Does it seems as though the world is spinning out of control? Does your life seem hectic? Most people when asked this question would not even hesitate to say yes. This however should never be the normal life for a believer. In-fact the Bible is very clear that we as believers should always be at rest. It is also equally clear about the dangers of not being at rest.
Today we will be taking a look at the Biblical idea of rest, and specifically how we are to achieve this rest, and how it can benefit us.
There are a few scripture verses which we will be looking at today, the first being in Hebrews 4:9-11:
“There remains therefore a rest to the people of God.
For he that is entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”
So here we can see that those of us who are believers – who are people of God – should naturally be in a state of rest. Most of us today though, we have it backwards. We are in a natural state of unrest and agitation, and occasionally we feel a little bit of peace now and then, and we think that is normal.
My friends, that is not the way that God has intended it though. Think back to the words of Jesus in John 14:27, in-fact let’s read it now:
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Jesus, left us with His peace, and He says that He gives it “not as the world gives”, many people do not think much about what that statement means, and therefore they miss the wonderful truth contained there.
You see my friends, when the world gives something, it is fleeting and temporary. When the world gives something, it is subject to wear and decay. But not so with God. When God gives something, it is not subject to the laws of the world. When Jesus gave us His peace, He gave it eternally. It never fades away, it never wears out, and it is ours forever.
Now, knowing this, let’s return to our scripture in Hebrews 4, now at verse 10:
“For he that is entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from his. ”
Before we were saved, many of us were working and striving to try and earn favor from God, some believers still are because they have not yet learned the truth. You see, you can be a believer and still not know or understand the truth. The Pharisees and Scribes were believers, but the problem was that they only believed in the Law of Moses and not in Jesus Christ. So they were completely occupied with their own works and trying to earn their own righteousness through self effort. As you know, it did not profit them anything and it got them nowhere with God.
And also notice that this verse makes the comparison between the rest that we should have, and God’s own rest at the end of creation. Why did God rest on the seventh day? Because He was tired? No. Because the work was finished. We also are to rest, not because we are tired, but because the work is all finished; because it is done. Jesus completed it. We no longer have to strive and work to curry favor with God, for Jesus fulfilled the law and then God Himself nailed the old Law to the cross along with Christ, as mentioned in Colossians 2:14. Praise the LORD!
Now look at the last verse in Hebrews 4:11:
“Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”
My friends, this is our one job today, and this is also where most believers are missing it. God tells us that He has finished and accomplished everything for us and that all we need to do is rest in His finished work. However many of us still have the attitude of “I’ll rest as soon as I take care of everything else”.
My friends, this is backwards thinking, but we think that God’s thinking is the one that is backwards!
Look at the last line. God calls not resting in Him as “unbelief”. If we are not resting in Him, it is because we have unbelief somewhere. In some area, we are not trusting in His provision, so we are trying to handle it ourselves and as a result, we are not resting in Him.
Notice the key there, “resting in Him”. This is not merely laying in bed free of physical activity, because as many of us know, it is entirely possible to be laying motionless in a comfortable bed but still have our minds filled with stress and worry. Yet when we are resting in Him, the situation can seem like a whirlwind on the outside all around us, but we can still be completely calm and restful, perfectly at peace on the inside… knowing that the work is finished and we are made perfect and complete in Him.
Before the fall of Adam and Eve, they were created in perfection. They were made and set into an already finished Garden. All they did was walk with God in the cool of the day, always at rest. It wasn’t until they fell that their “work” began.
My friends, through the finished work of Jesus Christ, we are restored to that perfect state, the second Adam has redeemed us from what the first Adam caused. Now all we must do is “labor to remain in rest”. It sounds like an oxymoron, but when you think about it, you realize that all of the attacks of the enemy are simply designed to remove our rest. The enemy can never do anything to a believer who remains in the rest and peace of God. So those of you who seem to be attacked by the devil, I just gave you the way to get out and be free of it forever. Remain in the peace of God and do not let anything or anyone steal it.
The word of God to all of us: Rest, Because the work is finished.