Saturday, June 15, 2019

Resting in God to Enter the Secret Place

Resting in God

Rest seems to be an important topic in the New Testament: it is mentioned more than 75 times. I have found resting in God to be one of the most challenging parts of my Christian walk, but is crucial if we are to visit the Lord face to face in the Secret Place. I’m probably not alone in these difficulties because they are mentioned in the Bible:
“Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest...” (Hebrews 4:11 AKJV)
“Resting in God” sounds like it should be easy to do. Just sit back and relax. Yet here in Hebrews, it seems that it may be a challenge to do. Laboring to enter rest sounds like an oxymoron: the two things seem to contradict each other. This struggle begs us to ask:
  • What is resting in God?
  • What are the benefits of resting?
  • What can keep us from resting? 
We know rest is important. We know it can be hard to do. Let’s find the answers to these questions in the Word of God.

RESTING IN GOD

God is so good to us. Like a good father, He only tells us what to do because it will benefit us. Before we knew:

  • that shellfish have heavy metals in them; God told us not to eat them (Leviticus 11:12)
  • about germs; God told us to wash our hands (Matthew 12:2)
  • about sexually transmitted disease; God told us to have only one partner (Exodus 20:14)

Science eventually caught up to what God told us was best. Now scientists have discovered that taking a day of rest leads to a longer, healthier life. (November, 2005 National Geographic “The Secrets of Long Life” by Dan Buettner) In the Word of God, this is called the Shabbat or Sabbath: it is the day of rest which is one of the Ten Commandments.

This is a full day of rest, but in Hebrews, it is talking about a lifestyle of rest. If we look more closely at the chapter where rest is discussed, we find what type of rest the author is speaking of:
“For he that is entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from His.” (Hebrews 4:10) 
To rest is to stop our work and focus on what God wants us to do. It sounds easy enough, but when life gets busy and there are things that need to be done, it can be hard to stop and take time to focus on God. Even if we are working for God, we must learn to rest in Him. Our Lord told us about rest:
Take my yoke on you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. (Matthew 11:29)
When we take Jesus as Lord, we are calling Him, Master. We become willing bond-servants. (Romans 1:1) This means it is no longer our will or our lives, but His. This is why we must stop our work and rest in Him. It is more about the state of our minds than physical rest, although physically resting is part of it.
… and you shall find rest to your souls. (Matthew 11:29)
Our soul is our mind, will, and emotions. We know we are resting when our souls are at peace. A sure sign of not resting is:
  • Feeling pressure to complete something quickly
  • Being stressed because work needs to be done
  • Worrying that things will not be done on time
When we are doing these things, it is the opposite of rest. If we feel that the success of the situation depends upon us, our actions, we are not resting in His strength. We are not relying on (resting on) the fact that:
  • this is the job the Lord has assigned us, it is His work
  • it is through His strength that the job is completed
The Word of God shows us how to do this in very poetic language:
"But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me." (Psalms 131:2)
It is up to us to put our soul in its place. How do we do this? By feeding on the “milk” of the Word of God until our spirits are strong enough to dominate our soul:
like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation… (1 Peter 2:2)
I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for till now you were not able to bear it, neither yet now are you able. (1 Corinthians 3:2)
When we study the Bible, the simple things of God, this is milk. In order to quiet our souls we must have enough milk that we can move onto the meat of the Word - the strong things of God. This is when we learn to rest in God. Not to cease from effort, but to rely upon our Lord to get things done. If you are like me, your mind battles with you:
  • What if things are late? 
  • What If a door closes and we miss an opportunity?
It has taken me fifteen years of struggle to learn:
  • When a door closes: then that was not a path we were to take. 
  • God is never late, if we are delayed, then He has a purpose in it.
Everytime I have rushed to complete a project, there had been important things I had to add later. When we pound on a gate to get to a certain “necessary spot,” the ground turns to quicksand and nothing works out. Our faith, our trust, must be in God and what He can do. Not in our own efforts. We must learn to rest in Him.

BENEFITS OF RESTING

And he said, My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest. (Exodus 33:14) 
One of the best things about resting is that we remain in God’s presence! He has created us for a purpose:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
When we are listening to Him, walking in His purpose for our life, we are doing His work. God is always in the same place, that is where His work is and where He wants us to be. If we are doing our own work, we are moving away from Him.

When we are walking with the Lord, doing his work, He is our Shepherd, our Leader. Psalms twenty-three shows so many benefits to having Him as our Shepherd. Let’s look at this one verse at a time:
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
First we must learn to obey and stay close to our Shepard. This means resting in Him.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside the still waters.
 Green pastures are provision from God. Still waters are the Holy Spirit: receiving from Him.
He restores my soul: he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Our soul is our mind, will and emotions. These are refreshed with the Lord. We receive guidance about what is right (righteousness) when we are heeding the Shepherd.
Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.
Walking with God doesn’t mean everything will be wonderful. But when bad things do happen (the valley of the shadow of death) then His authority (rod) and His strength (staff) will help us through it.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies: you anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.
Even when people are against you, the Lord will provide for you. Anointing the head was a custom for those who are healed. A cup running over means we will have more than enough.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.  (Psalm 23rd)
When we remain steadfast, God’s goodness will eventually show up. Dwelling in the house of the Lord means in His presence and even alludes to entering God’s house which would be the Secret Place in Heaven!

These are pretty powerful benefits. If we want to receive them, we must learn to rest in the Lord and trust that He is a good Shepherd.

KEPT FROM REST

“Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as [happened] in the rebellion…(Hebrews 3:7) 
Simply put, rebellion can keep us from entering into God’s rest. We often think of rebellion as violating the Ten Commandments. If we are not drinking, sleeping around, or doing drugs, we feel that we are doing okay. Let’s keep reading and find out how God defines rebellion:
They always err and are led astray in their hearts, and they have not perceived or recognized My ways and become progressively better and more experimentally and intimately acquainted with them. Accordingly, I swore in My wrath and indignation, They shall not enter into My rest.” (Hebrews 3:9-11)
There are three things clearly define rebellion:

It begins with your heart - your inner being. What do you desire more, things of this world or things of God? Are you willing to invest your time in God?

  • We must take time to learn more about God’s ways. This isn’t a once a week, sit for an hour thing. We must take time to feed our spirits and learn more about the Kingdom of God.
  • We need to understand what we are learning by implementing it.
When we take Jesus as Lord, we should be learning the ways of our Lord and doing them! If we are not, then we are in rebellion against the Kingdom we have pledged ourselves to. If we are not doing this then we will not be able to enter the rest of God.
Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. (Hebrews 4:6 & 11)
We must work to enter the rest. This means taking time to learn more about God and His ways. If we don’t do that, we run the risk of falling into unbelief and moving away from God!

Don’t risk losing your connection with God. Take time to learn more about Him. The Lord has had us create a FREE Courts of Heaven Academy to help start His people on the path to learn His ways.

CLICK HERE to find how to enroll in the Academy.

After the Tea & Coffee meeting, several people gave first-hand accounts of who and what they saw in the Secret Place. Here is the video:



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