Thursday, January 1, 2009

Entering into His Rest

“Let us labor therefore to enter into his rest…” (Hebrews 4:11)

Sometimes our Christian walk seems to be so full of struggles. We struggle to “receive” from God, struggle to “please” God, to find our identity, and a host of other things.

A great man of God once got off an airplane in a foreign land and was asked, “Why is there so much controversy everywhere you go?” ‘Why are you so full of controversy?” The man of God replied confidently, “I don’t understand what you are talking about, there is not an ounce of controversy in me whatsoever!” What an amazing answer to this question! But that should be no surprise, as we serve an amazing God.

You see, the world is full of controversy and struggle, but this ought not be so with us as Christian believers! The Apostle Paul, a great example to the church, had no problem saying of himself, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God…” (Colossians 1:1) He recognized and received who and what God had called him to be and was neither moved by doubts nor by the approval or disapproval of man. These things became settled in him as he matured in his relationship with the Lord.

What do we struggle with? Is it forgiveness? Healing? Confidence? Do we have identity issues? God has the answers already established in his Word.

“Well how do I enter into his rest?” You may ask. That’s a good question! We enter into his rest by faith, by taking God at his Word and believing what he says and allowing the truth of it to become settled in our hearts. We enter into his rest by continuing to walk the path that he has set before us until he redirects it, regardless of whether or not it makes sense to our natural minds. We rest in him, being fully persuaded that that which he has promised he is able also to perform! (Romans 4:21)

Did you ever notice that Jesus was sleeping in the boat while his disciples struggled against the storm? The devil didn’t stir up the storm for Jesus’ sake, but rather for the disciple’s sake, because he knew that they struggled with fear!

The disciples desperately toiled, but Jesus understood his Father’s promise of protection in Psalm 91, and so he slept. When the terrified disciples woke him up screaming, “Don’t you even care that we perish!’ He rebuked them for their unbelief. (Mark 4:35-40)

Oh, we struggle so unnecessarily in so many things, and we waste so much of our time worrying when it could be used for something else. God wants us free so that we can be productive for his Kingdom and have peace. There is a labor that we must endure, but it is not the labor of this world. We labor to enter into a condition of resting in faith; we labor by casting down imaginations that exalt themselves against the knowledge of the truth of God’s Word.

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)