By Kathi Pelton
There is a rest that is available for all of God’s people. It is a rest that brings peace, joy and stability through all of life’s seasons. Even in trials we have rest available that provides strength and endurance. Amid battles, rest gives us hope and confidence. And in seeking direction rest gives us assurance that we will be kept on the right path— the path of life.
Rest comes as we BELIEVE! We enter into His rest as we believe in Christ’s finished work on the cross. Unbelief will take us from the rest provided by His finished (and complete) work on the cross to a place of having to strive, reach, and labor for what was already freely provided.
“So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest.” Hebrews 3:19
Believing is the pathway that leads us into obedience and the fear of the Lord. It brings us into the “blessed assurance” of salvation, trust, blessings, forgiveness and the fulfillment of promises. Unbelief is like a poison that is drank— bringing death rather than abundant life. It is often introduced in very small portions that come as “whys” or mere question that cause the believe to wonder if it was truly finished or if Christ needs our help. But, with each sip of the poison, the believer becomes more and more intoxicated with doubt and unbelief. They soon loose the rest and risk dying in the wilderness rather than obtaining their promise.
We must fully believe in Christ’s finished work upon the cross. We no longer have to earn forgiveness or salvation— it is freely provided for us. He fulfilled every law and every commandment. He defeated every enemy, even death.
“Having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” Colossians 2:15
As we believe this, we enter into what has already been established and finished— victory! This truth gives us rest.
Hebrews 4:11 says,
“Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience”
Strive to BELIEVE! Push past the temptation to sip the poison of unbelief or questioning His complete and finished work. When you entertain condemnation or trying to earn forgiveness, salvation or freedom, you are sipping the poison of unbelief. You are saying, “It was not finished so I need to help earn my salvation.” This is why rest is not found for so many people today.
We must be careful to not move from walking in the light of His grace and salvation to trying to light our own lamps to find another way. Doing this causes us to depart from the rest provided by His finished work. People then enter into striving for something that we can never obtain through works or our own ways.
Isaiah 50:11 warns us about the result of walking in our own light,
“But watch out, you who live in your own light and warm yourselves by your own fires. This is the reward you will receive from me: You will soon fall down in great torment.”
We must extinguish every torch that is not the finished work of Christ— for it is a false light. For the light of any other way (torch) brings torment. The person who once believed but continues to walk by the light of their own ways and in the warmth of its deception, risks eternal torment. But the good news is that there is rest for those who believe. That is all you have to do and everything else will begin to fall into place. Our faith and believe is the doorway of hope— which gives us rest.
If you have struggled with belief, with fear, with condemnation, with control or trying to find your own way— if you have lost rest, merely repent and return to the belief in Christ’s finished work on the cross. This will usher you back into the abundant life promised in John 10:10.
Striving for anything other than to enter into His rest (strive to believe) is wasted. When Jesus said, “It is finished.” It was and is truly and completely finished.
Jonathan Edwards once said,
“Though millions of sacrifices had been offered; yet nothing was done to purchase redemption before Christ’s incarnation… so nothing was done after His resurrection, to purchase redemption for men. Nor will there be anything more done to all eternity.”
We live because He died for our freedom. We are free because He suffered and overcame every temptation. And now we rest in the confident assurance of His finished work forevermore. There is no defeat for those who BELIEVE!
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