother.

    • Have to love those good, challenging books. Well, we usually don’t in the moment, but later we appreciate them. 🙂 Thank you, Betty.

  4. I’m thinking that free will is much bigger than most of realize this side of eternity. “Help my unbelief”!

    • Amen on that! We try to instill in our kids that life is the choice we make. Good days or bad, exciting or boring--we get to make that choice. It doesn’t always sink in (and I have to remind myself of the same things), but I truly believe it. We have a powerful weapon to wield. Thanks so much, Floyd.

  5. If we continually cling to JEsus…through our trials, our pain, our dreams, and everything else, we will eventually realize that He is our rest!

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