Entering His Rest

March 4, 2008

Yesterday (Monday – my dates have been wrong) I didn’t get a chance to write as I wanted to, so I’ll write now for then, and later for now (if that makes sense). At FCF Mike Bickle spoke about our highest calling – being a house of prayer. All day yesterday I was striving to have what I had on that Sunday. The harder I tried, the further I seemed from it. I was practically begging the Lord that it would be made known to me what exactly it was that I had on Sunday that I was overlooking Monday. I was sooo desperate for the peace and joy again – I’ve never felt so alive as I did on Sunday. (I had always believed that I was alive, but I now know that I was very mistaken!)

Well, I’ve been spending most all of my time for the past month in the book of Hebrews, and the Lord brought me to chapter 4 verses 9-11, which says, “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who had entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.” I was so excited by this, because I felt that I *had* entered that rest on Sunday! So what did Paul mean that God ceased from His works? In John 5:17, Jesus comes across as saying that His Father has never stopped working… how was I to understand these passages?

I again asked Him to show me what Gen. 2:2 meant; that “on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” After waiting on Him, He brought me to Isa. 66:1-2, where He spoke saying, “Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist. … But on this one I will look: on Him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.”

He then taught me that the works He ceased from doing on the seventh day was the work of making a resting place for Him to dwell in! Next He showed me that it is the nature of spirits to seek rest, even unclean spirits (Matt. 12:43-45). God is spirit, and created us with a spirit, and each of our hearts are like a tabernacle – only the Holy Spirit or only unclean spirits can rest there; both cannot abide within the same tabernacle. I was *so* encouraged, because I knew beyond all doubt that it was the Holy Spirit who was at rest in my heart!

To “be diligent to enter that rest” was not what I was doing on Monday – on Monday I was leaning upon my own strength to enter that rest, which made it impossible to do that which I wanted so badly. The rest that we are to daily enter is by God’s grace, given us as we stand boldly before His mercy seat (Heb. 4:16), placed behind the veil, which we enter through to the Presence by hope (Heb. 6:19). Faith without substance is presumptuous faith, and not true faith at all; true faith is “the substance of things hoped for” (Heb. 11:1), by which we obtain the promises given us and embrace them until we are all made perfect and receive those promises. Daily we must obtain these promises – such as the promise of God abiding in us who love and obey Him (John 14:23) – and be violent to take them.

Ceaseless prayer is violent. Humbling ourselves that we would receive His grace is violent. True faith in Jesus, our High Priest and forerunner, is violent. Obedience to His word to the death is violent. Confessing that we are “strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Heb. 11:13) is violent. Having nothing in common with the ways of the world, that the world would hate us and not be worthy of us, is violent. Let us be violent!

Jesus, let the lost and the compromising enter Your rest! I ask You that at the St. Patrick’s Day outreach many demons would be stirred from their perches, and that the Holy Spirit would come like fire to burn away all that hinders love. Father, give us Your heart for the lost! And I ask for myself, and for all who would agree with me, that You would even take us (for but a short time – have mercy!) to the place where there is no rest day or night, that our hearts would be sealed and our faces set like flint to bring those not of Your fold through Your gate, that they would be made to “lie down in green pastures; [and to be led] beside the still waters” (Ps. 23:2). Let many enter Your rest on that day, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


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