Enter into My Rest

Forty years I loathed that generation; I said: “This people’s heart goes astray; they do not know my ways.” Therefore I swore in my anger: “They shall never enter my rest.” –Psalm 95:10-11

Enter into My RestEvery day, as I read Psalm 95 to begin the divine office, the phrase, “enter into my rest” seems to jump off the page.

What is this rest that God speaks of? What did the Israelites do to fail to enter into it? And, more importantly, what can we do to enter into God’s rest?

Ultimately, we are talking about that eternal rest with God in Heaven. But, it was the Israelites disbelief and loss of faith in God that caused them to murmur against him and desire to go back to their slavery under the Egyptians instead of the Promised Land.

Instead, the next generation, under the leadership of Joshua, entered into the land of Canaan, into God’s rest.

Disbelief, not putting their faith in God’s hands, is what caused them to not enter into that rest.

What about us? Is God’s rest still available to us? How do we enter into that rest?

Therefore, let us be on our guard while the promise of entering into his rest remains, that none of you seem to have failed. –Hebrews 4:1

The good news is that the promise remains! We have and continue to receive the good news through the gospels and we just need to believe it. We need accept the offer and trust totally in God’s promise.

Easier said than done, right?

The truth is, we either trust ourselves to save ourselves or we trust God, for our salvation through the life, death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross.  It is either one or the other!

For many of us, talking a good game isn’t the same as living it. We trust in God, to a point, but when the going gets tough we tend to rely on our belief in ourselves to get us through to difficult circumstances. We just can’t take that final step of surrender that leads to entering into God’s rest. We become like the Israelites who hear the word, but just can’t surrender totally.

So what can we do to enter into God’s rest?

1.  We must realize we can’t do it on our own. We need to have faith through the grace of God. As Ephesians 2:8-9 remind us, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast.”   We need to accept this gift from God and ask for His grace.

2We have got to believe, not just to a point but total faith in Christ and obedience to his will. Total surrender, putting outcomes in God’s hands and not relying on our own devices, is the only way. Anything less and we are no better than our ancestors in the desert.

3.  We must encourage each other. As Hebrews 3:13 tells us, “Encourage yourselves daily while it is still “today,” so that none of you may grow hardened by the deceit of sin.” It should be our goal not only to enter into His rest ourselves, but our spouses, children, family and friends. We need to help each other overcome our disbelief. After all, we all have our moments of disbelief.

4.  We must find truth in the gospels. We must not only receive the Good News but profit from it. As Hebrews 4:2 explains, “For in fact we have received the good news just as they did. But the word that they heard did not profit them, for they were not united in faith with those who listened.

 5.  We must “Keep the faith.” God’s rest is available to all of us. But, we must believe, surrender ourselves to the will of God, pray for His grace, encourage others, and find Truth in the gospels.

 We all need God’s rest and He offers it to us through His son Jesus Christ. Let’s encourage each other to remain faithful in our belief, share the gospels and together enter into his heavenly rest.

This is my prayer, my friend.

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