Rest that only God can offer!
I have been studying in the book of Hebrews and spent much time on chapters 3 and 4... The idea of God’s rest intrigued me as that is precisely what I have been yearning for and I can only guess that it is the same for many others.
My past has caused me to seek such rest. I had previously not felt the need of such rest as I considered myself to be OK!
I asked myself “rest from what?.” It seemed so simple and yet so complicated. My sinful nature wrestled against the words streaming in to my mind.
From physical labour
From selfish focus
From salvation by works
I contemplated these three as they have had the biggest impact in my life. I considered and meditated upon the impact of these three items concerning rest and drew the following conclusions;
Hebrews 3:18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?
3:19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
It is unbelief that shuts me out of God’s rest.... but how is that????
When I consider physical work, I work to provide for perceived needs; needs of the family, personal needs, etc. I stress “perceived” needs as the needs of each individual will change depending on many variables but if we break it down to just one.... we have a need of our Father!!!!
So I work to provide these perceived needs which will vary depending ultimately on my connection with God. I say this because I am writing this with myself in mind. If you do not feel spoken to, it is because your connection with God is better than mine J. If my connection with God is healthy then my needs are in tune with His will and according to His promises as outlined in scripture (Isaiah 33:15,16; Joshua1:5,7) I find then that my hours of work are not as strenuous as when my connection with God is unhealthy. This is because my needs change for two reasons;
1. Because His promises are only believed when my connection is healthy
2. Because my perceived needs become selfish when my connection is poor.
When unbelief and selfishness exist, my “needs” are such that they will cause me to work longer hours to provide for the skewed perception of my needs. I now find myself wanting things which are not important in this life and so I have to work harder to attain them. Working harder causes me to have yet less time with God which creates a downward spiral that Satan feeds to ensure my destruction.
The selfish focus that results from an unhealthy connection with God causes me to consider all things in my life in relation to self rather than God or others (as the ten commandments are broken also into those two)
This now ties into the third focus that I contemplated which is that of salvation by works. I remember working so hard that My time with God was almost non existent and yet I was taking bible studies etc. I would arrive at church seeking something of a blessing and struggling to dispel the many thoughts of work from my mind. I would dress in a manner that was expected of a Christian. I would behave in a manner that was expected of a Christian. The congregation as a whole placed me on a pedestal because of what they saw. I now know that Christ was speaking about people like me when he inspired the writing of 2Timothy 3:5.
This kind of existence results from a poor connection with God. The only answer I can suggest when one is in this circumstance is to look beyond all the visual things that distract and do what seems insane!!!!! Let go and let God... I write this with tears as I know that is still my wrestle.
The model Christian in church is often in danger of the greatest fall if the focus is not on God. I found that my actions were looked upon by others as correct and so I became satisfied with my walk based on the comments of others. I perceived my connection with God to be healthy because of what others said and not what was actually in my life. (the ME I could see behind closed doors). So I worked harder to keep up appearances and look right so that the crowd was pleased, not considering how my worship to God would have caused my heavenly Father immeasurable suffering.
As I sit here writing this blog, I own practically nothing. I have very few clothes and generally carry nothing but water as the Lord sees fit to provide for me every necessary meal. However, I have never been as content as I am right now. There is one thing I miss more than anything right now..... it is the fellowship of true believers.
May God grant me the rest and may I grasp that promise not doubting...
Here is a sampling of more from Brother Ruben.
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