ENTERING HIS REST
BY: KENNETH GREATOREX
Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for me? And where is the place that I may rest? Isaiah 66:1 NAU
There are some who feel that we need be violent/forceful to enter into the kingdom, and take it by force. These people, are like those in Moses’ day, who continuously DID THINGS THEIR OWN WAY. God’s way is one of REST. The way of religion is that of WORK, and WORKS. Man’s WORKS and EFFORTS are obstacles to the power of God. Yet, we cling to man’s traditions, works of the flesh, and all too often the latest schemes taught to make a success, by worldly standards, of one’s ministry, or church.
It is no wonder that our Lord, who knows the end from the beginning, for He is the Alpha and Omega, has said, “many are called, but few are chosen.” It may seem that the CHOSEN are something special, rather they are meek in spirit and humble in heart. God doesn’t need the mighty, the strong, the educated, the talented, or those with exceptional abilities. The truth is, He only wants those who have come to an end of themselves. Abilities are neither right nor wrong, but our love of, and dependence, upon them is. When we come to the place where all we have is placed at His feet, then He is able to make use of us. For it is, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts.” [Zechariah 4:6]
We know that the “ministry of death,” and “of condemnation,” came with glory, BUT, “how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory?” [2 Corinthians 3:8] The keys words are, “THE MINISTRY OF THE SPIRIT.” This is GOD’S NEW DAY! It is the day of His Lordship and triumph! It is a day when those who will, are hearing the sound of His voice. Not, some rolling thunder, for mighty signs and wonders are not always needed, BUT a sweet inner communication based upon RELATIONSHIP. We are joined to our Lord NOW. There is no need to wait for some future event to produce change. This is an ongoing process in each of us today. God is restoring our souls, and bringing the reality of Christ in all of us forth.
Hebrews 3:1 to 4:13 speaks of the failure of those under Moses to enter into God’s rest. Like many of us, their hearts were hard. They were set on doing their own thing, a human tenacity, not God’s ability. We are not of the house of Moses. Rather we are of the HOUSE of Christ. REST is not the seventh day of the week, nor the first day either. EVERY DAY IS A DAY OF REST. We are called to “ENTER HIS REST.” How? “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” [4:4] For, “There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.” [4:9] “For the one who has entered HIS REST has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.” [4:10] CHRIST IS OUR REST!
Many have forgotten, or never known, that IN Christ we ALL died. And, IN Christ we are ALL alive. [Roman Six] Galatians 2:20 reads, AIl have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith IN [literally, resident in] the Son of God.” The reality is, WE ALL DIED. WE ALL ARE DEAD! Oh, our bodies still function, but something has changed. There is a NEW LIFE-SOURCE within. CHRIST IS OUR LIFE.
The question is, “Do we continue to live after the old order that HAS PASSED AWAY?” All too often this is the case. The OLD MAN IS DEAD, but we live as if he never died. We SERVE GOD AFTER THE FLESH. Human efforts is applauded by the church in general. To walk after the Spirit is considered foolishness, because the carnal man cannot see God. Much like the prophets of Baal, we would cut ourselves with knives to vainly produce more SOUL strength. God is dealing with the soul problem and only He can do it. “For the word [logos] of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to judge the thoughts and intents of the heart.” [Hebrews 4:12]
Jesus said, “But an hour is coming, AND NOW IS, when the TRUE worshipers will worship the Father IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH.” [John 4:25] Worship up to that time had been based upon Old Covenant practices, including those David had introduced. TRUE WORSHIP is SPIRIT WORSHIP, not prancing about in the ways of an old order, often enhanced by the pattern of the world’s ways. When our hearts bow in humble adoration as we weep at His feet, casting down ALL of our crowns before Him, then His Spirit will cause a well of true worship to spring forth. OUR VERY LIVES WILL BE WORSHIP.
It is in the establishing of ALL OF US AS HIS GLORIOUS TEMPLE, that HE FINDS A PLACE OF REST. It is not in buildings of brick or mortar, gold or silver, but in human vessels of clay that He resides in. He desires for all of us to come into the reality of His indwelling presence. But how?
Remember David [1 Samuel 22:1-2] hiding in the cave of Adullam? This was not some mighty general laying in ambush with his mighty men for King Saul. It was young David with a band of NO GOODS AND FAILURES HIDING IN FEAR. What happens at Adullam? Ambition is placed aside. Abilities matter no more. Dependence is found in God. In time even change happens to the NO GOODS. This is a death process. Like the butterfly coming out of the cocoon, it cannot be rushed. My! How often we want to hurry God. How can He get along without us? Quite well actually, until, it is the Christ in us arising.
“For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not may mighty, not may noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that he may nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the LORD.” [1 Corinthians 1:26-31]
God does ALL things well. He is always on time, and never late. In the fullness of time He will act. He knows the end from the beginning, and has never been caught off guard. He planned redemption BEFORE the fall. He choose us in Christ, before the foundation of the world. Is anything too hard for Him? Most of us at one time or another have place CREATED beings in the position of having more power than God. This is blasphemy, in making the created higher than God. There is no person, or devil, or demons, that God is not well aware of, and capable of dealing with in accord with His purposes. He alone raises up and puts down as HE wills.
It is absolutely amazing that out of weakness, comes strength. Out of death, comes life. Out of the chaos of our lives, His own image. It is CHRIST who is ALL in ALL!
We close with the following from Psalm 132:13-16, “For the LORD has chosen ZION; He has desired it for His habitation. This is My resting place forever; here will I dwell, for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provision; I will satisfy her needy with bread. Her priests also will I clothe with salvation, and her godly ones will sing aloud for joy.” AMEN!
ENTERING REST [Kenneth Greatorex] 1