We are told to strive to enter His rest (Heb. 4). In our busy lives, rest seems often to be elusive, yet isn’t it true that there are moments where we are arrested by beauty and it shocks us into an alternate mindset? (Interesting, as I wrote the word “arrested” I realized that “rest” is right in the middle.) We give our kids time-outs for misbehavior, adults get arrested and put in jail for misbehavior. Perhaps when God “shocks” us, whether in the moment where we are awestruck at the beauty of His creation, or by hard and painful circumstances (911 comes to mind), we are taken to a place immediately where the presence of God is more real to us than it was in the second prior. Hopefully, we can learn to follow the Apostle’s Paul’s teaching and strive to enter into that rest on our own, not having to be shocked into it or spending 50 weeks of our lives (and probably a lot of money) planning for that perfect two week vacation where we can finally “rest.”
So how do we enter the “rest” that was paid for by Christ, resting on His finished work? We rest from our works and enter into that place of trusting that God is in control. We do whatever it takes to get to the place of stillness, of peace, where we can hear His voice. We have to tear down every barrier in it’s way – our agendas, our fears, our need for control – to name just a few. To remind ourselves that God is sovereign and His ways are beyond ours. An excerpt from “Moses – Shocked in the Desert” explains more fully – “His Kingdom is now, here, if we believe. His promised land already exists. We labor to enter that rest – the place where we believe – where we see spiritually, seeing Him ever before us, not seeing the natural, but seeing His provision, kingdom promises realized, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. The labor is pressing through our mindsets, our fleshly desires, and the hindering spirits that war against us to keep us from entering fully into the mind of Christ. We must labor against unbelief, doubt and complacency, to stir ourselves up so that we are full of faith in what He has promised!”
In my life, this is my goal for every moment….peace. I have to be at peace to hear His voice. Oh there are times when God speaks loud and clear right in the middle of chaos; after all, He can do anything! Yet how much more fulfilling to daily live our lives from a place of rest, with peace in our soul, knowing that we do not have to strive to live frantically, subconsciously searching for acceptance by God. When we turn to Him, when we let the Peace of Christ fill our hearts and minds, we know that we are accepted. For that is His message to us – I love you so much I would die for you, lay down everything I have to bring you back into your intended purpose – my son/daughter fully restored to relationship with me. You are my beloved. I created you. I am the author and finisher of your faith. You are mine and all of the resources of heaven and earth are at my disposal, to bring you into my good plan for your life.
Strive to enter into this truth and you will find rest for your soul. The Lord of Heaven and earth loves you and would love to be Lord of your life, if you will only let Him!