Journal Entry // November 1, 2022
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (ESV)Hebrews 4:16
When the writer of Hebrews talks about the people in the days of Joshua not entering God’s rest because of disobedience, he challenges us not to fall into the same trap. The writer wants us to strive to enter God’s rest. What is this striving that we must wrestle with? It is nothing more than understanding the weakness of our flesh and a call to humility. This striving is not a call to work harder or try harder to be perfect and impress our holy God. No, this is a call to let the word of God penetrate our hearts and soul and bring about an understanding of the still remaining sin that is at work in our lives. To see our sin and repent by faith. Then… we can have this confidence to draw near to Christ and receive mercy and grace. There is no need to perform an act of penance. There is no room for making myself right before Christ. There is only Jesus sitting on his throne of grace. He alone will freely give grace and mercy to the humble. Those who are confessing and repenting and understanding the weakness of their flesh and their complete need for a loving Savior are the ones that can have this confidence. A humble confidence that the One who saved them is the one who will cover them with grace and mercy and love.
In the midst of failure and disobedience, this passage seems so distant and foreign to my understanding. The Father wants me to strive hard against my flesh. Not just reading the Bible or listening to a sermon but engaging with it on a deep spiritual soul stretching level. The Father wants me to swim in the deep waters of understanding that the Bible is a means of understanding. Understanding Christ and God as he reveals himself, yes, but also to understand myself. The Bible reveals our holy God and shows me how rebellious and disobedient I am in light of this revelation.
My confidence in Christ is drawn from this well of understanding and is rooted in humility. My humble heart finds confidence not in the flesh but in the perfect love of the Son of God. As I understand the weakness and failure of my own heart, I am drawn closer to the heart of Christ for me. I like to think that I need to ascend to the place that Christ is seated on high but in reality, I must draw close to him by descending. I don’t lift myself up to him. Rather, I understand and contemplate my lowly estate and in humility realize that I am unable to even begin ascending those heights. That I am just a humble servant who is to simply love and serve his Savior. It is enough to serve and love Christ where he has called and led me. It is enough to draw close to him where I am. I don’t need to ascend the heights to reach Christ. My Savior descends to draw close to me.
And draw close he will. Jesus is full of grace and mercy and love. He will draw close to me. He prepares a table before me for fellowship and communion. He wants to spend time with me. He wants me to know him intimately. The Lord Creator of the universe opens himself to me and engages my heart in love. He is the lifter of my head. He is my comfort. He is my rest. This world is just a pretender and a deceiver. My Savior is the real and true rest. His love is perfect and steadfast. So, I come to him in humbleness. Bowing down before his holy throne of grace and mercy and love in confidence. Full confidence that the Savior who saved me loves me and will continually draw me closer and closer to his loving heart.