REST IN GOD
“We who have believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on God) do enter that rest…”
Hebrews 4:3 AMP
We must have complete rest in God as believers. Rest is a season when living by faith is not a struggle in every area of your life. Every believer must understand that God works in us to do all His good pleasures so we are working with and in God to achieve a purpose and struggles and working in our own strength are wiped out
“…because God is always at work in you to make you willing and able to obey his own purpose”
Phil. 2:13 GNB
There is surely a “salvation rest,” a resting from our works in an effort to earn God’s favor, when we come to faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus on the cross of Calvary and receive God’s blessings. And there is the “eternal rest” which all Christians will experience thereafter. But there must also be what we might call a “sanctification rest,” a rest from striving as Christians in the power of the flesh, in a futile effort to attain godliness.
Believers must not strive to please God in his own strength but draw from the grace available in God by faith. To trust in Jesus is to cease from one’s own labors, one’s own efforts, and receive the fruit of the work which Jesus did on the cross of Calvary.
Christian are to live in the power of the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the grave. By the working of His Spirit in us, we are able, to some degree, to live a godly life (Romans 8:1-17). This is resting in Him, or we might even say, abiding in Him (John 15:1-14). This is the key to fruitfulness.
God is always with us, giving us His grace for everything we need to do in life. We work in partnership with Him as He supplies the grace to make all things work according to His divine purpose
“Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things that were heard, lest haply we drift away from them…Harden not your hearts…Take heed, brethren, lest haply there shall be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief, in falling away from the living God…but exhort one another day by day, so long as it is called To-day; lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin…Let us fear therefore, lest haply, a promise being left of entering into his rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it… For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it”
Heb. 2:1, 3:8, 3:12, 3:13, 4:1-2
Believers must be diligent! We must pay close attention to what we have heard; faith comes by hearing and believing the WORD of God, let it not slip away! (Heb. 2:1, Romans 10:17); we must not neglect our great salvation (2:3); and consider Jesus (3:1). We must not harden our hearts (3:8); take caution against an unbelieving heart (3:12); exhort one another every day against the deceitfulness of sin (3:13); rid ourselves of the FEAR and the unbelief that will keep us from our promised rest (4:1).
“Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days”
1 Chron. 22:9
A man given rest by God will be like Solomon who enjoyed peace and quietness in his days; inn the same token there are others that were tried and tested by the Word of God until their day of showing come. In all rest will be the ultimate in the lives of all believers.
“And he called for a famine upon the land; He brake the whole staff of bread. He sent a man before them; Joseph was sold for a servant: His feet they hurt with fetters: He was laid in chains of iron, Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of Jehovah tried him. The king sent and loosed him; Even the ruler of peoples, and let him go free. He made him lord of his house, And ruler of all his substance; To bind his princes at his pleasure, And teach his elders wisdom”
Above is the story of Joseph from grass to grace or from battles of life or passing through the turmoil of life until respite, state of peace or rest was established in his life by the Lord. It was a season when the dreams sent to him by God was finally established and Joseph became the prime minister in Egypt.
And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
“And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field. And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favored”
Another look at the rest that God endowed Joseph with is the scripture above. The Presence of God was significantly with Joseph even as a slave in Potipher’s house, he prospers in whatever he did and he found grace in the sight of his master; finally the blessing of God was in that household for his sake and Joseph was a goodly person and well favored.
“Until the LORD have given rest unto your brethren, as well as unto you, and until they also possess the land which the LORD your God hath given them beyond Jordan: and then shall ye return every man unto his possession, which I have given you”
Rest is not achieved until you possess all that God has promised or spoken concerning you actually come to pass. Then you come to possess the inheritance that God has promised to give unto you. Then he gives you rest from all your enemies round about, so that you can dwell in safety. Rest is not in place when you have a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind. It is there that we MUST receive with meekness the engrafted WORD that is able to save our souls from being perturbed! The key to Christians having abundant life in Christ is living by God’s grace through faith. Because grace is His power working in us that enables us to do whatever we need to do in life.
“And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he swore unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand”
In New Testament era, we do not fight flesh and blood but principalities and powers, and rulers of darkness and dominions. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal though but mighty through God to the pulling down of these strongholds. It is God that subdues our enemies as we engage in spiritual warfare and He gives us rest when we have been able to prevail by faith over the powers of darkness that are risen against us. You must look for or seek after rest before you can possess it; else there will be adversary or evil occurrences.
“Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant”
Rest comes when no word fail of all the good promises that God said He will do. It is actually in this place of REST that total confidence or Trust in the Lord is established forever.
“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”
Jesus is our Peace and Rest. He alone has the antidote to remove labor and heavy laden from our lives. We undergo a spiritual surgery where we divinely exchange our labor and heavy laden for His yoke which is easy and His burden which is light.
The Present day Church is likened to the Jewish Nation who were heavily laden following the Mosaic laws led by the Pharisees and the Sadducees who thought they were doing God a service by vehemently opposing the way of peace and rest that God instituted by the way of salvation that came through the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. Only through Christ can sinners wearied and heavily laden with sin, iniquity and transgression can honor the invitation through salvation and get speedy relief from the toils and labor of life. It is only through this sacrifice that those burdened with guilt of their evil deeds can come to the Lord at the cross and find instant pardon.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us”
1 John 1:7-10
Believers who were often tempted and lured by the unyielded carnal mind can come to the blood of the cross for cleansing from all unrighteous acts and purification from sin and grace to stand against every temptation so that they come to REST eternally in the works of total salvation past, present and future found only in Christ Jesus. As many as will come to Christ Jesus will be saved from sin and vile affections and obtain REST in God.
“REST in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: FRET NOT thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace”
In order to disorganize our heart and come against our rest in God and His promises, the devil or our own evil hearts will lead the shaky hearted to yield to murmurings, worrying, fretting, comparing self with unbelievers [and good things of life that they procured by evil means], suggestions, evil intents, wiles, strategies or plans that are contrary to God or the scriptures and such will eventually lose their spiritual composure and rest in God. The root of the mischief was in the rebellious or unbelieving [the truth] heart that yielded to the lie of the devil or opinions of the mind contrary to God’s will and dealings.
To REST is not to fret, worry, fuse or vex your spirit man which is clearly contrary to the spirit of the Gospel; and to the grace which is in Christ Jesus. It is like the foaming of the sea, raging of the storm or the bellowing of the sea which is temporary and must dissipate so that calmness can be achieved. It simply means you hold on tenaciously to the promises of God that cannot fail while you are going through the valley of the shadow of death knowing that soon you will appear at the peak of Mount Zion; and upon Mount Zion there shall be deliverance and you will possess your possession. Hold on help is on the way!
“Hast thou not known? Has thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faint not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint”
We must understand that God gives power to us to overcome temptations and demonic urging of Satan or unsanctified willingness of our hearts to do contrary to God or to find an uneasy and ungodly way out of the mess of life. God increases our strength to overcome such trials or temptations knowing that it is common to man and that grace will be made available to resist or overcome it. If we WAIT upon God who cannot fail! He will renew our strength and remove weariness and faintness. He is the mother hen that keeps us underneath His everlasting hands or wings so that we can be safe when the enemy come like a flood. The Lord God employs all His mighty attributes for the comfort or bringing out of the trials of life for the believers so that they can be delivered and refreshed when they WAIT upon Him who is mighty to save and to deliver.
“Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I swore in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end”
People actually depart from God when they err by walking in disobedience and unbelief. We are hereby admonished that because God is still speaking today by His Spirit, we must align ourselves in trusting that God will do as He has promised else we will fall from glory because we do not hold on tenaciously our confidence in God steadfastly to the end.
The only way the word preached will profit us is if we mix the word with faith so that we can see the physical actualization of the promises of God. This is the only route of entering into the promises of God though the works were finished from the foundation of the world. We will enter into REST today, if we hear God’s voice again and do not harden our hearts or be stubborn. Worry disappears when we ACKNOWLEDGE the supremacy of God!
“Having then a great high priest, who hath passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help us in time of need”
The antidote to turbulence of heart and failing to stand unto REST is to trust that Jesus Christ who went through such contradictions also, will make a way of escape so that we can bear it as we draw near unto the Throne Room of Grace always, so that we can receive mercy and find grace to help in the time that we need the REST that God supplies abundantly.
“Come, behold the works of Jehovah, What desolations he hath made in the earth. He make wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He break the bow, and cut the spear in sunder; He burn the chariots in the fire. BE STILL, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Jehovah of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah”
Rest is not achieved until we have learn to cast all our cares upon God for He absolutely cares for us; release to the Lord our yoke which is heavy and our burdens in exchange for His yoke which is easy and our burden which is light [Matt. 11:28-31]; surrender our will to the Lord and pick up His will and understand the Love with which God loves us is unimaginable and unsearchable. We must continually hope in the Lord in order to find and have peace in our hearts; and finally have hope even when there is no hope like Abraham knowing that God who promised us is well able to create good out of nothing [Rom. 4:18].
“He did not waver . . . through unbelief . . . being fully convinced that what [God] had promised He was also able to perform”
Worrying is useless to you and will cause more stress in the mind and body. Don’t wear yourself out by controlling what you can’t anymore. The bottom line is that you are being counterproductive when you enter into this type of negative cycle. “It’s like sitting in a rocking chair, rocking all day, wearing yourself out and getting nowhere. Be still, be calm, and be collective. “Calm down, and learn that He is God! He will do as He said He would!
“BE ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING, BUT IN EVERYTHING BY PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION WITH THANKSGIVING, LET YOUR REQUESTS BE MADE KNOWN TO GOD; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”
Trusting God means we give up worrying, reasoning, and anxiety; and we enter into His rest with simple childlike faith, we live by grace through faith and start PRAYING! In quietness and confidence in God is our strength ordained [Isa. 30:15]. Peace of mind is a guarantee that you have handed over to the Lord and that His rest has been made available unto you. We must return to the Lord, rest in Him, be quite and be confident in God.
“My friends, be careful that none of you have a heart so evil and unbelieving that you will turn away from the living God”
Heb. 3:12 GNB