Closeness unlike what our ancestors experienced.
Next up in Hebrews is a history lesson. Hebrews 12:18-27 reminds us of how God used to talk to His people before Jesus came on the scene. This part of the passage I skimmed over the last time I went through this chapter because it seemed random to me and not related to the rest. This time however, I am drawn into the contrast between the Israelites living in Old Testament times and today living in a world that has been visited by Jesus.
As I am reading through the Old Testament, I have been reminded of how God used to communicate with His people. It started out as a beautiful relationship in the Garden of Eden. God walked with Adam and Eve. He actually walked with them!! He was with them, they were close. They could talk about whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. Then Satan in his evil scheme of deception, convinced them that God was withholding something good from them. Adam and Eve chose poorly and were tricked into believing the God they thought they knew was not really who He said He was. After that, God was no longer able to be with them. Sin separated them and hindered their communication. From then on, throughout the Old Testament God used righteous men, prophets, priests, and Kings to speak to His people. The few times God spoke to the whole assembly of people they were terrified and thought they were going to die. They would fall to their knees and beg for mercy, promising that they would follow all of God’s commands. But then as soon as God stopped speaking, they quickly turned back to their wicked ways. It was much like the old saying, when the cat was away the mice played. There was no accountability or guidance. The result was angry, bitter, confused and self destructing people. Hope was gone. Joy was gone. Peace was gone. I am thankful I did not live during that time.
Then in verse 24 we are reminded of the wonderful gift each of us have been given. “You have come to Jesus, the one who mediated the new covenant between God and people…” This one line is a blessing, a promise that we should never take for granted. Because of Jesus we now have a hotline straight to God. We no longer need a Moses, a Joshua or a David to tell us what to do. We don’t have to rely on a Samuel, Isaiah or Jonah we get us back on track when we are stuck in our sin. When we believe in Jesus and what He did on the cross and make Him Lord of our life, we receive the Holy Spirit. This, my friend, is the best gift you can ever receive.
The Holy Spirit is a part of the Trinity-God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. He does so many thing for us. He guides us in the way we should go. (John 16:13) He is our conscience and helps us know when we are doing something wrong or living in sin. (John 16:8) He helps us know how to pray. (Romans 8:26) He teaches us the way of to live. How to live by the fruit of the Spirit (Galations 5)
The title of this series is “The Conquest of Self.” There is no way to truly conquer my Self and submit to God without letting the Holy Spirit do His work in me. Join me as I try to move closer to Him and let Him speak to me and work through me. And take time today to acknowledge and celebrate this amazing gift!