We, the children of God, need to rest. We need to “be still and know that He is God.” We are “tossed to and fro” and we scurry about entangled so easily by the cares of this world and its entrapments.
“There remains a rest to the people of God” (Heb. 4: 9). But what is this rest that God promises His children and how do we get there?
We enter into rest through belief. But by believing what exactly? Many believe on the Son of God, and yet they are still struggling, still exhausted by the constant onslaught of the world. Believe what?
We need to take our faith and belief to another level. We need to grow to a point where we believe that it is “no longer I that lives, but Christ that lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God” (Gal. 2: 20).
First, as the apostle Paul tells us, “Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith…Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you…” (II Cor. 13: 5). We are to look inside of our own hearts to see where we need to be. Have we really experienced the cross where our old self dies with Christ? Have we taken the plunge and died with Christ? We need to believe this. Is our old life buried with Christ? We need to believe this. Then “through faith in the operation of God that raised Christ from the dead” we, too, have been raised to walk in a newness of life (Col. 2: 11-14). We need to believe this.
So, when we believe that it is the Spirit of Christ living and walking around in our bodies, then we let Him do His works. We cease to do our own thing. And this is when we enter into His rest. This is when we observe the Sabbath day. This is how we keep it holy. “For he that is entered into His rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from His” (Heb. 4: 10). Read this again, for herein is a revelation that few on the earth has had. It is a precious promise straight from the throne of the King. Slow down and savor these words.
How can this be? What does the above mean? When we begin to really allow Christ to walk in us and let Him do His work through us, then we will have stopped doing our own thing as if we were still alive [Remember, we have died with Christ on the cross as in Romans 6: 6]. We have “ceased from [our] own works, as God did from His.” This is the rest. This is the keeping of the true Christian Sabbath day.
Ceasing from our own works means that we are no longer there dictating what our physical bodies do all day long. We no longer are imagining that this pleases God or that pleases Him. No. this rest is when we are out of the picture, when we have allowed God to take control of our thoughts and actions. At this stage we are doing His works, for He in us is doing His works. This is entering into His Sabbath rest. This is the Christian Sabbath. Wow!
How Do We Do This?
As we believe His word, we do enter into His rest. And His rest is His confidence and belief that the plan contained in the Seed/Word/Logos has come, is coming, and shall come to pass just like He created the “incorruptible seed, the word of God” in the beginning.
He believes in us more than we believe in Him. Or rather, He believes in His plan working itself out in our lives–even though we don’t even understand it fully as of yet.
He knows that His thoughts, which are formed into words, “will not return unto Him void, but will accomplish” what He sent them to do. And believing this solidly, God now rests and waits with great patience on us to finally believe the same thing. “There remains therefore a rest [keeping of the sabbath, from the Greek word sabbatismos] to the people of God” (Heb. 4: 9).
Kenneth Wayne Hancock