For the last few months, I’ve been studying and meditating on rest. I will release a new series on this subject on CD and MP3 very shortly. The following is a small taste. What got me started is that four times it is mentioned in Hebrews 3 and 4, virtually back to back, the importance of the rest we should live in. It even ends with this warning: to not be as the children of Israel and fall short of a New Testament promise of rest.
The first quote goes like this: Heb 3:7-14 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 always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware 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. KJV
This verse is talking about when Israel was in the desert-a place we find ourselves in often. Yes, we have been delivered, yet the temptation to go back into slavery is strong. Slavery is all we have ever known. The day of provocation, or provoking, as we would call it, came about after they had seen the 10 plagues of Egypt; the parting of the red sea; the bitter waters of Mira turned sweet. They had seen manna every day; a cloud by day and fire by night (central heat and air in the desert). Moses had received the Ten Commandments and now they needed water, which he ended up getting from a rock.
It was not that they had not seen God in action. The Psalmist said in Chapter 103 verse 7 “they knew his acts but not his ways”. There is an intimacy in rest-a personal relationship. Yes, they saw what He could do but never got close enough to find out the whys. Also, in Psalms, the nail was hit on the head, so to speak, when he gets to what the real problem was ( they limited God). Ps 78:41-42 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.. They remembered not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy. KJV
Looking back at Hebrews, we see that heart error was the problem the Israelites had and the one we should watch out for. Heart error doesn’t see the ways or the whys of the situation. We live in the actions and reactions of our circumstances. To err at a heart level ultimately means-I limit what God can do for me, then I blame Him for what I didn’t believe Him for just because He promised. It’s more comfortable to go back to slavery. I can handle the misery I’m in because I know how to manage it. I want to be in control. I would trust God if I knew how He was going to do it. I don’t know what God’s will is. I think it would take more effort to believe. I don’t know what my spouse or my friends will say. So, I romanticize about the good old days, eating slop out of the scrap pots in Egypt, thinking it was free when it was costing me everything.
God wants you to live your dreams. He desires that your desires are fulfilled. The Bible says it gives Him great joy for you to have the kingdom life. He desires you to enter into rest and an effortless lifestyle of success.
Today, if you will, hear His voice. It is our choice to hear the voice of God in our lives Unlike the Israelites, who wanted Moses to talk to God for them because they feared Him, we have direct access to a loving and safe God in whom we don’t have to fear. You deserve all that He has for you, today, right now! Don’t wait another minute! Let your heart be tender and not limit His ability to give you all the promises. Find that your only labor with God is the labor to enter into His rest. Yes, it will take work to believe “it is finished”. Labor to believe you deserve because of the blood of His son. But the effort to believe that you are adored of Him is an effortless life of living your dreams.
Heb 4:1-5 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,
“So I declared on oath in my anger,
They shall never enter my rest.'”
And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his work.” And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.” NIV
Dare to trust! Rest in the promise without trying to figure it all out. Know that experiencing His grace really will bring you your desires without your effort. God has been finished since the seventh day. Won’t you join him? Take the limits off of what you are willing to receive and hear Him today!
Relax, take the load off, and give it to the only one who can do something about it.
Jesus promised light and easy. Take a break from your fear and control. It will be alright!
Grace & Peace