Hebrews 4:11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no-one will fall by following their example of disobedience.
How like the Lord to have this verse that fits in so beautifully with the message He’s already given me for this morning! I’ll be preaching on “Progressive Salvation,” talking about how we are to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12) We are called to be active participants in our relationship with God and not simply passive receptors, even though the power comes from Him. He even works in us to create the desire to do what is right and be obedient to Him, (Philippians 2:13) but we have to be receptive of that and choose to follow through on the good impulses He gives us. I’ve always thought it was interesting that we are exhorted to “strive to enter into rest,” and have preached on it several times, because striving would seem to be the antithesis of rest. However, going back to what I wrote yesterday, that’s looking at the situation with too few dimensions; it’s not that simplistic. God always provides everything we need to do everything He asks of us, but we are required to trust Him in it, to receive His supply and put it to use. If we will do that we will indeed enter into His rest, because we will stop trying to do things our way but will let His Spirit carry us along.
This is something I am continuing to grow in, because human words cannot explain it fully. It is indeed like trying to describe multi-dimensional space in 2-dimensional terms! Even as I grow in my own understanding I encounter problems in trying to explain it all to others. Just last night I learned that in a recent incident when I was frustrated at my own ignorance and inability, someone who was with me thought I was mad at them. That’s the same sort of thing. We all see and “understand” things in our own context and from our own perspective, when that is generally inadequate and often completely wrong. We see things as having to work our buns off and God says the work is done, so rest. I’ve still got a way to go to appropriate that fully!
Father, I still remember when You told me to rest, relax, and rejoice. I’ve quoted that a lot since then, but I’m still far from 100% at it. Thank You for not giving up on me. Help me likewise not give up on others, but rather extend to them the grace You have poured out on me, so that together we may grow to be the children that You desire, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!