My family has often referred to me as that bunny that “keeps on going, and going, and going” in TV commercials advertising a brand of long-lasting batteries. I will admit, my natural high energy style makes me prone to rely on my own abilities to the point of forgetting I need REST, and most of all and I need the rest God offers!
What is the rest God offers and we are told of in Hebrews 4:9-11? … “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their [the Israelite’s] example of disobedience.” Is the rest spoken of just on one day a week as God showed us when resting on the 6th day of creation? I believe it goes deeper than that.
Hebrews Chapter 4 refers back to the Israelites and God’s promise to them. God’s rest was available to them, but they hardened their hearts and chose not to believe in his promise (the giants in the land he promised to them through Abraham were too fearful-looking). So, we are told in Psalm 95:10-11, “For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’” (Bold – my own emphasis.)
I don’t know about you, but my heart goes astray on occasion (I get focused on my needs and wants rather than what God might have for me). Accordingly, I am not resting in faith. When do I rely on doing things my own way rather than looking to Jesus and asking what he wants? I am not entering God’s rest of faith. When do I get busy trying to earn God’s acceptance by doing what I think will please him? I am not entering God’s rest of faith. I want to enter God’s rest, and I am told how in Hebrews 12:1-2a, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” My part of the rest of faith is to listen to God, obey, and then keep my eyes on Jesus. – Judi Brandow, Communication Specialist