Summary: As believers we have entered into His rest by grace (peace with God) AND that we also must make every effort to obtain what God has already provided (peace of God)...
“Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience” (Heb. 4:11).
From God’s Word we learn that rest has several meanings:
* The seventh day of creation and the weekly Sabbath celebrating it (Gen. 2:2; Heb. 4:4-9)
* The promised land of Canaan (Deut. 12:8-12; Ps. 95)
* Peace with God now because of our relationship with Christ through faith (Mth. 12:28; Heb. 4:1; 3; 8-11)
* Our future eternal life with Christ (Heb. 4:8-11).
Though all of these meanings are certainly true and applicable, I believe the intent is to remind us that as believers we have entered into His rest by grace (peace with God) AND that we also must make every effort to obtain what God has already provided (peace of God). This is not the struggle of trying to do good in order to be good (works) or doing holy things to be holy (piety), but to know, truly know, that Jesus has already provided rest through faith. The promise of spiritual rest is a promise left us by the Lord Jesus Christ in his last will and testament.
True rest comes as we lay claim to that rest and experience freedom from the dominion of sin, Satan, the flesh, and the yoke of the law with all its ceremonies and services. We must daily remind ourselves and appropriate the gift God offers and this requires decision and commitment.
Because of our covenant relation to Christ we can realize deeper levels of communion with God through Christ and experience deeper levels of spiritual maturity, until that time we are made perfect in glory.
One good means to prevent either our real falling short or seeming to fall short is to maintain a holy and reverent fear of God – something largely missing in today’s church. The wicked have no fear of God and as such, nothing keeps them from sinning. They continue to sin as though nothing will happen to them. But God is just and holy and gracious and in His eternal patience and love is only delaying punishment. This knowledge alone should restrain the believer from sinning. This helps to keep us vigilant and diligent, sincere and serious; this fear should cause us to examine our faith and exercise it. Presumption is the opium of the masses and many enter through it.
We must learn to be fully surrendered to the Lordship of Christ Jesus and be totally yielded to the Holy Spirit. We must be taught of the Lordship of Jesus and what it means to be filled with and to walk in the Holy Spirit and what it means to be surrendered and yielded and fearful.
Grow in grace and truth,
CORE Discipleship Group Ministries