“For 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. And 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.” (NASB, Hebrews 4:12-13 – emphasis added)

We all love this passage! How powerful the Word of God is in my life and yours! Do you wish to have it more powerfully applied?

I hope you do. I do.

I have been studying, preaching, teaching Hebrews 4:12-13 for a long time, literally decades.

Something God recently help me see more clearly than ever was this:

The first word, “for” (in 4:12), is there for a reason. What is it?

I recently finished a sabbatical/rest time away from the normal day to day work in the Vision USA Church Planting network. While I was away, according to my approved plan, one effort was to simply be quiet before the Lord and His Word.

What I found out was amazing.

Hebrews 4 explains it best. I am not intending to give a detailed explanation of the passage, but simply to say this: sabbathing rest is key to the Word of God doing what it does!

The writer of Hebrews mentions ‘rest’ ten times in this passage. He mentions three kinds of rest:

  1. God’s “rest” on day seven of creation – 4:4 and 10;
  2. “rest” involved with Israel taking the Promised Land – 3:11, 18-19;
  3. Promised “rest” – 4:1

I personally take the “promised rest” of 4:1 as the yet Millennial rest in His Kingdom, but that is not my point and another conversation.

My point is this:

Rest is key to engaging the Word of God; or perhaps put better this way: the Word of God better (or even best) engages my life, your life, when I have seasons of intentionally chosen rest. Chosen rest to have time with God – both quality and quantity.

Rest is dealt with from 3:12-4:11. Then we have “for” that begins v. 12.

The “for” in 4:12 is there to explain what and why the author is talking about rest. He is talking about rest, differing kinds of rest in this passage, because they are all important for the Word of God to do what God intends to do with His Word. He illustrates via these differing ‘rest’ examples.

The challenge is this:

  • How many rest periods am I taking?
  • Where am I finding daily “rest” so God’s Word can do what He wants?
  • How about weekly, monthly and annual rest periods?
  • And, how about a sabbathing season, for this reason?

When we obey, God works; when we pursue Him, His Word continues to come alive in our lives!

  • How are you doing with all this?
  • Who can you talk to in your network to further this in your life?