The REST of Faith

Hebrews 3:9-11

Therefore, a Sabbath rest remains for God’s people. For the person who has entered His rest has rested from his own works, just as God did from His. Let us then make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience.

The rest of God is our home, the normal life of a Christian. It is not a prison. We are free to leave any time we want. Why would you leave? Are we not like toddlers walking in the park with dad; something catches our eye and off we go to investigate with no thought of the danger to which we are opening ourselves? Surely if you saw the danger plainly you would cling to his side.

However, there are times when we think we have a better answer. Abiding in the resting place can seem boring or difficult. These kinds of attitudes come from our slave mentality. Before we came to Jesus we were slaves of sin (Rom. 6:20). We were born into slavery and had no choice at that time. It was our worldview; we saw everything through the lens of slavery. A slave is not encouraged to think but to do as he is told. There is no rest in that; it is all work. Rebellion may reside in the heart but is punished when it shows itself. Punishment is painful so slavery is associated with fear.

Jesus invites you into relationship. He bore the pain to free you from it. He told his followers: I do not call you slaves anymore, because a slave doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from My Father. (John 15:15).

However, if you have a slave mentality grace looks like a trap. The new freedom appears evil as if it were license to do whatever you choose and you know that won't work. God's way is always best—not through following lots of rules but following the lead of the Spirit who now lives in you.

God's rest is an inner knowing that He is in control—just trust Him to guide you. About 40 years ago I heard the Spirit quote a hymn title to me: Trust and Obey. At the time I thought that was easy but I've often found it to be a struggle. I've also learned that it is well worth the struggle since I spend more time in God's rest. It is so sweet and productive.

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