ENTER INTO HIS REST(Pt. 3)

Sometimes finding a place of rest can be quite challenging. If we are honest about the fast paced lifestyles that the culture helps us buy into, the notion of rest can seem paradoxical. We fight to find the time to rest! In the natural things of life this is certainly true. But it is equally true in the spiritual side of things as well. It requires the effort of faith to enter into a place of rest. But where do we start?

THE LORD OUR SHEPHERD

Let’s start where David started. “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters” (Psalm 23:1,2 NIV). Finding our rest in the Lord as our Shepherd means that we recognize, like sheep, how vulnerable we are without Him. He is our peace and our place of rest in the stress and chaos of life. As we learn to stay close to our Shepherd, the nearness of His presence brings the calm we need in the midst of our enemies. He will guide and He will provide a place of repose for us. How tragic it can be if we do not turn to the LORD to take advantage of His provision, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it”(Isaiah 30:15 NIV).

MISSING OUR REST

We can miss our rest in God by misunderstanding His ways in our life. Recall how Israel after having been delivered from Pharaoh & Egyptian under Moses’ leadership failed to enter their Land. This was due to 3 events in their wilderness history. (1st)Marah(Exodus 14). Israel encountered “bitter waters”, which reflected their own heart condition. They no doubt carried the bitter effects of the harsh treatment while slaves in Egypt. God brought them to the waters of Marah to deal with all that was inside of them in order that they could move forward. Bitterness and unforgiveness will keep you from your promised rest. (2nd) Meribah (Psalm 95:8a). Israel quarreled with Moses because they did not like the way God was leading them. Ultimately, they were to discover that the shortest route was the longest way round! Never pick a fight with the Lord…Especially, when it seems that your way of doing things seems better! It will only make the journey to your rest a longer journey. (3rdly) Massah(Psalm 95b). This was the place of unbelief (See Hebrews 3:12,18-19). They failed to “mix God’s promises with faith”. They put their limitations onto a limitless God. The Lord is not limited by our limitations.

HEAVEN’S CURRENCY

Faith is the only currency used in heaven. When we let doubt, fear, worry and unbelief control our movements we get stuck in the past. And we discover that we neither are able to move in the present nor enter into God’s land of rest for our future.

THE REST OF CONQUEST

Joshua (In type) brought the children of Israel into the land of rest. With the help of the LORD God, 31 kings were defeated along the way to their inheritance. The good news is that our Joshua(Yeshua) wants to give us victory over all that opposes our entering into our inherited land of rest. He waits to do so IN us, THROUGH us and WITH us (See Philippians 1:6). Like Joshua, He leads us into battle. “The LORD gave them rest on every side…Not one of all the promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled”(Joshua 21:43-45).

May we stand in faith, hope and persistence until we find our rest in Him. “Since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it”(Hebrews 4:1 NIV).

 

© Copyright 2013, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be copied and shared provided that it is not sold or altered in anyway from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com.

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