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…
…for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their (the Israelites’) example of disobedience.
For the word of God is alive 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. (Hebrews 4:1, 10-12 NIV)
Resting feels unnatural, but so needed. I’m in constant go-mode, at least internally. My body doesn’t always follow through, but my mind is actively engaging swarms of thoughts, projects, and responsibilities.
Does this sound familiar?
When I look at these verses in Hebrews, I’m overwhelmed by the depth of knowledge that Paul is tying together around this concept of Sabbath rest.
The Sabbath is more that just God resting from Creation on the 7th day. It’s about His promise to lead His people into rest.
If we look back at the story of Moses leading the Israelites out from Egypt and into the Promised Land, we see countless examples of the people doubting God’s promises to provide, forgetting His faithfulness, and ultimately missing out on the Promised Land and instead wandering in the desert where they meet with death instead of Life!
Since God’s promise of rest is still available to us, His people, today, Paul is warning us not to miss out on it!
Why choose a life of striving on our own strength, consumed by our problems and circumstances, when He’s promised to lead us beside still waters, to give us rest from our burdens, and Life Abundant? It seems like a silly, fruitless choice when offered such freely given, beautiful gifts through Jesus Christ.
Yet, time and again, we still choose to wander…weak, weary, burdened…how this must break our Father’s heart!
Did you notice the wording in verse 10 above? Anyone who enters God’s rest, rests from their works…
This is a powerful concept.
When we enter God’s rest, our own works, our selfish-motivations that lead to death, are put to rest.
This is where our faith comes alive! Freely, we can breathe in peace, minister our callings in strength, walk in victory…
I find it interesting that verse 12, which seems to be a different topic entirely, follows right after these verses about rest. It’s there for a reason!
In applying this wisdom of entering God’s rest, it’s important to highlight the divine, active power of God’s Word. We won’t find God’s rest if we aren’t intentionally entering into His Word, nourishing our hearts with His presence, applying His truth to our daily lives.
This is where the transformation takes place. This is where rest is found. It’s no longer about us and what we can do with our days. It’s about God – how much He loves us, what He has done since the beginning of time, and what He can do right now in this very moment with our lives.
Let’s choose rest, Friends. Intentionally. It’s been promised and freely offered. It’s where we are meant to be!