Entering God's Rest

Written by Brian
One aspect of living in God’s restoring love is that we get to enter into His rest.  Rest like we could never have dreamed of or experience without this connection to his love.

Hebrews 4, We know that the New Covenant that was brought about by the sacrifice of Jesus also provides for us the continued promise to enter into God’s rest.  4:8-11  The major theme of the book of Hebrews is the superiority of Jesus.  That Jesus is superior to the angels, superior to Moses, a superior High Priest, and he also provides for us a superior rest that we can enter into - a rest that their forefathers failed to enter into.  However, this rest is still available to us today and we exhorted to enter into that rest, why? So that no one will fall.  It was disobedience that was a result of unbelief that caused them to not enter that rest, so the inverse for us is that it is by faith that we enter into God’s rest.  We can see this more clearly in chapter 11, the faith chapter of the Bible. 

One thing that causes us so much worry, anxiety and fear in life is unbelief.  We do not believe in God’s ability to act on our behalf, we do not believe that God will come through, we doubt his goodness and his love toward us.  In the center of Jesus’ teaching on not worrying, how does He exhort those listening, Matt 6:30c “O you of little faith…”  We worry we uproot our rest because of a lack of faith in who God is, including His love toward us, and his ability to provide for us.  (If God is distant and angry with us because we keep messing up, this gives us a much different outlook on life then if God is close and His affection is toward us and He has the power to move on our behalf.) 

Another barrier that we put between us and the love of God is unbelief.  We doubt His love and we doubt His ability to act in our lives - He is distant.  Many Christians are living our lives as deists.  They would not say they are deists, but they act in such a way that their lives say that God sent Jesus to die, we accept that and then we wait for Him to come close again one day at the time of death or His return.  Until then, we just keep our heads down and our noses clean. 

I think that Jesus gives us a good idea of what this rest looks like.  Matt 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
I don’t think that I ever put together previously the connection between God’s love and the rest He provides.  Yes, he provided a Sabbath for his people so they could rest and because He loves them, but there is also a dynamic of knowing His love gives us rest.

Benefits of Rest through God’s love:

1. God's rest releases fear and anxiety - fear is the enemy of peace and rest.  Fear steals peace from our lives.  The most repeated command in scripture is “do not fear”.  When we can get rid of the barriers in our lives and allow God’s love to saturate our lives, then fear is driven out of us.  “Perfect love casts out all fear.”  1 John 4:18. 

2. God's rest gives us peace, Phil 4:4-7 says, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

3. God's rest helps us to stand firm against the enemy.  Having great peace and rest is an act of war in the spiritual realm.  It frustrates the enemy's tactics.  He wants to agitate you, make you angry, make you worry.  When you are at rest in God’s love, it makes his job difficult.

If we can learn to completely rest in God’s love and completely trust in His goodness, then we will become unstoppable vessels to be used to bring about Jesus’ inheritance.  We will remove every barrier, every roadblock from our hearts and be open to everything God has for us.

Romans 8:38-39 says, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."