Hebrews 12:22, “By contrast we have already come near to God in a totally different realm, the Zion-realm, for we have entered the city of the Living God, which is the New Jerusalem in heaven! We have joined the festal gathering of myriads of angels in their joyous celebration!”
notes: Mt. Zion is not a literal mountain here, but an obvious metaphor for the realm of God’s manifest presence. Mt. Zion was once a Jebusite stronghold conquered by David (2 Sam. 5:6-9) who made it the Capitol for his kingdom, inside present-day Jerusalem. Zion is used in OT & NT as more than a location. Zion is referred to as the place of God’s dwelling (Psalm 9:11, 41-2, 74:2, Isaiah 8:18).
God’s people = daughters of Zion (Song of Solomon 3:11, Zech. 9:9, Jn 12:15).
Zion = the heavenly realm where God is manifest (Ps. 84:7, 102:16, 110:1-2, Rev. -4:1).
The fulfillment of Abraham’s vision and what Israel’s ancestors had seen from afar (Hebrews 11:10 & 13), the New Jerusalem is not only a place, but a people who dwell with God in their midst. It is a city that is a bride (or a bridal city) coming out of heaven to earth (Rev. 21:9-14). We are not going to the New Jerusalem, we are going to BE the New Jerusalem! The breastplate worn by the high priest over his heart with its precious stones was a miniature scale model of the New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem is an amplification of that breastplate, a metaphor of transformed sons with their names engraved upon the precious stones (Rev. 21:2-4).
The Aramaic reads, “You have already received communion on Mt. Zion.”
We need to conquer those areas in our life that are stumbling blocks/strongholds and by God’s strength and grace, use it to glorify His Almighty Name!
Prayer requires that we wait on the Lord, an activity that few of us enjoy. Three Old Testament words translated “waiting” gives us deeper insight into the meaning of that activity and its importance:
- duwmiyah means “silently waiting with a quiet trust” and represents a strong, calm, quiet trust in the Lord. It is used in Psalm 62:1-2, where David says, “My soul waits in silence for God only; from Him is my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.”
- chakah means “adhere to, long for” and represents our clinging to the Lord, knowing He comes through as help in time of trouble, used in Psalm 33:20, 42:2 and 63:1, “Our sould waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.” “My soul thirsts for God.”
- qavah means to “wait for with eager expectation” and represents our excitement and faith combining together. Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait for the Lord.” Another powerful meaning of qavah exists: “to bind together by twisting” as in a braid or a rope. Our hearts Join together with the Lord’s as we spend time in prayer, creating a oneness of desires, thinking and actions. Isaiah 40:31, “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weary.” The strength of God is transferred to us when we wait on Him in prayer!
When we combine these three biblical meanings of waiting, we have a complete definition: “Quietly waiting with strong, calm trust; longing for His presence and eagerly expecting Him, for you know He’ll come; and knowing that as He does, you and He will experience an increased oneness, a braiding together, as your hearts and lives become more entwined.”
(paraphrased from “The Pleasure of His Company” by Dutch Sheets)
Hebrews 6 “Hope anchors us and gives us access behind the veil that once separated us from the presence of God.”
6:17-20, “…So in the same way, God wanted to end all doubt and confirm it even more forcefully to those who would inherit His promises. His purpose was unchangeable, so God added His vow to the promise. So it is impossible for God to lie for we know that his promise and his vow will never change!”
“And now we have run into His heart to hide ourselves in His faithfulness. This is where we find His strength and comfort, for He empowers us to seize what has already been established ahead of time – an unshakeable hope! We have this certain hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God Himself. Our anchor of hope is fastened to the mercy seat which sits in the heavenly realm beyond the sacred threshold, and where Jesus, our Forerunner*, has gone in before us. He is now and forever our Royal Priest like Melchizedek.”
- Jesus has blazed a trail for us to enter into the sacred chamber and seize the hope that has been fulfilled in His eyes already, to have a company of king-priests who will dwell with Him in the Holiest of Holies and minister from there out to the nations of the earth. The clear implication of verses 19-20 is that He takes us in to share His throne and His ministry as the Royal Priest.
Hebrews 2-3 Jesus reveals who God really is to us, invites us to believe Him & rest.
Heb 2:14-18, TPT: “Since all His children have flesh and blood, so Jesus became human to fully identify with us. He did this, so that he could experience death and annihilate the effects of the intimidating accuser who holds against us the power of death. By embracing death Jesus sets free those who live their entire lives in bondage to the tormenting dread of death. For it is clear that he didn’t do this for the angels, but for all the sons and daughters of Abraham. This is why he had to be a Man and take hold of our humanity in every way. He made us his brothers and sisters and became our merciful and faithful King-Priest before God; as the One who removed our sins to make us one with him. He suffered and endured every test and temptation, so that he can help us every time we pass through the ordeals of life.”
Hebrews 2 gives us the 8 victories Christ won for us at Calvary: (1) He is crowned with glory and honor. (2) He brings many sons into his glory. (3) He is made perfect through his sufferings. (4) We are made holy. (5) By his death he destroyed the devil, who held the power of death over us. (6) He delivers us completely from the fear of death. (7) He is now our faithful High Priest. (8) He helps us in every temptation.
Hebrews 3 tells us that God makes us holy! He allows us to share a heavenly calling! We should continually consider Jesus – more than we consider anything else in this life. Focus on Him. He is our High Priest! What we confess can bring salvation, healing, deliverance and so much more! Jesus is our example of faithfulness. God made Jesus, therefore Jesus was appointed by God. And the fact that God made you is confirmation that He appointed you! If you are breathing, God is sustaining your life for His purposes. Get His vision for your life! (You’ll find it as you read His letters to you, the bible, which reveals His will for you.)
Heb 3:1-6, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, you are now made holy, and each of you is invited to the feast of your heavenly calling. So fasten your thoughts fully onto Jesus, whom we embrace as our Apostle and King-Priest. For he was faithful to the Father who appointed him, in the same way that Moses was a model of faithfulness in what was entrusted to him. But Jesus is worthy to receive a much greater glory than Moses, for the one who builds a house deserves to be honored more than the house he builds. Every house is built by someone, but God is the Designer and Builder of all things. Indeed, Moses served God faithfully in all he gave him to do. His work prophetically illustrates things that would later be spoken and fulfilled. (Moses saw and believed that the tabernacle and all its furnishings were an illustration of something greater that God would unveil later on.) But Christ is more than a Servant, he was faithful as the Son in charge of God’s family. And now we are part of his family if we continue courageously to hold firmly to our bold confidence and our victorious hope.” We do not see Moses completely faithful in the Old Testament (on the other side of the Cross), but after Calvary, he is seen as faithful, in the New Covenant. We are under this New Covenant. Because of Jesus, there is no condemnation upon us! Jesus brings complete redemption!
Heb 3:12-14, “So search your hearts every day, my brothers and sisters, and make sure that none of you has evil or unbelief hiding within you. For it will lead you astray and make you unresponsive to the living God. This is the time to encourage each other to never be stubborn or hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. For we are mingled with the Messiah, if we will continue unshaken in this confident assurance from the beginning until the end.” It’s so important to recognize God today and every day, for all He has done. Guard your heart so it doesn’t become hardened, which leads to deception & rebellion. Do now allow unbelief to enter your heart. God provided for the Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years and they experienced miracles on a daily basis, yet they hardened their hearts and complained. It is so important to maintain an attitude of gratitude!
Heb 4:1-3, “Now God has offered to us the same promise of entering into his realm of resting in confident faith. So we must be extremely careful to ensure that we all embrace the fullness of that promise and not fail to experience it. For we have heard the good news of deliverance just as they did, yet they didn’t join their faith with the Word and activate its power. Instead, what they heard didn’t affect them deeply, for they doubted. For those of us who believe, faith activates the promise and we experience the realm of confident rest!” The ONE THING that creates an evil heart within us and separates us from God is unbelief. That’s why He tells us, “without faith it’s impossible to please God.” We can enter into an eternal rest now, in the mist of our work and turmoil, by giving every burden to Jesus. This “rest” (Greek = Anapausis) is a temporary rest, like a coffee break at work. Daily communication with God prevents us from ever getting stressed and provides times of refreshing, while at the same time we maintain the assignments God has given us.
A Call to trust the Lord
Isaiah 51:1-2, “Listen to Me, all who hope for deliverance – all who seek the Lord! Consider the rock from which you were cut, the quarry from which you were mined. Yes, think about Abraham, your ancestor, and Sarah, who gave birth to your nation. Abraham was only one man when I called Him. But when I blessed him, he became a great nation.” You were cut from the Rock of Christ, “Who was and is and who is to come.” (Revelation 1:8) You were mined from the quarry of God’s heavenly kingdom!
Consider who you are in Christ, from where and what situation He has brought you/delivered you and where you are going! The enemy wants to bring events and thoughts to you to change your perception of yourself. God has destined you to be His child, victorious in Him, from the very beginning! Nothing that has happened to you, or ever will happen, is greater than the cross. We cannot surprise God with something He never thought of and took care of at Calvary. He is omniscient, ALL-knowing! Or else He wouldn’t be God. It’s time to turn the tables! Use those things the enemy used to try to hinder your walk with God as a tool to bring deliverance to others, as God lifts you out of the deceit and into His glorious abundance. He says, “You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.” (II Corinthians 5:21)
Let go of the past and realize your destiny in Christ. The bible is filled with examples of those God chose who had to overcome the attacks of the enemy to pursue their destiny God had established for them, that led to victory: Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Joseph, David, Daniel, Jonah, even Jesus!
The enemy wants us focused on our earthly surroundings, distracted from the things of God – just as he deceived Eve in the garden with the fruit of the tree because of its natural beauty. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heaven burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) At the core of Jesus’ heart is a passionate determination to give those He loves a kind of rest that allows us to fully relax. You are fully accepted, fully enjoyed and fully seen for who you are by Jesus. Perfect love brings perfect rest – you have nothing to fear and nothing to strive for – embrace His unconditional love for you!
“I, yes, I am the One who comforts you. So why are you afraid of mere humans, who wither like the grass and disappear? Yet you have forgotten the Lord, your Creator, the One who stretched out the sky like a canopy and laid the foundations of the earth. Will you remain in constant dread of human oppressors? Will you continue to fear the anger of your enemies? And I have put My words in your mouth and hidden you safely in My hand. I stretched out the sky like a canopy and laid the foundations of the earth. I am the One who says to Israel, ‘You are My people!” Isaiah 51:12-13, 16
Remembering who God is, what He has done and the kingdom we are heirs to will lead us to the conclusion that we are of the unstoppable Kingdom of God that Daniel describes: “…the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed or conquered. It will crush all these kingdoms into nothingness, and it will stand forever.” (Daniel 2:37-44) We are part of that kingdom! He is our Father and we are His children. You were His child before the foundations of the earth, and He has destined you to bring His restoration to the earth. No longer simply human, we are captive kingdom-warriors fighting for our release, the fulfillment of the promises made to Abraham and Daniel!
“Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do His will. And I know that I will not be put to shame. He who gives me justice is near. Who will dare to bring charges against me now? Where are my accusers? Let them appear! See, the Sovereign Lord is on my side! Who will declare me guilty? All my enemies will be destroyed like old clothes that have been eaten by moths!” Isaiah 50:7-9
Jesus taught us about prayer in Matthew 7:7-12 and Luke 11:9-13. God wants to give us exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think. Do you believe that?
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone (that means you!) who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him to knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”
In Israel (where Jesus originally shared this), the people make loaves of bread which are small round, dark loaves resembling a stone. The fishermen there fish with nets, and often a snake gets caught in the net. When a child climbs a tree and reaches into a nest to get some eggs, a scorpion might be in that nest. These things represent “substitutes” – not what we asked for, but what some might settle for in life sometimes! When we pray specifically for something, God wants to give us the desires of our heart. The enemy will offer a substitute in the hope that we will give up praying at that point. God wants us to continually ask Him, believing He will provide – He is a good Father!
When Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness (Matt 4), after fasting forty days and forty nights, being hungry, the tempter came to Him and asked him to command stones to become bread. Jesus did not fall for that temptation. He knew who He was: He is the bread of Life. In John 6, Jesus blesses the bread and fish, gives thanks and God multiplies to meet the needs of the people gathered with Him. Later in the same chapter when the people ask for a sign, Jesus refuses to perform to make them believe. He explains, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” Jesus is showing us that by faith we receive everlasting life and through a relationship with Him we have everything we need! We just need to approach Him, trust Him and “lean not on our own understanding”. You can’t always trust your eyes!
We need to abide in Him (John 6:56-58) and commune with Him daily. Do not trust what you see with your eyes or what you feel with your natural senses. Speak the words of faith proclaiming the will of God and speak His plan into our lives and the lives of our loved ones in our sphere of influence. Never give up praying until you receive what you are asking God for in faith: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (I Corinthians 4:17-18)
Have you ever felt like you never have enough? Then pray through, stay close to God, draw nearer to Him until you receive what He wants for you: “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Eph 3:20-21)