It’s audio devo day! Get comfy, close your eyes, and let Holy Spirit do His beautiful thing for you today as you listen here:
(Did this refresh your spirit? You can find more like it on my Feeding on Jesus podcast, available on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and most other podcast platforms!)
“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” (Heb. 4:9-10, NKJV).
There is real rest available for you. In fact, this life changing passage teaches us that “entering His rest” is something that God actively calls us to do. Indeed, the following verse directs us to make “every effort” to enter it. Do you hear that with your heart? Every effort! The ESV translation uses the term “strive” here – we are to actually “strive” to enter into God’s rest. What a vigorous meaning this phrase carries!
Clearly, Holy Spirit is passionate about this instruction. We are to channel all of our focus into appropriating the inner rest that God has made accessible to us. Holy Spirit then gets even more emphatic, insisting that to do anything less would be disobedience. “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience” (v. 11, ESV).
We can conclude, then, that learning to enter and live inside of God’s rest is normative for real Christian living. He expects that His committed disciples will make this their goal and gradually, little by little, grow up into it.
What, then, is this place where He wants us to live? What does it mean to enter His rest? Verse 10 is key to understanding it. “For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.” Entering His rest, and staying there, means ceasing from our own labors. It means we stop trying to fuel our forward movement in God with our own, human efforts. It means we quit straining to push the cart forward, and we get in, and ride. We let Holy Spirit initiate, sustain, and empower all of our spiritual progress.
We discover another key in verse 3: “For we who have believed do enter that rest” (emphasis mine). We enter His place of rest by simply believing – by taking Him at His word because we trust the goodness of His heart. When He says to us, “I will be faithful to complete the good work I started in you” (Phil. 1:6), we believe Him. We let go of attempts to change ourselves, and instead yield to His work on this inside of us.
“We who have believed” know that Daddy has promised to carry us forward, and to transform us from glory to glory as we gaze on Him. We lean in, and we hear His gentle voice reminding us, “Listen to me… you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you” (Isa. 46:3-4, NIV).
What a simply amazing invitation! God has invited us to just rest, as He carries us. He urges us to enter His very own rest. Hebrews 4 also explains that He has been resting ever since creating the world (v. 3). Now, this is interesting, because God is obviously extremely busy, overseeing and upholding the universe. He doesn’t sleep. He’s constantly burning a whole bunch of energy, administrating every colossal and microscopic detail of our existence.
However, He is at rest. His heart is deeply at rest. And He invites us into that place with Him.
No matter what activities are before you today, you can carry them out from this place with Him. Nestle deeply into His bosom before you run out the door. Linger with Him there. Enjoy Him. Soak up His restfulness. Then, as you do get up and start into your routine, stay, even as you go. Stay in His arms. Stay in His peace. Let everything you do today, be Him working through you. Let Him do it all. Live in His embrace. Live, at rest.
None of us have perfected this “living at rest” growth challenge. We are all in process. What are your thoughts about this process in your own life?
8 thoughts on “Live, At Rest”
Jennifer, You are so right by referring the entering into His rest as a challenge. For many of us, I/we allow busyness to distract us not only from this rest, but also from our need of this rest!
I have had opportunities over the last several years to teach on Matthew 11:28-30. Jesus has so much to teach us about His rest in these verses. I’ll spare you the entire sermon and mention only two. First, absolutely everyone is invited to partake: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened.” All means all! Secondly, once we come acknowledging our need of His rest, Jesus goes on to say: “and I will give you rest.” The Lord gives His rest. All we need do is go to Him. What an awesome God we serve!
PS: Have you and your hubby been reunited yet?
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Taking a deep breath in, grateful, so grateful, for those truths that you share, my brother. Thank You Jesus for Your all-encompassing invitation to come to You!
And, we are not yet reunited. The president just announced yet another extension of the lockdown the other day, this time through the end of June. So we are grateful for continued prayers.
Betsy and I continue to pray for you and your family often. God is good!!!!!!! Psalm 119:90 encourages us: Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. (NIV) I’m praying that for you this evening
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Truly, thank you, Chuck. I receive that encouragement! Please express my profound gratitude to Betsy too. Much grace and peace to you both!
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Rejoice in gladness, for rest in the Lord ! Jennifer, yesterday as I was driving around, I listened to an elderly pastor as he was teaching- YES! on 2-different forms of rests that God instructs us in. One, he referenced to Joshua, after the many battles God led them through. This was a more natural rest due to circumstances and events. Our Father absolutely knows when it is time to slow down. The next REST is that of the spirit and soul. Regardless of circumstances, we are to be at rest. The pastor’s explanation included being in the “eye” of a hurricane- it is filled will tranquility and peace. But, we must keep away from the dangers all around us. I see this Jennifer, as similar to the season we are in. Fear surrounds us, but focusing on living in the Spirit can and will bring us the REST we so need. Amen Len W.
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That is SUCH the perfect metaphor, Len! The eye of the hurricane. Perfectly peaceful in the middle of chaos all around. And the wonderful thing is that, when we truly enter and live in His rest, it’s contagious to those around us!
“… we stop trying to fuel our forward movement in God with our own, human efforts.” Nailed it!
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A joyful chuckle. Thank you, David! 😀