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Rest. A number of years ago, the Lord began teaching me about the importance of  resting in Him in the life of every believer. In fact, the Scriptures tell us that “rest” is one of the resulting fruits of walking in faith:  “For we who have BELIEVED do enter that rest…”   (Romans 4.3).

There remains therefore a rest for the people of God … let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest….
(Heb. 4.9,11)

Rest. A number of years ago, the Lord began teaching me about the importance of  resting in Him in the life of every believer. In fact, the Scriptures tell us that “rest” is one of the resulting fruits of walking in faith:  “For we who have BELIEVED do enter that rest…”   (Romans 4.3).

We know that faith is essential to walking as a believer: we must believe, and consequently, we must also enter His rest.

Resting can often be one of the most difficult spiritual principles for us to learn to practice. Often in the midst of a faith struggle we may hear His comforting voice say to us, “Relax. Just lay that struggle aside and Rest in Me”. Then we must take a deep breath and allow our self to quiet down on the inside, because whenever there is un-rest on the inside, faith is unable to operate.

Real rest is unnatural to the flesh – but it is first nature to the spirit. Romans 15.13 says that there is joy and peace in believing (Peace being a preceding factor to rest). Rest is such a vital element to our spiritual existence that failing to reach it is regarded as disobedience!
Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it….Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest any one fall according to the same example of disobedience.
(Heb. 4.1, 11)
In the text surrounding these particular verses, the writer of Hebrews is recounting the event when God originally introduced the promise of “entering His Rest”.  This covenant promise was made to the Israelites during their time in the wilderness after the exodus from Egypt. He had laid before them the wonderful pledge to bring them into their Promised Land. For forty years, they saw His signs and wonders, and His miraculous works in the wilderness. Yet verse 9 of Hebrews 3 says that the Lord was provoked with that generation because they continually went astray and did not recognize His ways. Verse 19 sums it up by saying that “they were unable to enter (the promised land) because of unbelief.”

This group was called hard-hearted, and rightly so. To have seen the miracles of God that these people saw and still not believe, they most certainly must have been hard-hearted. Yet, Hebrews 4.1 warns us that “while the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.”

What sobering words. The word “fear” in this passage is the Greek word phobeo, which can mean to “be alarmed, and show reverential fear.” This definition really clarifies what this verse is saying to all of us: we are to be alarmed by these instructions, enough to evaluate our present pursuits and see if we are falling short of what God has for us….enough to show respect, reverential fear, to the Lord by not walking in the same pattern of disobedience as those in the wilderness. These are strong warnings the Lord has issued to us in these verses and we would do well to heed them.

Resting is not doing “nothing.” Resting is an action word!  Resting takes effort—otherwise God would probably not be having to teach us about it.

To truly rest, takes making an on purpose decision to do so. It takes quieting down what is going on, on the inside, laying aside what’s happening on the outside, and choosing to yield only to the peace and presence of the Lord.

Rest can only be entered by faith. Faith must be released in order to lay hold of rest. Resting is both physical as well as spiritual. Both aspects of resting are equally necessary and important. Failing to do either can allow you to become weak and vulnerable to attacks from the enemy.

Proper rest for both the spirit and the body is actually one of the most powerful weapons against fatal attacks you could possess—because it is in the process of resting spiritually and physically that the work of the Holy Spirit is at its strongest, due to the fact that in resting in Him we are in a state of complete submission and yielded-ness.

Spiritual Rest allows you to remain in perfect contact and communion with the Spirit of God at all times. So there is nothing taking place that you would need to know about for which you would not have God’s knowledge, as well as His wisdom, to do what needs to be done.

Physical rest contributes greatly to the health and stability of your emotions, which largely effects the health of your body. By submitting yourself to physical rest in conjunction with spiritual rest, your emotions will stay constant, balanced, and influenced by faith and peace, rather than by fear and un-easiness.

Often a lack of physical rest during a trial or time of devastation, even when spiritual rest is being maintained, can allow the emotions to spin out of control to the degree that despair takes over the situation. When that takes place, an inner atmosphere is created which makes the circumstances seem hopelessly impossible to overcome. But when both spiritual and physical rest are maintained, even though the situation may be difficult, there will be a strong awareness of hope and joy that this situation can last but for a season and there is a “sunrise” just on the other side. This difficulty, this sadness, can’t last forever.

Learning to really rest in the Lord is one of the greatest tools I have used in the process of stilling my mind and its anxieties. It is an act of your will to make your body still and take rest. And in doing that, your mind will also become still, because the mind, the will, and the emotions are all linked together.

Notice I said rest and not merely sleep. There is a difference. Rest is much more than sleep. As mentioned earlier, rest must be entered by faith. It is a spiritual exercise and spiritual promise to your whole life and being. Just like the Israelites’ Promise Land was linked to their obedience to enter the Lord’s Rest—so our Promised Land is linked to us entering His rest.

Actually, we press toward the Rest of what God has for each of us by Rest. Once you have set your faith for something, rest in Him and let His Word do the work. Hebrews 4.10 says “For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.”

The Promised Land is there, but we have to receive it by Rest:
Resting on the fact that He is Faithful.
Resting on the fact that all He said is being fulfilled.
Resting because every thing we could ever need or desire is a finished work.
Resting because He is taking care of it all as we believe on Him.
Be encouraged to keep “Pressing toward the rest.

First Love Ministries International aka FERVOUR

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Author Biography

Sharah LaGail Wyatt
Web site: First Love Ministries International
Sharah LaGail Wyatt is Founder and President of First Love Ministries International aka FERVOUR (based in Fort Worth, Texas), with an extensive background in the fine and performing arts and in ministry. She is a member of the International Convention of Faith Ministries (ICFM). As an anointed teacher, writer/author, graphic artist, musician and composer, she desires to lead people of all ages into the presence of God and into developing a lifestyle of faith, worship and intimacy with Him.

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