Exert Yourself to Enter That Rest!
Let us labor therefore to enter that rest, lest anyone fall by the same pattern of unbelief. Hebrews 4:11 (Modern English Version, MEV)
It almost sounds like a contradiction- laboring to enter rest. It paints the picture of someone who has to work hard at relaxing! However, when we are in faith and we believe God, we consciously choose to rest; to enter His rest. To get a better idea, let’s look at this same verse in another translation.
Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], that no one may fall or perish by the same kind of unbelief and disobedience [into which those in the wilderness fell]. Hebrews 4:11 (Amplified Bible Classic Editon, AMPC)
This version brings out that laboring to enter the rest of God includes being zealous, exerting ourselves, and striving diligently to enter. In short, we enter the rest by doing whatever we must to believe God’s Word. So, contrary to the world’s view, resting in God is active, not passive.
Laboring to enter the rest means we decide every moment to believe God. When circumstances try to get us off track, we maintain our focus on the promise and we believe God. When the enemy sends thoughts of defeat, we consciously choose to believe God and reject the lies of the devil. When time passes and our flesh wants to give up on the promise, we keep our eyes on His Word and we do what we must to rest in it. Entering the rest of God requires effort, but it results in true rest. And the grace of God helps us to enter the rest, so that it does not have to be a struggle.
As we feed on the Word, building our faith, we are progressing to the point of entering the rest. And once we have entered the rest, faith produces the harvest. Rest is the point where faith has been fully developed and released for what we desire.
God told me that faith rests, but fear tries to figure things out. As we work to enter the rest, we keep our eyes on the Word, we choose to believe what it says, we speak the Word, and we relax in a posture of expectation. We don’t have to figure out how or when God will bring the promise to pass- we only need to rest in the knowledge that He will.
Decide today to enter the rest for whatever God has promised you. Take Him at His Word and stand in faith until it comes to pass. Relax in knowing that God has everything under control.