(Heb 4:11 AMP) Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], that no one may fall or perish by the same kind of unbelief and disobedience [into which those in the wilderness fell].
This morning we continue to wind down our series: “Victory over Stress!” This is the last verse we will cover in this series, I will spend the rest of the week providing a recap, and next week we will get back to our verse-by-verse exposition of Proverbs.
The writer of Hebrews, after painting a vivid picture of the supernatural rest the Father freely makes available for us – and after driving home the point that the Israelites failed to enter into that rest and that many modern day believers make the same mistake – he tells us to exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest. Other transitions say: “make every effort,” “keep at it,” and “be completely diligent.” I believe the point is clear and that is that we will NOT be able to enter into, and remain in, this type of rest without effort. We must purpose on purpose to strive after, enter into, and remain in this type of rest. If we slack off, even for a day or so, the enemy can quickly and inconspicuously get us out of God’s rest and back into fear, doubt, unbelief, worry, and all sorts of anxiety.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things:
1. You won’t enter into God’s rest unless you do so on purpose: You will not simply wake up one day and find yourself completely free of worry, stress, and unnecessary strain. No, if we are going to enjoy divine rest you are going to have to pursue it, ask for it, make a demand for it by faith, and then lay hold of it. Stop being passive. God is not going to force you to be blessed, not will He impose His best upon your life. If you want Him to operate in your life, you must cooperate with Him!
2. You won’t remain in God’s rest unless you do so on purpose: Once you have made the effort to lay hold of the divine rest the Father has made available to you, then you must also make the effort to remain there. If you are not careful, both satan and your old nature will get you out of God’s rest. Let me address both…
3. Satan will do his best to keep you outside of God’s rest: Make no mistake, we do have an adversary and he is not happy if you are happy. The enemy and his minions will do all they can to get your OUT of God’s rest and INTO fear, doubt, unbelief, worry, stress, struggle, and strain. So once you are IN God’s rest you have to strive to remain there. When negative thoughts come, take control of them quickly and remind yourself of who you are in Christ, of the blessing the Father wants you to richly enjoy, and of the rest that you have been enjoying. Once you have tasted of this rest you will never want to be without it!
4. Your mind must be renewed: While satan will do his best to get you OUT of God’s rest, the reality is that everything is not satan. If your mind is not renewed to think God’s way, then your un-renewed mind can be as damaging as satan himself. This is why the Bible urges us to be deprogrammed and then reprogrammed to think the way God thinks. Once your mind is renewed and your heart is conditioned to experience and expect divine rest, then it will be a lot harder for satan to get in and more importantly, you won’t be defeating yourself with your old thoughts.
Closing Confession: Father, I thank You for making it clear to me that Your divine rest is available. I declare, by faith, that I lay hold of that rest. I make every effort to enter into Your rest and once I am there, I remain there by faith. I resist every temptation to fall back into fear, doubt, worry, unbelief, stress, struggle and strife. I submit unto You, I resist satan, and he flees from me. I also submit myself to the process of mind renewal, so that I don’t defeat myself with wayward thoughts. I shall think the way You think, rest the way You rest, and enjoy the life that Christ Jesus died to give me. I experience divine rest today and for the rest of my life! In Jesus’ name. Amen!
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper!