Now we who have believed enter that rest…
for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work just as God did from His.
Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. [NIV]
Two requirements for entering God’s rest are belief and obedience. As intimidating as those two words may be for some, they’re really just entering and resting. Pretty simple actually.
And with these two, we must of course turn away from our conviction that we know better how to run our life.
In the OT, all the Israelites had to do was enter the Promised Land and rest. But they just could not seem to trust God and take Him at His word. If things didn’t look right to them, they took matters into their own hands. They had to keep striving. And it cost them. Dearly.
We’re most satisfied, content, and at rest, when we give ourselves away, first, in abandonment to God, then, in loving service to others. For in trying to please ourselves, there is no end, no satiation.
Obedience is a good thing. It is the way to rest, and the way Jesus said to remain in His love. You might say belief is entering, obedience is resting.
An active, beautiful rest. Total trust no matter how things may look to us.
I am doing something in your day that you wouldn’t believe even if you were told.
I’m trying to get my girls to obey me by putting their shoes in their shoe drawer every nite. Not because I’m trying to be some tyrannical enforcer, but rather to teach them and show them the satisfaction and rest that comes from putting things in their proper place. Would they rather go on a shoe scavenger hunt every morning, stressfully racing against the clock to get to school on time? Or would they rather know where their shoes are and be ready early, having some extra time to play?
Everything in its proper place, most importantly our relationship with God, brings shalom.
Once, Mother Teresa was approached by a brother in the order who complained that the rules of his superior were getting in the way of his ministry to lepers. He lamented, “My vocation is to work for lepers.” To this Mother Teresa replied gently, “Brother, your vocation is not to work for lepers, your vocation is to belong to Jesus.” This is the essence of real Christianity. All else relates to and flows from this relationship.
In the Name of Jesus,
Soli Deo Gloria