It is not everyone who believes in Christ Jesus, that will eventually enter into His eternal rest. As the Bible says:
“Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: “So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,’ ” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.”
Hebrews 4:1-3 NKJV
According to the scripture texts above it is those who are mixing, what they have heard and read about Jesus with their faith, who will eventually enter into that eternal rest with Him.
Are you mixing your faith with what you had read and heard about Jesus? Or are you the Christian who is mixing your faith in Him just to justify, the lustful desires for the pleasures of this world in your life?
There is an eternal rest for those who are daily mixing God’s promises with their faith. They are the ones who are enjoying God’s presence here on the earth. They are resting in Him and their faith is working for them.
But a carnally minded Christian cannot find that rest, because he or she is goofy. Such a person is flaky and only seeks after Jesus for the fulfilment of the fleshy desires in him or her. Eccentric Christians can’t really embrace the fullness of God’s promises. And as a result of their attitude to His promises, they are not able to enter the presence of the Lord for that rest.
As an example God’s word about their healing says that, they had been healed according to 1 Peter 2:24. But they are struggling to mix their faith with that promise, because they are basing their faith on feelings and circumstantial evidences, and not on that promise of God itself.
So they can’t fully embrace biblical healing. They of course may acknowledge what God’s word says about healing. But the promise of healing works for those who had believed, and who are standing firmly on it wholeheartedly. As long as they continue to stand firmly on it, they will eventually enter into the rest, of being healed and completely made whole. Their entrance into that rest causes them to prosper with the healing anointing, over their lives to heal others.
God’s rest is not for the carnally minded Christian. And it’s important to note here that God’s promise of healing, had been made available for us since the foundation of the world. His promises of healing had always been there.
However a carnal Christian will embrace whatever the world has to offer, because he or she can easily relate to it in the flesh. That’s why Jesus warned us about this, when He said:
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”
John 6:63 NKJV
Jesus made it clear enough for us to understand here that, there is no profit at all in the flesh. Anything that is of the flesh, including the things of this world are temporary. They will eventually fade away (2 Corinthians 4:18).
Healing that is based upon the common faith of the unsaved world is temporary. It will eventually loose its value and fade away. The only healing that is long lasting and eternal is the one that comes by faith in the life giving word of God.
That’s why carnal Christians will always struggle to find rest with God. Their flesh needs to be out of the way, so that they can be able to access healing by faith in the promises of God.
As long as the flesh is active in the life of carnal Christians, they can’t get into God’s presence for that rest. There is no flesh that can ever get into God’s presence. It must be totally crucified for anyone to gain entry into God’s presence (Galatians 5:24-25). Those who are living their Christian lives without crucifying the flesh can’t please God.
Some of them do think that they don’t have the time, to be listening and reading God’s word for their healing; due to their critical health situations. Since faith comes by hearing or reading God’s word (Romans 10:17), that faith must be constantly mixed with the promises of healing, in order to get healed and to stay healed.
The carnally minded Christians do not have the patience to wait on the Lord for anything. And since they can’t wait on the Lord, there is no peace or rest for them. They can’t stand or rest in God’s presence. So they have absconded and abandoned God’s promises of healing, for the world’s system to get healed. It is the same situation concerning their finances and other things of life, which the Lord had promised those who do believe in Him.
Only Jesus can permanently heal without any side effects to go with it. For as long as you are mixing your faith with His promises of healing, your healing will eventually manifest. Wait for it before the Lord, as you enter into that rest.
The word of God is life giving and it manifests long lasting healing, without any side effects (Psalms 107:20). The good thing about it also is that, you can never take an overdose of it.
God’s word is the only guarantee for your eternal healing. The moment you have mixed God’s word with your faith to obtain healing, you must continue to rest on the same promise of God that gave it to you. It’s what you need to be standing firmly upon on a daily basis to stay healed and healthy.
Don’t get yourself distracted by what the world is offering you. If the world never gave you the promise of healing in the first place, you have no business patronizing them for healing. If you had gotten healed before by the Spirit of the Lord, you ought to be continuing in the same Spirit of faith, until you find that eternal rest before Him, to stay healed and completely made whole.
The same promise of God ought to be on your lips daily, until the moment when your spirit man leaves your earthly tent (your physical body). That’s how you can secure your eternal rest with God, to be healed and made whole.
It’s therefore not everyone who claims to be a Christian, that is putting trust in Christ Jesus, with a heart that is full of devotion and love for Him. There are a lot of Christians who are following Christ, for as long as their worldly view of Christianity allows them, to fulfill the earthly desires and pleasures in them.
What they are actually doing is that, they are still trying to hold on, to their dead old nature of sin; which Christ had delivered them from. These are the ones who can’t ever find rest with the Lord, because they are not completely focused on Him. The nature of sin in them has to be gotten rid of completely, so that the nature of Christ can come alive in them.
Your rest guarantees your peace with God
We are living in a time and season when the Spirit of the Lord, is calling us to enter into that resting place in His presence, from where we all can be reigning on this earth as kings and priests with Him (Revelation 5:10). And that’s what we must be prepared for right now, if we are really anticipating the return of the Lord.
There is a place of rest that is reserved for you and me in the presence of the Lord. That resting place is where the Lord expects you to be with your faith walk. And you can only get there if you are actually mixing your faith, with what you have heard about Him, and read about Him from the holy scriptures.
It’s not every believer in Christ who will get there. It’s a place for those who are already preparing themselves for it. There is a promise of rest for those who are living by faith before the Lord.
When you are resting on His promises, His presence is with you. God’s presence saturates you, and you will be so much at peace and relaxed, while others are running wild around you. The whole world may be concerned about other things, but none of their concerns moves those who are resting on God’s promises.
As the Apostle Paul once said while giving his final address, to the leaders of the Ephesian Church:
“And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
Acts 20:22-24 NKJV
This is the attitude of the Christian who is resting on God’s promises. Nothing moved him apart from the word of God. Paul was bound in the spirit on the way to Jerusalem. He was aware of the troubles that were ahead of him. But he never allowed the anticipated troubles, to make him struggle in standing firmly on God’s promise. He continued to mix his faith with the Lord’s promise for him.
He was resting on the promise of the Lord to him. His peace with the Lord was not shaken by what others had prophesied concerning him. The word of prophecy was of God. But Paul would rather not want any prophecy to define his destiny in Christ. He held on to what Jesus had personally revealed to him. He was resting with his faith on that revelation of Jesus, and not on what other people had prophesied concerning him.
Be very careful with the prophecies, that has no witness within your heart. Rest your faith rather on the written promises of God from the Bible to you.
If God rested, you deserve a rest also
There is a rest for all the children of God, as long as we are putting our faith in Him. If the Lord God had rested from all His great works at creation, you definitely do deserve a good rest also.
As the Bible says:
“For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”;”
Hebrews 4:4 NKJV
The Lord God rested on the seventh day from all His works of creation on the earth. He therefore expects us to be resting as well, from our own works of faith on the earth.
Not only did the Lord rested, He also commanded the Israelites, as they were journeying through the wilderness into the promised land to rest also. He even commanded that their land must be resting:
“Six years you shall sow your land and gather in its produce, but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave, the beasts of the field may eat. In like manner you shall do with your vineyard and your olive grove. Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female servant and the stranger may be refreshed.”
Exodus 23:10-12 NKJV
Resting in the Lord’s presence and on His promises, gives you a refreshment from the presence of the Lord, which nothing in this world can give you. And you do need to be refreshed in order, to replenish your spiritual and physical strength.
As Peter said to the crowd on the day of Pentecost, following the ascension of Jesus Christ:
“But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before,”
Acts 3:18-20 NKJV
A sinner who has repented of his or her sins, needs to be refreshed from the presence of the Lord. The refreshment from the Lord makes the new life in Christ Jesus real to that new believer. It brings something new into that life to glorify the Lord.
And our lives as Christians needs that refreshment also. Being refreshed daily in the presence of the Lord, brings new things into the life of a Christian. It gives the energy to keep on doing more and new things for the Lord. A Christian who is not being refreshed will eventually become stale and unproductive with his or her faith.
The enemy is working around the clock to ensure that, you’ll never get that refreshment from the Lord’s presence. You therefore will have to make every effort on your part to enter into that rest.
In other words if you truly believe that Jesus had fulfilled all things, that needs to be done for you to inherit the promises of God, then you ought to be resting on those promises. Don’t let the enemy stop you from getting there.
And most importantly resting while you are being refreshed, will get you prepared for the return of the Lord as His Bride. Resting will help you to be prepared in righteousness and holiness, as a pure and ready Bride of Jesus Christ. If you are not resting in Him, you are not getting yourself ready for the Lord’s return.
If they did it, you can do it also
The Bible says again that:
“There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.”
Hebrews 4:9-11 NKJV
Those who are not resting on God’s promises are walking in disobedience to the Lord. In fact the Old Testament Patriarchs of faith rested always in the Lord God, before they were refreshed to experience His presence, as they waited on His promises to them.
As the Bible says concerning them:
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth… But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”
Hebrews 11:13, 16 NKJV
They were able to see their descendants in the spirit realm inheriting the promises of the Lord. Abraham was resting when the three visitors from Heaven met him, by his tent under the oak tree at Mamre (Genesis 18:1-2). The temperature was very hot on that day, and it was difficult for him to be resting inside the tent. Abraham needed some fresh air, so as to be well rested and relaxed after a working day.
But by the time after the visiting angels had been entertained and left the tent area, Abraham remained in the presence of the Lord. The Bible says:
“Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord.”
Genesis 18:22 NKJV
Abraham must obviously had seen an open vision of the Lord before him here, as the visitors disappeared. He saw an open vision of the Lord, as he was engaged in a long conversation with Him, about the plan to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for their sins.
The Bible says that after this supernatural encounter with the Lord God, Abraham returned to the very spot again in the morning of the next day:
“And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord.”
Genesis 19:27 NKJV
Abraham wanted to see how the Lord God had fulfilled, what was promised to him in the spirit. Of course he was concerned about Lot (his cousin) and his family. But evidently Abraham was also encouraged in his faith, concerning the promise of a son (Isaac) as the one to inherit the blessing.
Isaac also received his wife while he was resting. He had gone out into an isolated area to meditate and rest on the promise of the Lord to his father (Abraham).
The Bible says:
“And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening; and he lifted his eyes and looked, and there, the camels were coming.”
Genesis 24:63 NKJV
Isaac saw his wife from the place of his meditation on God’s promises. He was not seeking for her as others in his world did. He decided to rest on the promises of the Lord God through meditation for his future wife. He trusted in the Lord to bring his wife to him. So he waited for her until she came to him, while he was in the presence of the Lord.
There is a lesson for the young men of today about what Isaac did here. God is the best match maker. Trust Him to bring the very best for you, instead of leaning on your own understanding from the world. Do what Isaac did here, as you are praying and meditating on God’s promises concerning her. The Lord is the perfect match maker. He will bring her across your pathway, as He did for Isaac.
It was not just Abraham and Isaac alone, that practiced the presence of the Lord in this way. Jacob also experienced the presence of the Lord while he was resting.
He had been on the run for his life from his brother (Esau), who wanted to kill him for taking his birthright and his blessing. It was while he was on the way to Padan Aram, that he had rested at Luz (Bethel). His resting place became the location of his first encounter with the Lord God.
The gateway of heaven was opened for him, to have an encounter with the Lord God. The Lord God blessed him while he rested and renewed the covenant of his father (Abraham) with him.
The Bible says:
“Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.”
Genesis 28:10-12 NKJV
After being ministered to in the vision Jacob reacted to his first encounter with the Lord in this way:
“Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!” And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”
Genesis 28:16-17, 22 NKJV
Jacob named the place of his rest “the house of God” (Bethel). He called it the gate of Heaven. He described his first encounter with the Lord as being awesome. He had a spiritual encounter with the Lord that completely transformed his life, after he had received the blessing from Isaac (his father).
What is your purpose for attending church services and meetings? Are you going to get refreshed in God’s presence? Or are you going to offer the sacrifices of fools (see Ecclesiastics 5:1)? Your presence in those church meetings will position you to encounter the Lord. The Lord is looking at those who are faithful before Him. Are you faithful to Jesus as your Lord and to your church, as the place where God can locate you in blessing you?
This very place of Jacob’s encounter with the Lord was where he instituted the ordinance of tithing, as he said to the Lord:
“… of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”
Jacob later built an altar and worshipped the Lord God there, as he was directed by the Lord to do (Genesis 35:1). He sacrificed to the Lord of his tithes at that place.
A good rest in God’s presence was something that Jesus practiced daily also. He was in the habit of spending nights alone on the mountains (see Matthew 14:23). And by day light He would come down to give instructions to the disciples.
He never did anything without first spending quality time with the Father (John 8:38). The presence of the Lord was always with Him everywhere He went. But there was no comparison of that, with the personal time of fellowship before the Father.
Jesus once said to His disciples after they had been working all day:
“And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.”
Mark 6:31 NKJV
They had not had any time to rest and eat. They had been so busy all day doing ministry with Jesus among the crowd. So as soon as the opportunity arose for them to rest, He directed them to get it immediately. Jesus made sure that His disciples rested away from the view of crowd.
We can see here that Jesus was not a hard Master to His disciples. He never pushed them beyond their physical limits. He knew that they were humans like the people in the crowd. So when they were tired, He allowed them to rest and get refreshed.
Are you a church leader or the leader of a Christian organization? How precious are your employees and volunteers to you. The Bible says about the Roman Centurion who came to Jesus concerning his servant:
“Now a centurion had a bond servant who was held in honor and highly valued by him, who was sick and at the point of death.”
Luke 7:2 AMPC
This Centurion held his servant in honor and highly valued him. The servant was as precious to him as his own son. He placed a very high value on those who were working and ministering to him. The value that you are placing on those who are working under you, is the value that the Church members or Ministry partners will place on you and your anointing.
If they are of highly value to you, you will give them rest, and take them before Jesus every day in prayer. This Centurion took his highly valued servant before Jesus, while the servant was resting at home on a sick bed.
It’s important to note that Jesus in response to the request of the Centurion, never even prayed for his servant. Jesus only honored the words of the Centurion, just as he was honoring his servant before Jesus.
There are some who won’t give their employees the rest that they do deserve. It often affects the productivity level in their meetings, and every other things that they are doing for the Lord.
Oftentimes church workers who are tardy with their given assignments, because they may not have been resting properly. It’s the responsibility of the pastors or their spiritual leaders, to see to it that they are well rested, before they come to serve the Lord.
Jesus wants you to be giving those who are working under you enough time to rest. He wants you to be creating the time for yourself, and others under you to rest and eat.
Even though you may be facing so much pressures, from the church members and the demands of the ministry, you really do need to be resting. Nothing should be preventing you to get refreshed and replenished both spiritually and physically.
While you are resting, you are actually giving Jesus the opportunity to carry the load of the ministries for you. As you are being refreshed and replenished, He is able to show you the most important things, that you are leaving undone. He will fix many of those problems for you, as you are resting in His presence.
Jesus was teaching the disciples here how to get themselves always in tune with the Holy Spirit, for the ministry which they were being prepared for after His ascension. He taught His disciples how to take the time out away from the crowd to rest.
You don’t need to be a workaholic for the Lord. Save yourself from the trouble of being too mechanical in the work of the Kingdom. Start cultivating the habit of a good rest in God’s presence. It will deliver you from the works of dead religion.
It will save you from the ensnarement of the enemy, who is always seeking for the opportunity, to get at you because of your spiritual activities.
Be smart and be wise, because behind every spiritual activities that you are involved in, there are also demonic activities going on around them to stop you. It could be the preaching of the word of God, prayer meetings, home visitations and evangelical meetings.
The enemy has his agents watching and observing you. They are looking for opportunities and weak openings in your life to get at you, due to your physical weaknesses. He knows that he can’t get at you in the spirit, but he will always exploit those physical weaknesses to attack you.
Taking some time to rest in God’s presence helps you, to be able to see and reevaluate your spiritual advancements also. It will help you to discern the demonic activities that has been designed to stop you, so that you can deal with them more effectively as you are advancing God’s Kingdom on earth.
But in the end you will always be refreshed with new spiritual and physical strength to advance the Kingdom of God. So get some rest in His presence today. And rest in your blessing also, so as to enjoy it and not endure it.