So, all this talk about Rest sounds so… restful, but what on earth does it mean? Rest from what? We cease from our works as God did from His. Those were works God did without interactions with humanity. Those first works of God did not arise from promises He made or in response to human faith. We stop from faithless works.
Faithless works include both sinful, godless living and religious legalism. Both the ungodly and the hyper-righteous are living in error. Sinners try to find a happy life by their behavior. Legalists also try to make a happy life by works. By God’s Rest, we cease from our struggle to shape our lives.
In Isaiah 28:11-12, what is God’s Rest?
God empowers us to live for Him. It is not our work, but the work of the Spirit dwelling in us, causing us to behave according the righteousness of Jesus within us. We walk by faith in His identity, not by carving out our own.
You can relax in the Lord, knowing the righteousness of Christ covers you. We live in response to who He is. We love with His love. We do not have to create our own joy like the person hooked on pain pills; we borrow the joy of the Lord. We live pure because He is pure, not to get Him to like us. We do good works as an expression of the Spirit dwelling in us, not as a substitute for Him.
What does Hebrews 4:11 command us?
By not walking in faith, we are living in disobedience. Resting in Him we expect Him to give us the right words rather than relying on our old habits of anger or default of lying. Coming with our own righteousness, we will be cut out of His promise, too. What does 4:12 say is God’s weapon?
Faithlessness – the Word. God’s Word cuts deeply. If we read and apply it, we have to let the unbelief go. God’s Word strikes depths we cannot even figure out. How do you distinguish between a thought or an intent of your heart? Our hearts are so complex we do not even know them. God knows our hearts, but when we come to Christ we die with Him and rise to newness of life—living by His heart. So, we must hurry to enter His rest.
Those who resist the Lawmaker face the executioner’s sword. The one thing that will condemn us is the Word of the Lord. Stiff-necked people lose their heads. What does Hebrews 4:13 say about how vulnerable we are to the Word?
We live by faith in God’s Word. Jesus Christ, the Word-made-flesh, set the example for us. What does 4:14 say about Him?
Our confidence is not in our own ability, but in His. Our hope is that He did it and we expect Him to live righteously through us. How does 4:15 encourage you in the daily temptations you face?
We could look at Jesus and say, “I could never be like that.” However, He did not come as a trophy on a shelf, He came as Redeemer. Unlike Moses, He did not hand down a list of rules, He offered us access to the Holy One. Jesus does more than just sympathize with us; in 4:16, what does He offer us and what should you do?
Prayer is not about convincing the Lord to make you perfect. It is accepting His strength to be what He is.