Resting In The Lord
The bible promises rest to all who come to Jesus. Here’s the passage.
NLT Matt 11;28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest . 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
This Passage is talking about now, about a refreshing life restoring rest as we walk with Jesus. When we are following him we have the promise of a light burden. We shouldn’t presume this will be easy. It can be very difficult for us to turn from our reliance on our abilties, our money, and our training to trusting in him. If we can not let go of our desire to control things we will be stuck trying to fill in all the gaps.
This next passage also talks about the promised rest. Most commentaries limit this passage to resting after this life, but I’m not so sure that is correct. I’m convinced that God wants us to rest in prayer daily, that we are to sit at his feet and rest in him daily.
Promised Rest for God’s People
NLT Heb 4; 1 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. 2 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. 3 For only we who believe can enter his rest. As for the others, God said, “In my anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter my place of rest.’ even though this rest has been ready since he made the world. 4 We know it is ready because of the place in the Scriptures where it mentions the seventh day: “On the seventh day God rested from all his work.” 5 But in the other passage God said, “They will never enter my place of rest .” 6 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. 7 So God set another time for entering his rest , and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.” 8 Now if Joshua had succeeded in giving them this rest , God would not have spoken about another day of rest still to come. 9 So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God. 10 For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. 11 So let us do our best to enter that rest . But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall. 12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.
‘Christ Is Our High Priest’
14 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Jesus gives us rest when we come to him and obey him. We are advised to do our best to enter into his rest. We are to come boldly to his throne to receive both grace and mercy as we find correction in his word. The passage warns us not to miss out on God’s promised rest (this rest that has been ready since the word began), and is still ready for us today! Both Moses & Joshua’s follower’s failed to find this rest because the people hardened their hearts and disobeyed God. Then the passage advises us live out our Biblical call (allowing his word to work in and thru us, and to to approach Jesus, to his throne of grace, accepting his mercy and help. I think we have to approach the throne to find this rest. This next passage helps us see how we can allow his word “to work in and thru us”.
NIV 2 Tim 3;12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking , correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
As we seek God his Word and Holy Spirit train us in righteousness, teaching, rebuking , correcting us equipping us for every Good work. Here is another passage that explains why the people of Israel missed out on the promise of rest.
NLT Heb 12;25 Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven! 26 When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” 27 This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain. 28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. 29 For our God is a devouring fire.
First we are told to listen to the One who is speaking to us from Heaven, We had better be listening to the Holy Spirit! Then we are advised to be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. This passage shows us who is speaking to us from Heaven, the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit
NLT John 14; 15 “If you love me, obey my commandments.16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth . The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. 18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. 19 Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. 20 When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
Since we know Jesus was resurrected, we know the promise in vs 20 is available to us. Jesus’ followers know that Jesus is in his Father, and that they are in Jesus, and that Jesus is in them! The promise of the transformed life, of becoming a new creation in Christ Jesus, of overcoming sin and our selfish desires simply by seeking and following the Holy Spirit are ours! So let’s take anohter look at how are we to enter into this promised rest. We need to follow Mary’s example, first seeking the Kingdom of God.
Jesus Visits Martha and Mary
NLT Luke 10;38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed them into her home. 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. 40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” 41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha , you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Martha was trapped in the woldly struggles of this life. She was living like a resident of earth, not a resident of heaven. She was first taking care of the worldly details. Mary had her eyes on heaven, on the spiritual things. Jesus is telling Martha that he wants our eyes on Spiritual things first, that he want our eyes on him.
NIV Mat 6;31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Jesus wants us to seek first the Kingdom of Heaven, not worrying about food clothing – not worrying about the needs of this world until have sought and heard his guidance, until we have been filled with his Spirit, until we have rested in him.
Help us to to seek you first, to rest in you, to humbly and thankfully trust in your almighty power you eternal divine nature and to follow you.