I have been studying Hebrews chapter 4 for a few weeks now. God’s rest has been particularly interesting to me for a few reasons. First of all you don’t hear much about it. When was the last time you heard a sermon on God’s rest? Secondly, its just the principle of God’s rest; you have to enter it. To me, its not just some blessing, or practice. It is literally the state of being WITHIN God. Granted, we are in Christ, and He is in us (John 14:20), which is essentially the result of our salvation because Christ is in us and bears our sins and has paid for them. When God looks at us He sees us perfect because we are in Christ. But just think about what it means to be within God.
To me, being IN God’s rest, that my friend is intimacy. You can have a relationship with God, you can be saved but still lack intimacy with Him. Similar to married couples. They can be married, co-existing with each other and while even including the sexual component of their co-existence, they can still lack intimacy with one another. The closeness, reliance, dependence (notice I didn’t say co-dependence), openness, vulnerability, etc…..all aspects of intimacy are what God desires with you.
Hebrews 4:11 says to labor to enter His rest, so there are a few things that need to happen for you to be in God’s rest. But one that I will discuss now is communication. The writer of Hebrews quotes in chapter 4, verse 7 Psalms 95:7, 8: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…” One of the essential things that is needed to enter God’s rest is for you to communicate with Him. And if you read it again, it says “today”. Communicating with God is a daily necessity to achieve intimacy with Him.
There are many reasons why communication needs to be daily, but the reason I would like to point out is because it is showing Him that we believe and rely on Him, and not our own works. God has daily direction for you, I think more direction then we tend to think. He is a God of detail. He gives you protection and wisdom, and direction at work, with people, on lunch, during dinner, driving in the car. He is always desiring for you to listen to what He has to say. There is not one area of your life where God is an absent God. Proverbs 5:21 it says “for a mans ways are in full view of the Lord, and He examines all his paths”. Key word: ALL. Why is he examining all your paths? To direct you. Proverbs 20:24 says “a mans steps are directed by the Lord”. That’s steps. How many steps do you take a day?
Proverbs 3:5 says “trust in the Lord, and lean not unto your own understanding:. This applies to all areas of your life. This takes communication and trust, belief. Proverbs 5:1 says “pay attention to my wisdom”. When you give attention to someone, you don’t always talk, you listen. God gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth, probably because we need to listen twice as often as we talk.
God desires to communicate with you daily, on a regular and consistent basis. Pray with Him, speak to Him. Listen to what he urges you to do. Always be sensitive to the Spirit. The more you work on this the easier it will become. Then you will have Gods direction in every area of your life, and you can be confident your in His will.
When you make decisions that are not in accordance with the will of God in you life, you open yourself up to the possibility of facing problems or things going wrong.