Are you in rest? Truly?
I’ve been reminded of a kind of rest that is a bit different than the one typically held up by the world’s shiny, golden poles – one that it isn’t a place of standing still, or an ever-elusive destination.
Instead of it being a place, I see it as a journey, where the Shepherd provides exactly enough to keep your belly filled with grassy jelly and your eyes shiny with glee.
You, in your absolute freedom of choice and independence, can definitely strike up some sweat on your brow and purchase yourself a fine piece of rest. But I can guarantee you, by the testimony of many a successful man and woman, that even that little plot will eventually crumble into something dry and empty.
Jesus is the only everlasting key. Many a time, and certainly now, He’s a door-knock away, and waiting with open arms for us to enter His rest. For us who have accepted Christ in faith, we have to listen (and respond) to those tiny nuggets of divine wisdom that the Holy Spirit drops into our souls; the small things we need to do, repent of, or change, to clean our consciousness and enter His rest.
But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.Hebrews 10:15-22 NKJV
He already sees everything, and He is mighty to discern and divide between the things in your soul and spirit that are either rest-traps or rest-injectors. And when we clear out our conscience, we can boldly enter His throne of grace, where His provision is plenty.
“Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.Hebrews 4:7-16 NKJV
I mentioned it above – that this position of rest is one in which we are still moving and growing. If you’re still new, or even if you’re as old as a greybeard-goat, the scriptures point out the things of our fallen nature that we need to let die (the things that ultimately steal peace). A stagnant, dead, branch is eventually cut off and put into a very non-pleasant fire if it doesn’t bear fruit. And the only ticket from that everyday-hellfire is by turning back to Jesus so that he can plant you anew.
So I urge you like I’ve recently been urged myself – grow in Jesus, be that delightful, soft, pliable piece of clay. Study the scriptures, lovingly help and be helped by your nearby brothers and sisters in Christ, and repent of those little things that build up like cholesterol, which eventually causes that non-rest-inducing heart attack.
Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.Psalms 1:1-3 NKJV