“Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through the same example of disobedience.” Hebrews 4:11.
Today your LORD (יהוה) God says:
It is time that you entered My rest. I created you to be in My rest and I blessed you to be there. “It is the blessing of the LORD that makes rich, and He adds no sorrow (etseb in Hebrew, meaning hurt, pain, toil) to it.” Proverbs 10:22. Yet the first man and woman proved unfaithful and left My rest and entered into toilsome labor. And they left that legacy to their descendants.
But I have given you the way to return to My rest and I have commanded you to make haste with all diligence to make sure you enter My rest. “Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through the same example of disobedience.” Hebrews 4:11. The word translated “diligent” and you will also see it translated as “labor” and “strive,” in the Greek language in which it was first written, is the word “spoudázō,” which means to make haste, to be swift, go fast, be speedy. Essentially, to move speedily by showing full diligence (fully applying oneself); acting fervently (speedy commitment) to accomplish all that I assign through faith. Accordingly, spoudázō (and spoude) and faith (pístis) are directly linked. Hebrews 6:11-12; Ephesians 4:3-5; 2 Timothy 4:7-9; 2 Peter 1:5.
But even though I have told you that you should be diligent to enter My rest with haste—that is, earnestly, with full speed, to make entering My rest a top priority, the vast majority of people are still living in toilsome labor, filled with unrest, ill at ease, depressed, anxious, and all “stressed out.” This ought not to be. It grieved Me that the Israelites I redeemed out of Egypt, who should have entered My rest by entering the promised land, did not. They refused and stayed in toilsome labor. I do not want that to be your life and you should not want that either. For I know the plans I have for you, plans for your shalom and not evil, to give you a future and a hope. A life of perfect wholeness and peace.
So today we are starting a new series of Life Lessons—“It is time to enter God’s rest”—and today is Life Lesson No. 1: “Make Haste to Enter the Rest.”
Why did the Israelites not enter My rest when I had chosen them to be a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people set apart? And today in Jesus so I have chosen you. They were a people to whom I had given My Word and showed them awesome wonders. And they did believe in Me, they never doubted My existence, but they questioned My care for them and the truth of My Words.
So why did they not enter? I tell you quite plainly: “And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.” Hebrews 3:18-19. But there is more here, looking at the language in which this was first written, the word translated “unbelief,” which is given for the reason they did not enter, in translation is not giving you the full meaning of what went on, though it is true that was the reason.
Looking at the Greek word which is translated “unbelief,” it is “apistía,” which is the negated form of “pistós,”which means “faithful.” So literally it means “no-faithfulness” (unfaithfulness); “want of faith” (betraying a trust).” The word “pistós” is an adjective, derived from “peíthō,” which means persuaded. The root of pistós, “faithful” and pisteúō, “faith,” are the same (pist-), referring to persuasion. So you see that the failure to enter My rest was not being fully persuaded that My promises to give them the Promised Land were true, even though they had seen My works on their behalf. They were easily persuaded by the circumstances presented by the evil one to doubt My Words. It is very much as what Eve did, she believed in Me but she was unfaithful, a lack of reliable loyalty to My Word, she was not fully persuaded that she would die if she ate the fruit or she would not have done so. So what kept them out was a lack of faithfulness to My Word by those who knew it.
And once Adam and Eve went out of My rest by disobedience (a lack of faith and faithfulness) to My Word, they went into striving with My Spirit by submitting to the dominion of evil and darkness. And what happened? Before their life had been one of dominion over the earth, an abundant wealthy place of rest that responded to their words so that cultivation was by command and abundant harvest sprang forth. There were no storms, only a daily mist that came up from the ground to abundantly water and refresh the earth. Genesis 2:6. But when they went into striving with Me, the ground went into striving with them. The only remedy was that I send out My Spirit to renew the face of the earth as I bring you back to make you again children of God. “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.” Romans 8:19.
Because of Adam’s flagrant unfaithfulness, like the man who commits adultery against the bride of his youth, then the sentence came, “cursed is the ground because of you; in sorrowful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face, you will eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:17-19.
But I gave mankind a way back to My rest, obedience to My Word, and that Word became flesh and dwelt among you and He gave you an invitation to come to Him and He would give you rest. Matthew 11:28-30. He is the door back into My rest. John 10:7. Make haste to enter.
I gave the Israelites on the way to the promised land, the Passover lamb and the five sacrificial offerings that are shadows of Jesus, being fulfilled in Him so your sentence of condemnation is carried out on Him in your place and stead, and your sins are gone. You can have rest. He redeemed you from the curse and gave you the Blessing.
There is no rest, no peace, for the wicked, but cleansed and covered by the Blood of the Lamb, you are no longer wicked before Me but a saint—a kingdom of priests unto Me—a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people set apart to receive My inheritance with the saints in light. You have been washed clean of your sins in the Blood of the Lamb and your minds too have been cleansed by the washing of water with My Word.
I told Moses to speak as follows to the children of Israel on the way to the promised land, “You shall therefore keep every commandment which I am commanding you today, so that you may be strong and go in and possess the land into which you are about to cross to possess it; so that you may prolong your days on the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give to them and to their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. For the land, into which you are entering to possess it, is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, where you used to sow your seed and water it with your foot like a vegetable garden. But the land into which you are about to cross to possess it, a land of hills and valleys, drinks water from the rain of heaven, a land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning even to the end of the year. It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the Lord your God and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul, that He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early and late rain, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil. He will give grass in your fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.” Deuteronomy 11:8-15. But Moses went on to caution them if they were unfaithful to My Words and went to other gods, (“Beware that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away and serve other gods and worship them.”), then the heavens would close, and there would be no rain and the ground would not yield its fruit; and they would perish quickly from the good land which I was giving them.
When you return to Me, then “I will betroth you to Me forever. Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in lovingkindness and in compassion, and I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD. And it will come about in that day that I will respond,” declares the LORD. “I will respond to the heavens, and they will respond to the earth, and the earth will respond to the grain, to the new wine and to the oil.” Hosea 2:19-23. The earth will no longer fight you but respond to you in blessing. “Lovingkindness and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth springs from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. Indeed, the LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its produce. Righteousness will go before Him and will make His footsteps into a way.” Psalm 85:10-13. And you know that Way, He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Rest. If you are willing and obey you shall eat the good of the land. “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool. If you are willing and obey, you will eat the best of the land. But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” Truly, the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” Isaiah 1:18-20. I do all this for you in Jesus.
What happens when you turn back to Me? I cleanse you of your sins and make you pure in Jesus. His blood continually cleanses you if you will walk with Me in the light. You can rest in the peace of the righteous, established in righteousness you are far from oppression. for you will not fear; and from terror, for it will not come near you. Isaiah 54:14.
Jesus is the good Shepherd leading you back to the green pastures and restful, healing waters of Eden. He leads you out to lead you in. John 10:2, 9. Out of the curse into the Blessing. Out of painful, sorrowful toil to the place of creative fruitfulness. The abiding life of the branch in the vine is a picture of living in My rest. He is the vine, you are the branches, and I am the vine dresser. Abiding in Him and His Words abiding in you, you ask what you desire and it is done for you. John 15:7. Back to Eden. Back to fruitful work from My rest. The rest of the branch in the vine producing much fruit as effortlessly as the branch.
The most important work of the branch is to stay well attached to the vine. And you do this by obeying My Words, by agreeing with what I promise you and what I say about you in My Word, and that is what the Israelites refused to do that cost them entering My rest. They would not say they had the victory and were more than conquerors. They spoke defeat and death and described themselves as “grasshoppers.” They would not speak of My love and care for them. Instead they spoke of Me as having motives to harm them instead of to bless them.
And this is what the devil did to Eve and Adam, he made them believe I was withholding good from them and deceiving them. But I was nothing but good for them. I gave them dominion over the works of My hands. I made them in My image and likeness. All I had was theirs and they were to be with Me always in perfect fellowship, partnership, and stewardship.
And how many people do that today without even realizing they do! But when you question My goodness, My actions, My Words, and My motives you are doing just that. And many do that when a trial comes that appears contrary to My promises. If you know My ways you will not do this.
And that was the problem with the Israelites, they never knew My ways, that is, My nature and who I am and how the laws of faith work. “Today, if you would hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the wilderness, when your fathers tested Me, they tried Me, though they had seen My work. For forty years I loathed that generation, and said they are a people who err in their heart, and they do not know My ways. Therefore I swore in My anger, truly they shall not enter into My rest.” Psalm 95:7-11.
Jesus came to undo the works of the devil, and of Adam for that matter, by being the second and last Adam. Jesus obeyed My Word and was never deceived into being unfaithful by the devil. He is the faithful and true. He lived and walked the earth in My rest. He is the faithful witness and He has taken you into the covenant of peace with Him. JESUS IS YOUR PEACE. Jesus is your rest. He is Lord of shabbat, which simply means “rest.” He went about doing good and setting the captives free—healing all those who were being oppressed by the devil into the captivity of sorrowful, painful lives. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed.
And what is My rest? I created the world and all it contains in six days and on the seventh I entered into My rest. And I made you at the close of the sixth day and then pulled you into My rest with Me. Everything you needed for life and godliness was already supplied. Your life was simply to be one of fruitful creativity and dominion authority over the works of My hands which I designed to replenish and keep producing. A life lived in Me of fellowship, partnership, and stewardship. A life of shalom and not evil, a future and a hope. Shalom is wholeness in every area of your life—nothing missing, nothing broken, and no one alone. It is a life of no lack, no fear, no confusion, no division, no sickness, no oppression, and perfect peace. It is a life of joy unspeakable filled with glory, love unlimited, and peace unshakeable. And it is eternal.
Be earnest then, hurry, be swift to come to Jesus and enter the rest. How do you do that? You confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that I raised Him from the dead and you are saved and made righteous and you have entered the door into My rest. But once you enter the door, how do you stay in My rest? I tell you how in the same chapters in the letter to the Hebrews where I tell you the reason that people do not enter. And it all has to do with your confession (homologia), that is your agreement with My Words in what you say. Same as it was for Adam, Eve, and the Israelites.
And this is where we begin to talk about Jesus as the High Priest of your words, your confession of agreement with My Words. Do not make a confession of doubt stout against My Words. For as it was with the Israelites so it is with you. It is your words and the thoughts of your heart that will put you in or out of My rest. And that will be in tomorrow’s Life Lesson, Life Lesson No. 2: “How to stay in God’s Rest.”
I love you. I never wanted you to live anyway but in My rest. Toilsome and painful lives are not My Will. So if you want to be doing My Will, begin by entering My rest and then by staying there and not letting anyone pull you out of it so as to deprive you of your prize. Learn from Adam and Eve and the Israelites what not to do, and learn from My Word, Jesus, what to do. And today we have begun. Just as you have received Jesus as Lord, so walk in Him.