Rest. It’s been the theme of the last two sermons I’ve preached and it’s the very thing that God is teaching me personally how to do better. Yes that’s right, God wants you to learn how to rest better. He wants your best rest.
We often quote Matthew 11:28-30, but we quite often we have a hard time applying it, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
What keeps us from resting? We don’t reply to the invitation from our Lord to “come” and instead we insist on doing the work and carrying the load ourselves. We fall into the trap of wanting to please others instead of taking pleasure and resting in Him. God knows how to rest and wants to show you how to rest. Resting is much more than propping your feet up and watching a Sunday afternoon football game. In fact in Hebrews chapter 3 God shows us what keeps people from resting and in chapter 4 tells us how we can enter His rest.
Here is what we can learn from the mistakes the children of Israel made in Hebrews chapter 3:
- They were spiritually deaf. When we are truly resting we can hear the voice of God. John said that His sheep hear His voice. What is God saying to you? Cut out the noise and listen.
- They were desensitized because they allowed their hearts to become hard . When we are truly resting we are not wrestling with the flesh or contending with the things that contaminate our hearts. If you have unsettled issues such as unresolved conflict, unforgiveness and bitterness you will never truly enter the rest God has provided. The children of Israel had unmet expectations that caused them to grumble and complain and because of it they never experienced rest.
- They were disobedient. When you are desensitized you will do things you never thought you would do. There is no rest in disobedience only disappointment.
- They were denied. The children of Israel were deprived entering the promise land because of their unbelief. God desired to take his people beyond the Jordan, but they couldn’t see beyond their doubt.
To summarize Hebrews 4; to truly give God your best rest you have to believe 100% in what He is speaking to you TODAY.
Hebrews 4:7 - ”Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
The message your hearing from God today must be mixed with faith so that you can completely rest. If your not trusting His word, I can guarantee your not resting well. You won’t have to worry about tomorrow if you will totally trust His voice today. The best rest you can give God is believing what He says and resting in what He’s already done.
Deuteronomy 5:15 - Remember that you were once slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out with amazing power and mighty deeds. That is why the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.
The reason God commanded us to rest is so that we never forget that He gave His best for us and to know that it doesn’t get any better than what He’s already done.