That’s a bit of an oxymoron..isn’t it? Or is it?
REST is a concept that escapes most of God’s kids, including me! It is one of the few places, if not the only place, where the Lord instructs us to “labor” to enter into His Rest! However, we get the meaning of that Scripture so misconstrued that most of us end up striving and stressing and losing our focus on Him! The author of the Book written to the Hebrews explains that kind of REST this way in verses 9-11:
“There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”
Notice that he said “for those who enter GOD’S REST – ALSO CEASE FROM THEIR OWN WORKS…JUST AS GOD CEASED FROM HIS!
BADDAH BING! There it is! The enemy does such a good job at helping us miss this key point of REST!
In order to LABOR TO REST – STOP WORKING AT IT!
Before I share Joseph Prince’s teaching on this, lemme give you an application that might help you a little bit:
Most of us don’t have to strive or struggle to “believe” in the law of gravity, do we? We know that there is a gravitational pull that holds the sun, moon, and stars in place, and I don’t think I know of anyone who is stressing or striving to make sure that they stay there, do you?
How about the chair you are sitting on right now (if you are). Did you strive or stress over whether of not it would hold you up when you sat down on it? I doubt it! Most of us just believe that it will, and we sit down without giving it a thought and REST!
REST is the by-product of faith. And what is Faith?
“NOW FAITH IS…the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not yet seen.” Heb. 11:1
Notice faith is NOW. Five minutes from now….FAITH IS, and so on. It is substance of hoped for things, and tangible evidence of things you are desiring and praying to see come to pass. Everything you see now in the natural realm once existed in the supernatural realm. Most of it God spoke into existence, and much of it came to pass through the ongoing declaration of His people who’ve been created in the Image of God and given the power and authority to decree a thing that is shall come to pass, and the Light of God’s favor shall be upon it. (Job 22:27,28)
SHALL, by the way, is a legal term that means it will, without a doubt, absolutely come to pass!
Therefore, according to all the above, THAT MEANS that those things that you are hoping to see become substance or reality, and the things you are believing to see that have not yet happened WILL COME TO PASS AND BECOME REALITY ONE DAY: You can take it to the bank and REST WHILE YOU WAIT BECAUSE YOU BELIEVE! Believe Who? BELIEVE HIM!
Resting and Believing as you wait on Him and Seek His answers is your reward!……”For without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as an eagle. They shall run and not grow weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Waiting is another form of resting. It also doesn’t mean inactivity. We are to occupy until the Lord gives us the “go-ahead”. You could almost think of it as a maître d’ who is a ready and willing servant to execute the desires of the One he is waiting on.
It is believing God and taking Him at His Word, knowing and trusting that He will do what He said He will do! When the bank promises to pay you 3.5% interest on your savings account, all you do is sit back and WAIT for the dividend to show up in your account at the end of the month while RESTING in the assurance that the bank will do what they said they would do. Surely, if we can trust the bank to keep their promise, we can trust God to keep His, and REST IN BELIEVING HIM!
In fact, in Psalm 46:10 where it says “Be still, and know that I am God:”, the expanded definition of that from the original text means “to hang loose, hang out, relax and release as one who sits in a chair, reclines, and falls asleep; rests.” (that’s a rough paraphrase from memory) I chose the picture of the baby in the red stripes who is “hanging out on his daddy’s arms” for that reason as a demonstration of “resting in the Father’s promises”! It is a beautiful picture of the unforced rhythms of grace of which the Lord Jesus spoke:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)
Here’s a little more expounding on this topic by one of our favorite mentors – Joseph Prince! I haven’t even read his yet, so I’m going to go do that now along with y’all!
Grace & Peace,
If you’ve ever felt—or if you’re currently feeling—tired, burdened, stressed, or anxious, I want to share with you a truth that will set you free.
It is a truth about God’s rest.
Beloved child of God, you no longer have to go through life struggling and striving in your own strength. You don’t have to “make things happen” by your own ability, and you weren’t created to fight your battles with your own resources.
You have a good God who has all the resources of the universe at His fingers. And because of our Lord Jesus’ redeeming work on the cross for you, He is more than willing and able to bring them to bear on your behalf.
The key to accessing all of God’s resources is to believe on Christ and all that He has accomplished for you at the cross, and to rest. Because…
When you rest, God goes to
work on your behalf!
This is such an important truth. As you learn to receive and rest in the finished work of Jesus, you will find the different areas in your life changing…
Your physical health
Your emotional well-being
Your marriage and family
All of these areas of your life are blessed when you are at rest and receiving the benefits that flow as a result of Christ’s finished work in your life.
We see this principle in action in the lovely Bible story of Ruth. As an impoverished widow in a foreign land without any connections, the odds were stacked against Ruth. But her mother-in-law Naomi’s advice to her in Ruth 3:18 is also a revelation for believers today.
Then she said, “Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will turn out; for the man will not rest until he has concluded the matter this day” (emphasis mine).
I have always taught that Boaz in this story is a picture of our Lord Jesus. Jesus is our heavenly Boaz, Who is both able and willing to redeem us from our unfortunate situations in life. And He did so at the cross through the sacrifice of His own life.
Today, our Lord wants us to rest in His finished work. He said it this way in Matthew 11:28:
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (emphasis added).
What an incredible promise! Jesus has declared that He will personally give us rest, and when Jesus promises to give us something, all that is left for us to do is to receive His good gift.
Now, sometimes when people hear the word “rest”, they assume that means doing nothing. They think, Pastor Prince, I am a busy person. How can I rest when there is so much that needs to be accomplished?
Now, when I say “rest”, in no way am I saying “do nothing”.
Bible rest is not about inactivity or being lazy. Bible rest is an inward attitude, one of trust and reliance on the Lord Jesus. Bible rest is, in essence, telling the Lord, “I believe that Your finished work is more than enough for me and whatever needs I have today.”
And when you look to Jesus as your source,
you can be outwardly productive and
inwardly at rest.
My friend, when you catch a revelation of God’s heart for you—to live a life at rest, free from striving and struggling—and how the Lord’s finished work is more than enough for all your needs, you’ll experience a freedom and a peace that passes understanding.
Every victory you will ever need in life comes by believing and resting in Christ’s finished work.
That healing you desire…paid for by Jesus’ stripes
(1 Peter 2:24).
The provision you need… supplied to you in Christ (Philippians 4:19).
That breakthrough you’ve labored for… accomplished on your behalf (Romans 8:37).
So stop trying to make things happen in your own strength. Whatever you need, whatever you are believing for today—look to Jesus. He has already made the way.
The greatest blessing you could ever have is salvation, and yet you could not have achieved salvation by your performance or self-effort. Beloved, how much more would you be able to receive from God when you simply believe and rest?
Beloved, remember: God doesn’t want you to go through life frustrated, worried, and exhausted. Everything you need…Jesus has already made a way.
Victory, health, provision, favor, wisdom, long life—it’s all yours in Christ today. You don’t have to work for it. You don’t have to earn it. Simply rest and receive today.
Resting in Christ,