THE REST OF GOD
And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. ~Luke 4:4
A great many things have been said and done in the name of Jesus. However, only those works and words that the Father initiates will produce fruit that remains. All other works, regardless of how "good" they might seem, are fraudulent! I know, those are strong words. In other words, works produced in the name of Jesus, yet not initiated by Jesus or led by the Holy Spirit iare counterfeit; it's not truly a work or word of God unless He has initiated it. Jesus said that those who performed works in His name without seeking to know the will of God were workers of iniquity! (Matt. 7:21-23)
There is, therefore, a rest that remains for the people of God. He that is entered in His (God's) rest hath ceased from his own labors. Therefore labor to enter into the rest of God…" (Hebrews 4:9-11)
The REST spoken of in the above scripture is not speaking of Heaven! Rather, this is a description of a realm or a position where believers choose to dwell in utter dependence upon God resulting from a cessation of self-direction and self-dependency. This was displayed in the life of Jesus and is the mark of Christian maturity; the choice to lay down our own thoughts, words, and actions in exchange for Gods!
THIS IS THE REST OF GOD.
Since there is a rest that some must enter, we are exhorted to, “labor to enter the rest of God.” LABOR & REST. These two words seem to be an oxymoron. This is, however, not a contradiction but rather an underscore, emphasizing that I must make a conscientious effort (labor) to move away from self-directed ways and deeds, turning rather to God's explicit direction and will (rest).
Paul said it another way; "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me..." And herein lies the problem; Many times we just plain forget that God's Spirit is living in us.
And... ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. ~2 Cor. 6:16. This is the glory of the New Covenant relationship that I have through Jesus Christ! If we let him, He will walk in us and with us. The promise of the Spirit is given to us so that we might commune with God, resulting in a co-shared life; walking, working and talking in oneness with the heart and mind of God!
When we enter into God's rest we find ourselves living in the fullness of the New Covenant! "...For ye are the temple of the living God". Many of God's people have received the blessing of the New Covenant but are not living out of the fullness and reality of the Covenant that God made and keeps for us! What joy and peace have those who are confident in the Great I AM and His finished work!
As we become more and more sensitive to the moving of the Holy Spirit and The Voice of God, we can become His instrument, His voice, His hands and His feet, but we must choose His will (desires). Jesus said, "Learn of me."
Jesus said, I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me,” ~John 8:28
Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do. ~John 5:19
When Jesus was tempted by satan to turn stones into bread his response was this; "...man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." To begin with, satan's strategy was to undermine Jesus relationship with the Father, or to try to get Jesus to doubt His sonship or that he was an heir. "If thou be the son of God turn these stones into bread" Jesus certainly had the power and the authority to turn stones into bread. But He refused to do so because he had not received a "Word" or direction from God to do so. Jesus was teaching us the way of a sonship. Through His submission and utter dependence upon God, Jesus was not only modelling for us the walk of sons but a life lived in the rest of God.
Many of us are presumptuous when it comes to serving and working for God. We believe we can go out to battle without first meeting with the King for His instructions and leading. When we speak ~ when God has not spoken, our words become like stones; they can condemn, bring division, and a host of other death-like symptoms. Even the letter of the word brings death when it is not ignited by the Holy Spirit! Only God can cause our words to be turned from stones to bread or the life-giving quality that only His Spirit-directed words possess! If we long to see greater miracles and the greater works that Jesus said we would do, let us exchange our works for His and enter into the rest of God!
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” -Romans 8:14
GO TO THE SECRET PLACE. SUP WITH JESUS. ABIDE IN HIM. REVEAL JESUS.
Praise God for this great glory that has been shared with us; that we have been called into a co-operative relationship with the Covenant keeping King...who lives, walks, rules, and reigns in us through Jesus Christ! Amen.