The thoughts & intentions of the heart
One of the first places I began to have an inkling of these things was studying what was required to enter the rest of God. The rest of God was presented to me when I was first brought into the Kingdom by reading Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret. That secret was that the Lord has it covered. It’s not about work and striving , but about trusting and relaxing in His arms. What we do is accept it by faith.
Later I spent a long time studying and researching the rest of God. I spent a lot of time in Hebrews 4. This rest is talked about a lot in the first dozen verses. You can see some of the references I found below.
- Lamentations 3:26 — It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. [NKJV]
- Psalm 46.10 — He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; [NIV]
- Isaiah 30:15 — In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength. [NKJV]
- Philippians 2:13 — it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure
- Ezekiel 20:12 — Also I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the Lord made them holy.
- Matthew 11:28–30 — Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
In this process, the verse I could not avoid was twelve.
The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, able to divide between soul and spirit…discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. [Hebrews 4:12]
Many people are confused at this point. The assumption is that the word of God is the Bible. That is true, as far as it goes. But the Bible is just a small part of the logos, or the overall word of God.
The Word of God is not the Bible
I talk about this all the time, but we need to cover it more deeply. To be clear, it is not heresy to call scripture the Word of God. Rather it is confusing and demeaning to the real word of god, Jesus Himself. To understand that a little better we need to look at a couple more scripture verses. Let’s start with John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God and was with God.
Sorry, but the Bible was not there at the beginning. So, the word was there for creation with God, and it was God. So what is the Word? Verse two reiterates,
He was with God in the beginning…
Who was that? After a great deal of side material, the answer is found in verse 14.
The Word became flesh and lived among us and we experienced His Glory…
The Word is Jesus. We experience Jesus within us by His Holy Spirit. He is the living and powerful word able to divide between the soul and spirit discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Does the Holy Spirit use the Bible in this task?
Is He limited to the Bible?
No, He is much more than that. He is a living person who is God. He understands us as no one else can.
In fact, it is the Holy Spirit who brings the Bible to life as we read it. The book itself is not magic. Almighty God is all powerful and loves you. He blesses your life as you are obedient to read the scriptures.