I AM the God of Rest for your souls Heb 4:1-13

Creation and Salvation are both supernatural works of God

Just as God entered his rest when he finished creation, so too, he finished his work of

Do your fears keep you in the desert?

salvation in the death of Christ.  In essence he said “It is finished” in both regards.  There will be one more time when he says it is finished and that will be when this age ends and he brings mankind to live with him in heaven forever more.  Revelation 21:6 “He said to me: ‘it is done.  I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.  To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life…’  Just as God is the creator and finisher of this universe, so too, he is the author and perfector of our salvation and faith.  In neither case is this process naturalistic where we can do anything except believe his word on the subject.

Hebrews Ch 4

Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2 For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,

“So I declared on oath in my anger,  ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”

And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his work.5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”

6 It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. 7 Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before:

Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”

8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.

12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

 Who are you Lord?

I AM the God who finishes what I start.  I created the universe and finished it on the 6th day and rested on the 7th Impossible for man, but not for me.  I started saving man in the Garden of Eden and finished it in Christ.  Impossible for man, but not for me.  I started saving Israel from Egypt and finished by taking them into the Promised Land.  Also impossible for man, but not for me.  Remember when I started your faith?  I promise that I will finish it when you breathe your last and I see you in heaven one day.  Impossible for man but not for me.  Since I always finish what I start, why do you not believe and so rest in my promise and faithfulness?  Because, of your nature to not allow others to do things for you.  Your sense of responsibility is too strong.  Like the saying goes, “If you want something done right you have to do it yourself”.  This humanistic, naturalistic, materialistic mentality gets in the way of my working on your behalf.

It was supposed to be too hard for them

When things got too hard for the children of Israel, they turned back in the day of battle.  It was supposed to be too hard for them, life is meant to be too hard for you too.  They were supposed to let me win the battle for them and through them.  Canaan was not to be taken by physical force alone.  However, they would not rest and let me do the fighting for them.  They chose not to enter because of the difficulties of the Promised Land with all the giants in the land, secure in their fortified cities.  Because they thought it was just too hard to take.  Unlike Joshua and Caleb, they forgot to consider that nothing is too hard for me.  They hardened their hearts against me so that they refused to enter into my promised rest in Canaan.  For that reason I sent them back into the desert to die in their unbelief.  Nothing is impossible for me, because I don’t work with conventionally rather supernaturally.

The Land of Canaan was humanly impossible to conquer. 

What hardship are you going through these days?  Realize that they are represented by the impossibility of entering the land of Canaan in your own strength.  It is important to realize that the ten spies brought back an accurate report that the Land of Canaan is humanly impossible to conquer.  But God wants to work on your behalf.  Just like Canaan, heaven is impossible to attain on your own merit and good deeds as well.  God wants to slay the giants which you are facing.  He wants to reward your faith with success.  There will be times where you fail just like they failed – miserably.  We all fail.  We are supposed to fail in our own strength because it reminds us that we need God’s working on our behalf.  And that God is faithful to forgive us over and over and raise us up again until he takes us home ultimately in the end.

 The Gospel will be of no value to you – If…

The Gospel will be of no value to you if you try to establish merit with God by self improvement.  It will be of no value to you if you don’t realize that you cannot earn your way to heaven.  It will be of no value if you don’t let him save you by his death on the cross.  If you add anything to his finished work on your behalf, you are choosing not to avail it.  You are insulting God’s free grace by your inadequate efforts.  And just like the children of Israel who, when Moses turned them away from Canaan to go back into the desert, took up arms to force their way to take the Promised Land; failed miserably.   Your efforts to add anything to his finished work on the cross will be rejected too and you will die in the desert of your sin.

Salvation is simply letting Christ do for you what you cannot do (but keep trying anyway) for yourself.  “Just as you have received Christ, so walk in him.”  By faith.  Your responsibility is to believe and let God change your thinking and lifestyle as a result – according to his word.

More to come,

Steve

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About strostrud

Missionary with New Tribes Mission since 1989
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