Have You Entered Into Rest?
Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, "TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME, AS IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS, WHERE YOUR FATHERS TRIED ME BY TESTING ME, AND SAW MY WORKS FOR FORTY YEARS, "THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THIS GENERATION, AND SAID, 'THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART, AND THEY DID NOT KNOW MY WAY'; AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, 'THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.'" Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:7-13)
God delivered the Israelites out of captivity, yet they were still captive in their hearts because they chose not to believe the promises of God and enter into that rest.
This Scripture is packed with things we are told to do. If you look at the end of verse 13, it says do not be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. What does that mean? How do we do this? Let's look at another Scripture:
That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. (Ephesians 4:22-24)
So basically, if we choose to turn away from what we know to be truth, and start believing that what God wrote in His Word with all of His promises are actually truth, then we can rest and not toil over worry and fear and anxiety. There are so many times in the Bible that God told us yes, there would be trials and sufferings, but that He would make sure that what the enemy has stolen he would have to pay back with interest! It is here that we must choose to make a decision to believe God or not. If He says it in His Word, then He will do it, right?
One of the biggest mistakes that we make it choosing to look at our circumstance as the answer of what is going to happen. What is going on here, is that there is a battle in the unseen spirit realm that will bring victory. Yet the enemy has dominion on the earth to make things appear hopeless and desolate. We cannot afford to believe what we are seeing! We have to choose to trust in the promises of God and decree and call forth the promises! This is where we enter into rest.
The Hebrew word for rest is nuwach. It means to rest, to remain, be quiet; a complete envelopment and thus permeation. God seeks a relationship with us where He can completely envelop and permeate every area of our lives, where He can tabernacle, remain and be quiet upon us (1 Cor. 3:16). This is the union with Holy Spirit, Jesus and the Father. Jesus taught this when He was on this earth. As a man, Jesus went to the Father. Then He promised to send us the Holy Spirit to tabernacle, dwell within us (John 14:16-17). So as we can see here, rest is not just resting on the Sabbath (one day of the week), it is in God.
When our hearts have truly entered into God's rest, we live in union with Jesus the same way He lived in union with the Father. Christ's thought-life was completely enveloped and thus permeated with the presence of God. It is truly a life of faith.
Take time every day and spend time on God's Word, and then rest in Him to reveal the truths about what you just read. When you hear His voice and read His Word, ask Him to help you to believe that which you are hearing and reading. He is faithful to delight in you and your desire for more relationship with Him, because we are His children, and He wants to bestow the goodness that He has for us!
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ. If indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. (Romans 8:16-17)