Once again, I was drawn to read the 4th chapter of Hebrews. This particular chapter is fascinating! Look at the ninth and tenth verses:
“There is a full complete rest still waiting for the people of God. Christ has already entered there. He is resting from his work, just as God did after the creation” (Hebrews 4:9-10)
Now, like me you are probably wondering what in the the world it means to enter this “promised rest“? What does it look like in my personal life?” Well, that is a good question, and I am praying that our Father will remove the scales from our eyes and allow us to understand what it is. Simply put, entering into his promised rest means that we trust with all of our being that our Messiah has done all of the work of salvation for us. I realize it sounds too simple, but we are to rest in His saving Grace — and is only done through our faith.
I think this is what He meant when Jesus offered His invitation: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and over-burdened, and I will give you rest!” (Matthew 11:28). I guess we have to admit that we are indeed, “weary and over-burdened.” It seems to mean that we end of all of our fleshly striving, all our human efforts to find peace, and to rely totally on Jesus’ work for us! Is this something we can do?
Paul reminded us that our battle is not against flesh and blood. It takes place in the spiritual realm. The Tanakh (the Old Testament) makes this crystal clear. Continually, Israel made empty, futile promises to God: “We want to serve you, Lord. We will do whatever you command us.” But what happened? Well, history proves that they neither had the heart nor the ability to follow through on their promises. Yahweh had to strip them of all of their faith, their confidence, in themselves. Everything we need is to come from our precious Lord’s presence. If we insist on working “our own Salvation,” we are not only fools, we will be working in our wisdom and strength, with is a futile endeavor.
In the book of Acts, Paul said, “we live, move, and exist because of him!” (Acts 17:28). Okay, that is my emphasis, but I am attempting to make my point stand out in our minds. But Paul was talking about uninterrupted fellowship. And this morning, during a time of prayer, I was almost in tears as I cried out, “Father, I know how I so desperately need you. As much as I love my wife and my kids, You are my very life and my goal is to know you.”
It was through His victory of the cross that our Lord has made Himself available to us every hour of the day or night. We have to make a decision: Do you truly want Christ in your life? Do you want to be set free from all limitations of your flesh? Are you willing to move forward, into His presence and claim your possession? Do you want Jesus to be your comfort, your counsel, your strength? Are you willing to allow Him to be your only source of satisfaction?
Well, my friends, we need to quit thinking about prayer; fulfilling our religious obligations each Sunday and begin to put our faith on the line to actually know our Lord — to meet Him face-to-face. Don’t just read motivational messages and skim through your Bible, looking for interesting tidbits . . . you need your Father to revolutionize your life. Quit play-acting and start pursuing your Lord. My pastor recently said, “There are a lot of carefully constructed religious and Pharisaical appearances out there, and a carefully constructed and presented religious façade: ‘look at me, I’m holy’, isn’t discipleship: it is the attempted appearance of discipleship, or it is the rather presumptuous stance of reckoning oneself as already seeing ‘face to face’.”
Why don’t you give it try, like right now:
Oh Father, ‘Show me your glory!’ I cry: ‘Oh, the depth of your riches and wisdom and knowledge!’ I have experienced just a smidgen of your greatness, but I want so much more. I am very much aware of my need of further grace.
Father, I want you; I long to be filled with you; I thirst for more of you. Again, show me your glory. But please recognize who I am and begin this work in mercy. Say to my soul, ‘Rise up, any love, my fair one, and come away.’ Then I ask that you would give me the Grace to rise and follow you. Oh Father, I do love you and thank you. I ask all this in Jesus’ Wonderful Name, Amen
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)
With these Morning Messages, I take you on guided tours to, as Bunyan described, the Celestial City. At times we linger at corners familiar and unseen. And explore the depths of our faith along the way.
The trail is long, but there’s no hurry. Though we do need to stock up on supplies for the way, and that’s where I need your help. If you enjoy these messages, please consider becoming a contributing member of this tour group. It will be very much appreciated.