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Ep. 402 Two Keys to Mature into the Best Rest You Can Have

Ep. 402 Two Keys to Mature Into the Best Rest You Can Have

Shows Main Idea – There are many kinds of rest, i.e., power naps, sleeping, vacations, your career, mental breaks, coffee breaks, and the list continues. But there is one rest that transcends them all, and nobody will enjoy the fullest possibilities of rest until they learn and practice this one. It’s a transcendent rest that rises above them all. There are two keys to ascertaining this most exquisite rest.

Show Notes

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The First Rest

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.

Broken Shalom

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 Second Rest

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.”

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Brief Explanation

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

  1. Unbelief and Disobedience: The Hebrews who would not believe and obey God by going into the Promised Land.
  2. God’s Rest: Then the writer goes back to God, talking about how He worked to create rest in Genesis.
  3. Eternal Rest: From there, he zigs to David in Psalm 95, who spoke about eternal rest.
  4. Belief and Obedience: Now back to Joshua 2:24-3:1, where the new group of Hebrews chose to believe and obey; they entered into a temporary rest.
  5. It’s Our Time: Then the writer bounces back to the people of his day, saying the key to benefiting from rest is believing God and obeying Him accordingly.

The Applicable Conclusion

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.

  • We want to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.
  • We want to grow as newborn babies into adulthood.
  • We want to exercise so we can move from milk to meat.
  • We want to always press toward the high mark of Christ.

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).

Transcendent Rest

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.

Believe and Obey

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?

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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.

  • The mature mom with toddlers exudes rest while she works—whatever problems there are with her begging children.
  • A mature husband rests while he’s walking his angry wife through the latest trouble in her soul.
  • The mature teenager brings calmness to his peers because he steadily matures into a transcendent rest.
  • The mature employer models calmness to the employees as they bring their complaints.
  • The mature pastor can “absorb” problem after problem, offering sound help while always resting.

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.

Call to Action

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.

  1. How do you find transcendent rest that rises above all other forms of rest? The simple answer is to believe and obey. What has God asked you to do as you read His Word and are you doing it? That is the formula, and the more you believe and obey, the more your rest will mature and calm you.
  2. The way you measure how you’re doing is by observing your thoughts, words, and actions when the storm rolls into your life. If you’re resting in the storm, you’re in a good spot. If you’re reacting to the storm, you have some work to do, which is believing and obeying.
  3. What is one way you can change to mature into transcendent rest? Will you share that thing with a friend, asking them to help you change?

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