Hope and Shabbat, The Place and Power of Rest - David Mitts

So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. (Heb 4:9)

Click here to listen to "Hope and Shabbat"

Hope is one of the 3 treasures of the spirit realm. Along with faith and love, hope activates what Yeshua called the Abiding Life.

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1Co 13:13)

There are 2 ways of interpreting this verse. First, we could interpret faith, hope, and love as qualities of the abiding life. In this way, they become fruits of abiding. When we abide in the Lord, our life contains more faith, more hope, and more love.

The second perspective is to think of these as doorways into the abiding life, or access portals, In the same way that Yeshua is the door into the Kingdom and also the substance of the kingdom, these can serve both as fruits and as ways into the abiding life.
So Jesus said to them again, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. "All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. (Joh 10:7-9)

For most of us, we know experientially that when we are abiding, that our faith is stronger, our love is present, and we have great hope or expectation. What is more of a challenge, at least for me, is when I am in the flesh and I need to return to abiding.  That is the place where doors are helpful.  This opening of the doors is called repentance. Thus, hope faith and love become activations of repentance.

What I want to look at now is how to engage with hope, or what is the substance spiritually of hope. We know from Hebrew 11:1 that faith is the substance or the assurance of hope.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Heb 11:1)

The term, “of things” is added to the translation. So, the original language would tell us that faith is the substance or the assurance of hope. I have often heard it treated the opposite way, where hope is called premature faith.  I think however that the flow is from faith to hope.  Faith is the belief we have from our past that we extend to our future as hope.  To the degree we believe, we dare to hope! The unseen realm is the realm of hope.

The book of Hebrews expands this perspective by relating hope to our calling and opening for us the power of Shabbat and rest in hope. Look with beginning in Chapter 3:1
Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.(Heb 3:1-6)

We see that we are part of a heavenly calling. The writer of Hebrews describes the calling as being built as a house, a place of abiding and that the key is our confidence, which is our faith or trust and our hope, which is the place of His promise.

The next set of verses are key because they speak of our relationship with Him and the rest that can come if we trust in that relationship.
Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, "TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME, AS IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS, WHERE YOUR FATHERS TRIED Me BY TESTING Me, AND SAW MY WORKS FOR FORTY YEARS. "THEREFORE, I WAS ANGRY WITH THIS GENERATION, AND SAID, 'THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART, AND THEY DID NOT KNOW MY WAYS'; AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, 'THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.'" Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, while it is said, "TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS, AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME." For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief. (Heb 3:7-19)

There is an interconnectedness between hope, faith, and love that cannot ever truly be separated because they work together in and through us. I am emphasizing hope right now, but it is also clear that without trust in God, faith we lose our hope. 

What I want to emphasize here is what the Apostle calls rest. There is a place of hope that produces in us a rest. The place in creation empowered to activate that is embodied by Shabbat. Let’s turn to Chapter 4 of Hebrews to see this explained.
Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. For 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. (Heb 4:1-2)

Shabbat comes from the same word root as the number 7, Sheva. This is also the root for both words sitting, shev, and village or community moshav.  There is a promise, of entering this picture, the restoration place that brings us rest.

A promise is a hope. God opens up hope, a treasure of our future by His promises to us. This is the “good news” of the Gospel. It isn’t just good news about our past, the forgiveness of our sins, but also good news about our future, the promise of our destiny in Him. We live in the present which is the place where we can enter rest, the quality spiritually of the abiding in Him.

In the verse, the key to the rest is described by the term “united “or “mixed” by faith. This is a very rare word used only twice in the Bible. In this verse and in 1 Corinthians 12:24
whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, (1Co 12:24)

In this verse, the word is translated as “composed” or in the more ancient translations “tempered”.  I like tempered because metals are tempered to be made strong.  The key isn’t an individual having faith but the image of God being forged by the whole body coming together in the revelation of the true image. This is the village part of rest, apparent in the word “moshav”. In 1 Cor 12, the whole conversation is about oneness and unity that comes through diversity.

Being in health care for so many years, I understand this intimately.  Each of us has our own system which comes into unity by honoring the diversity and harmonizing the system. But the goal is to restore the individual through that harmony into their uniqueness which them allows for healing of the larger system of relationships that they are a part of.  When this happens what is experienced is rest.
Let’s read on in Hebrews 4:
For 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. For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: "AND GOD RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY FROM ALL HIS WORKS"; and again in this passage, "THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST." Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, (Heb 4:3-6)

It sounds like we enter rest by our faith, our belief.  This is true but there is also a deeper truth.  We enter our rest by becoming our hope, our destiny.  As we become our unique destiny, our hope, the Christ in us the promise of glory, we fit together into the Body, the restored image of God. This is the place of oneness.
He 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." For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. (Heb 4:7-10).

The place where this all comes together is in the place of now, what the Apostle calls “today”. Today represents the transformative power of fully receiving His love.  That is connected to not hardening our hearts.  Hardness of heart is the condition of mistrust and self-protection that keeps us from trusting in God’s love for us and keeps us from the true hope, our destiny.

We have a unique destiny that is our part in the restored image of God.  Like the individual pixel, we each shine with our unique part of His glory that reveals Him as love. 
This is the place of Shabbat.  This is the rest of abiding.  Shabbat was created as an abiding reality.  Man created in God’s image was blessed with creation of Shabbat which is the picture total and complete rest that comes from each individual fulfilling their part of the whole and becoming whole in the process of fulfilling that picture.

Let’s read one final scripture and then we will do an activation:
For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, "Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, "Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it. (1Co 12:12-27)


To come into healing and fullness we need to see ourselves fully integrated into the body. That is the place of our redemptive gifting.  We are redeemed to be restored to who we are in the whole.
Let’s press in and ask the Lord for our unique name. Who does He call us?


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