Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Day 7 Ahhh...Rest.............. I Surrender!
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
I have missed my blog (and I am hoping you might have been missing it to). However, I had a good rest over the Thanksgiving holiday (and recovered from mild sickness). I hope you all enjoyed a Rest as well!
The origin of our word holiday is the designated Holy Day established by God when He called the Israelites out of Egypt and gave them the Ten Commands. Deut 5:13-15 states God’s third commandment to set aside the seventh day of the week as a Sabbath (Hebrew: Shabat – to rest, cease) and as we see in Gen. 2:3 He blessed it and made it holy (Hebrew: qadhash—set apart, consecrated, hallowed). Upon this seventh day God rested; His work was complete and good and He set aside time to rest, enjoy the fruit of His labors and gave us an example to do the same.
When Moses is first stating this third Commandment in Deuteronomy he reminds them that they were slaves. Deut.5:15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day. We must understand that we will never have REST until we have FREEDOM in Christ! We are first freed from our sins, but we must continue in a path of freedom from self, from pleasing others, from living under condemnation, from the influence of this world… the list goes on and on! When we can live in God’s type of Freedom we will be living in His continual REST!
Observe the words of Isaiah (the Old Testament prophet who is most respected by the Jewish people):
Isa 58:13-14 "If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD's holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, 14 then you will find your joy in the LORD.
What are we admonished to do in this scripture?
1. Delight in God’s plan for our Rest. We will further look at this plan in Paul’s New Testament discussion of the Rest of God found in Hebrews Chapter 4.
2. Not going your own way. Remember that Jesus says “I am the Way” Jn.14:6. We must come to Him and enter into His life to be able to resist going our own way.
3. Not doing as we please. Rom 8:78 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. 9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. If we live by the control of His indwelling Spirit we can resist and overcome our carnal or fleshly desires .
4. Speaking idle words. Matt 12:34-37… For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." The person who has truly committed all his words to God has submitted himself to the Spirit of God and this will produce great abundance and life! Only a changed heart and mind can consistently produce positive, Godly words.
The Rest of God is no longer established by a set aside day of the week; but rather is found every day in living according the Spirit of Christ that dwells within us and influences our reactions to daily life. Col 2:16-17 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
Now, to further discuss “delighting in God’s plan for our Rest”, we will dissect Paul’s teaching on Rest in the fourth chapter of Hebrews. As Is 58:14 tells us we will find our JOY in the Lord when we can enter into His Rest-- we must surrender to Him! Can we follow His plan, His timing, His choices for us instead of our own?
Heb 4:1-7 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. Note: you can miss the Rest of God—even if you are His child. 2 For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. The message of God’s Rest failed because they did not live in FAITH. 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, "So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.'" And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. He CEASED from his work and He rested; we must also CEASE from our own work, rest in faith that HE will work out all our problems and produce a GOOD result and a GOOD plan for success in our lives. 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: "And on the seventh day God rested from all his work." 5 And again in the passage above he says, "They shall never enter my rest." 6 It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. Why did they disobey? They failed to TRUST God (lack of faith). 7 Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when must we trust God and rest in Faith that He will solve our problems and work a perfect work in our lives? TODAY! when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts."
Heb 4:9-11 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, the effort we make is in yielding our heart, mind, will, emotion and thinking to the control of the Spirit—we CHOOSE how we think and feel! so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.
Jesus is the source of REST and His Spirit is the power over fear, worry, doubt, negativity… as we see in Mark 2:27-28 Jesus is the Lord of Rest: "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."
I just want to let you all know that I am planning to blog more frequently. I expect to do a complete study (like the one above) about twice a week. I would like to use the other days to discuss your comments, ideas and general topics applying God’s principles to our daily life…. Send me your thoughts, ideas, questions. Please JOIN into the discussions! Comments can be left by clicking on the Anonymous choice under comments, if you do not wish to fill out a profile or to become a regular follower of this blog.