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September 7, 2019

The God Hunt – A 40 Day Soul Safari, Day 13

“God’s promise of entering His rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it.” Hebrews 4:1 (NLT)

This week in our God Hunt we’ve been exploring the rest that our souls long for.  The Life Application Study Bible notes offers this insight into our understanding of the rest God offers us.

“God’s rest has several meanings in Scripture: (1) the seventh day of creation and the weekly Sabbath commemorating it (Genesis 2:2; Hebrews 4:4-9); (2) the Promised Land of Canaan (Deuteronomy 12:8-12; Psalm 95); (3) peace with God now because of our relationship with Christ through faith (Matthew 11:28; Hebrews 4:1, 3, 8-11); and (4) our future eternal life with Christ (Hebrews 4:8-11).”

The warning in Hebrews 4:1 was for those who may fail to enter the rest of salvation through our union with Christ.  We enter that rest the moment we trust Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior; by responding to His Divine invitation, “Come to Me and I’ll give you rest. …” (Matthew 11:28)

In Hebrews 4:3, the Bible says, “For only we who believe can enter His rest. …”  Have you come to Christ and trusted your life into His nail-scarred hands?  From the cross, He cried, “It is finished” – the work of redemption was complete.  All that is necessary for us to enter His rest is to believe and receive His saving life.  We cease from striving to please God and be accepted by Him.  Our Sabbath-rest in Christ begins when we trust Him to complete His good and perfect work in us.  This requires faith.  In Hebrews 4:2, the Bible says, “For this good news – that God has prepared this rest – has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn’t share the faith of those who listened to God.” It’s one thing to know about God, but another to trust your life to Him, combining that knowledge with faith.  This is the rest of salvation. 

Then there is the rest of service.  Rest in Scripture is not inactivity, but His activity clothed with our humanity and personality.  The indwelling Christ takes your hands to work with, your mind to think with, your eyes to see with, and your heart to love with.  As you are yoked with Him and learn from Him, you find rest in letting Him do the work through you.  You are no longer working for God but out of your union with Christ. He is working through you.  You experience a Divine energy through the Holy Spirit enabling you to do what you could not otherwise accomplish. You begin to share that life with Christ here on earth that you will one day share with Him forever in Heaven – the ultimate rest awaiting the people of God! 

Hebrews 4:6 and 7 says, “So God’s rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God. So God set another time for entering His rest, and that time is today. …”  

Have you entered that rest?  Don’t wait another moment. Mix the knowledge you have with faith and open your heart to Christ.  Throw off the yoke of striving to earn God’s approval and experience the rest of His salvation – peace with God!  Then let Him do the work through you that He destined for you.