Rest or Stressed?

March 18, 2020

 

Rest or Stressed?

 

Hebrews 4:3-11

For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh [day] on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works And in this [place] again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:

Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, Today, after so long a time; as it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God

For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath 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.

 

Have you ever seen or experienced one of those events where a person will stand upon a platform of some type and allow themselves to free fall backward into a crowd of people they are trusting will catch them?  It is a great example of the principle of trust.  You have to overcome your fears and anxieties of being hurt.  You have to put your confidence in someone else to catch you and prevent you from being harmed.  That is a hard thing for us to do.  It is essentially what God wants us to do in regards to trusting Him.  Often we start too and then we chicken out because we are afraid He will drop us.   It is a hard thing for us to relinquish being in control of our life and circumstances.  Even though we know that we are a mess, make mistakes, and are full of faults and weaknesses we would still rather rely upon our abilities, our strength and our wisdom.  As a result we have a society full of stressed out people and many of them are Christians.

If you are like me, it is hard to lay down our work and activities even for one day.  It is like it has this hold on us that draws us to it.  Somehow if we don’t work on it, it won’t get done and the world will end.  It is easy to look back on it and say, “yeah, that is stress, that is not rest.”  God gave a Sabbath to teach us a principle of rest.  God says, “There remains therefore a rest to the people of God.”  This passage teaches that there is only one way into this rest and that is through the avenue of faith.  Faith, no longer in our abilities, and ourselves but in Him.  In a way, God has taught me some of this principle as I write these Trickles of Truth.   I couldn’t begin to produce all that God has given me.  Each morning as I fall back into His arms and say, “Father, what do you want to share with us today?” That little act of faith results in the words you read from these writings and often I’m probably more amazed at what comes out than you are.  Certainly, it is often not what I would expect.    As God leads in our daily lives we need to learn the principle in every area of our lives of what it means to rest in Him.

You know Jesus didn’t get up each morning, look at His day planner and think, “will I’ve got fourteen healings today, three sermons, ten deliverances and I have to feed a multitude. I had better have my cup of coffee and get hoppin’.”  He entered into the presence of the Father.  As He communed with Him there, the mind of the Father was revealed to Him and He just did what the Father showed Him and spoke what the Father gave Him.  As He rested in the Father, He became the expression of the Father.  As we learn to rest in Christ, we will become the expression of Christ.  It is not in all of the do’s and don’ts that we are made righteous, it is as we fall back into the arms of Jesus in every aspect of our lives and just let Him be Lord and have His way in and through us.  As we knock a hole in the bottom of our self-reliance then instead of being a self-contained vessel we become a conduit and pipeline through which the Spirit of God can flow through, touching not only our lives, but the lives of others as well.  The results we see are not our righteousness, but the righteousness of Christ revealed and not our will, but His will being done.  It is all a matter of faith and reliance on Him, not just mentally, but experientially as we are willing to let go of our grip on this life.

The Word almost speaks a paradox in Hebrews 4:11 when it says, “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”  Isn’t that contradictory to say we labor to enter into rest?  No, because it is not in our natural man to relinquish control of our life.

Romans 12:1 says, ” I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.” This presentation of our lives as a living sacrifice is an act of continual obedience and faith on the part of the believer.  He is laboring against all that his natural man and instincts are telling him.  Like the old joke goes, “the problem with living sacrifices is they keep crawling off of the altar.”  We laugh, but we know it is all too true.  It is a labor to deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Him, but at the same time it is a rest when we do, because then He becomes our life and strength.

Where are we at today, in a place of rest or stress?  Perhaps it is a good day to crawl up on the lap of Daddy God and just rest in His arms of Love, knowing that He has your life and the whole world in His hands.  Just REST.

Blessings,

#kent

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