Rest

The Need to Rest (Part IV)

Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. Hebrews 4:1-2

For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.  Hebrews 4:8-11

In Hebrews 3, the writer tells us that Israelites were not able to enter God’s rest because of unbelief. The writer goes on to tell us in chapter 4 that God’s rest was not appropriated in the life of Israelites because they did not mix faith with what they heard. However, God’s promise of rest still stands for His children. Jesus came to bring us rest from dead works, toil, and anxiety. The Lord’s provision of rest continues to be available for those who believe Him and take Him at His word!

We live in the age of education and information! It is all about learning, reading, and giving mental ascent to some new idea. As Christians, we also fall prey to this approach by thinking that by just reading more books or listening to more sermons, we will become stronger Christians. While reading and listening about the things of God are good things to do, the main ingredient in developing our relationship with the Lord is faith that leads to obedience! When we hear the truth, we must believe that God’s word is trustworthy and that He will accomplish what He has promised us. If we don’t take God at His word, what we hear is not going to profit us, and we will eventually get discouraged and disillusioned in our walk with the Lord! In this case, we must believe that rest is possible, and it is a blessing from the Lord that overcomes the curse of sin and toil!

The word “rest” in the above passage is about ceasing to work or an “intermission.” I like the word picture “intermission” in that it is temporary. When we watch a play, there is usually one or two intermissions during the play. This gives an opportunity for all the actors to have a little rest, and it prepares them for the next part of the play.

The Lord desires for us to live and move from the place of rest. This means when we are busy, we are not toiling or striving. We are in tune with God’s timing and seasons. In addition, the Lord places intermissions in our walk with Him where He wants us to rest and to be at peace without doing much. Many of us are afraid of resting because we think it might be permanent or are worried about others’ opinion of us. We’re concerned that we may look barren if we didn’t have something to make us look busy. We fear looking less important or valuable. All those thoughts are the lies of the enemy, and we need to reject them as such.

God created rest, and it is part of His plan for us! If we run away from resting, then we are running away from how God chooses to operate in the lives of His children and His creation. This leads into carnality and disobedience. While in the natural we may accomplish much, one day we will realize that it was not worth the toil and the stress we put on ourselves and our family.

Are you living in the rest of God? Has the Lord placed you in a season of intermission? What is your response to this season? Continue to seek the Lord and thank Him for the season of rest. Allow Him to comfort you and strengthen you during this time. Allow Him to work things out His way and in His timing.