You may want to read:
The Lord worked six days, bringing the world from chaos to order. What would you expect to happen when there is no more chaos? One of the logical outcomes of His work was to rest. Thus, you could say that He created rest for the people of God.
Adam and Eve had the privilege to enter into His rest. Rest was the effect of His creation, but it does not mean that He stopped working. For the Lord to discontinue work would cause all He created to collapse; He holds the world together by the Word of His power.
Work and rest are not at odds or competing with each other. They depend on each other. Adam and Eve entered into God’s rest, but they did not do so passively—sitting and soaking, never growing, maturing, and fulfilling their God-given capacities.
Shortly after this work/rest relationship Adam and Eve had within the Lord’s created rest, the Devil began an assault, hoping to tempt them to do the two things God asked them not to do—unbelieve and disobey. We know how that went.
There is a responsibility on those benefiting from God’s rest to continue believing God and doing what He asked them to do. Adam and Eve did not do that, so the world fell into another kind of a chaotic mess. We call it total depravity in a fallen world.
The Lord went to work again. Christ came to earth to create a new kind of life for fallen creatures. He succeeded. Now anyone can enter into this spiritual rest because of the finished work of Christ, a rest they can enjoy today, temporarily, and will reach its ultimate fulfillment in eternity.
This temporary rest is where we are today, which is what the Hebrew writer was saying in his day in Hebrews 4:11: “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.”
There is a lot in this zig-zagging text in Hebrews 4:1-11. Let me explain it in five parts. The writer talks about
If God is our God through regeneration (salvation), we want to continue believing and obeying Him in our progressive sanctification, not to earn the salvation already provided through the finished work of Christ, but to mature into the fullest benefits of what it means to be God’s child.
Like Adam and Eve, we have entered into the rest of God, but we never stop working now that we are there. And the more we work, the more we will settle into the fuller beauties of what it means to be Christlike. Christianity is not a passive exercise.
The more the believer understands all that God has done for us, like the Hebrews in Joshua’s day, the more motivated we are to do all the Lord asks us to do. And that is the key: Because of the finished work of God on the cross, we are highly motivated to mature because we have all we need for life and godliness.
And they said to Joshua, “Truly the LORD has given all the land into our hands. And also, all the inhabitants of the land melt away because of us.” Then Joshua rose early in the morning and they set out from Shittim. And they came to the Jordan, he and all the people of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over (Joshua 2:24-3:1).
God created rest for the people of God. The type of rest that I’m talking about here is transcendent rest. It’s the highest and best kind of rest a believer can have.
The practical benefits of that rest are not the same for everyone because we know that every believer is different in every way, even though they have the same Christ, gospel, salvation, and everything they need for life and godliness.
One group of Hebrews did not benefit from the fullest possibilities of rest while the second group did. The difference is that one group believed and obeyed; the other did not. What does this kind of rest look like, practically speaking?
And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing” (Matthew 8:24-25).
Jesus had transcendent rest because He grew up into the perfect example of manhood. When trouble came, His rest managed Him more than the trouble. The disciples believed that rest would come after the storm was over. Jesus had rest in the storm.
These folks have in common that they never stop working, and they never stop resting. They continue to believe and obey God; they continually store the treasures of God in their souls, and when the trouble comes, like their Savior, they can rest in the storms.
Who wants to follow a mom, husband, teenager, employer, or pastor who does not have this rest? Rest begets rest; chaos begets chaos. Jesus would not be worth following if He were like the frantic, fearful, and faithless disciples.
Our most vital need is for financial supporters. If you can help us, will you? We are doing more, and people are asking for more. To keep up, we must hire more while developing the resources to meet the demand.
Rick launched the Life Over Coffee global training network in 2008 to bring hope and help for you and others by creating resources that spark conversations for transformation. His primary responsibilities are resource creation and leadership development, which he does through speaking, writing, podcasting, and educating.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and, in 1991, a BS in Education. In 1993, he received his ordination into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).