WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26
“As I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’”
Hebrews 3:11 ESV
A HEART TO LISTEN GETS TO REST
A father had three very active boys. One summer evening, he was playing cops and robbers in the backyard after dinner. One of the boys “shot” his father and yelled, “Bang! You’re dead!” He slumped to the ground and when he didn’t get up right away, a neighbor ran over to see if he had been hurt in the fall. When the neighbor bent over, the overworked father opened one eye and said, “Shhh. Don’t give me away. It’s the only chance I’ve had to rest all day.”
The children of Israel failed to listen to God and as a result they were not permitted to enter into God’s “rest”. A careful observation of the term “rest” in Hebrews 3-4 indicates that it is used in at least three or four different senses: (1) the land of Canaan (Hebrews 3:7-19), (2) salvation as rest (Hebrews 4:1, 3, 8, 9), (3) God’s rest at the completion of creation (Hebrews 4:4), (4) heaven, the Christian’s ultimate rest (Hebrews 4:10, 11). Pastor John MacArthur said, “rest means no more self-effort as far as salvation is concerned. It means the end of trying to please God by our feeble, fleshly works. God’s perfect rest is a rest in free grace.”
The person who ultimately rejects God’s offer of salvation by grace through His Son will not experience the eternal rest of heaven. The individual who fails to listen to God’s direction in their daily decisions will fail to experience daily rest in God’s grace.
In Pastor Mike’s recent podcast with Tim Elmore, Tim pointed out that one of the greatest challenges facing this younger generation is anxiety. Their anxiety is at an all-time high for their age group. One of the keys to lower anxiety about life and eternity is knowing, listening to and believing God. What is currently giving you the most anxiety? Can you think of any Bible verses that speak to that anxiety? What do you know about the character of God that speaks to the anxiety you are experiencing? God is the rest giver. Ask Him to give you rest.
“The ability to calm your soul and wait before God is one of the most difficult things in the Christian life. Our old nature is restless…the world around us is frantically in a hurry. But a restless heart usually leads to a reckless life.” (Warren Wiersbe)