“Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.” Hebrews 4:1
Our “therefore” here refers to the Israelites unbelief being the reason they did not enter into the Promised Land. We may not physically have the promised land in front of us but we do have the opportunity to enter into his rest no matter what is going on around and with us. But we can also allow our unbelief to cause us to fail to reach it. I see it this way, rest is a gift from God that He has been trying to give us since the beginning of time. Yet we seem to have such a hard time grasping and living in His rest. When God created the world on the seventh day He rested. He tried to give the Israelites rest as He wanted to lead them right into the Promised Land, yet they fell short of it. Psalm 46:10 tells us to “Be still, and know that I am God.” Jesus said in Matthew 11:29 “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.” God does not desire for us to live this life filled with angst and despair and anxiety. But He desires for us to enter into His rest. We can only do that by placing all of our trust in Him.
So how do we live in the posture of this day and time and enter into the posture of His rest? The world is surely not a very restful place these days. But think on the Israelites, packing up their belongings and their families to set out for the Promised Land. They did it quickly. They left the only homes they knew but they were also supposed to be leaving a burdensome lifestyle behind. They were to keep their eyes on the prize, on the Promised Land on what God had promised to deliver them to not just what he was delivering them from. Why did they not get to see it?
“For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.” Hebrews 4:2
They were not united in their faith. That’s why they didn’t get to enter that rest. And they lived out the rest of their years falling in the wilderness.
“Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.” Hebrews 4:11
I don’t know about you but this puts a whole new twist on my need to have faith and to live and walk by my faith that He holds the keys to my future and all the things that are on my heart and mind. I want to enter into His rest that he can handle whatever concerns me. I know based on past experiences that He can, but I guess in some ways I did not think of my anxiety, on whether He’s got this one, as disobedience. This next verse falls under my favorite category. But I can say that this is probably the first time I have ever studied it in context of the entire chapter. Because of studying the entire context I am going to include the next verse as well.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:12-13
This Word is what will bring us into His rest. This Word can do surgery of the heart like nothing else. It will lay bare the intentions of the heart. Nothing or no one is hidden from this Word. We can put our trust and our faith into this Word and into the power that lies within it. And we can let that power lead us into His rest. Through this Word we know Jesus our great high priest.
“Since then we have a great high priest who passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16
No matter what is on your heart and your mind today, come to the throne of grace with confidence, receive His mercy, find grace and he will help you through whatever it is. And you will be able to enter into His rest!