Find comfort, rest in God's wisdom
February 16, 2011 - "There remained therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that has entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works as God did from His. Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief." (Heb. 4:9-12) What was this place of rest that Paul was writing about? These scriptures state that rest has to do with ceasing from our own works.
This tells me that people can get caught in the trap of doing things their own way. Rom.14:17 teaches us about this resting place that God has provided for all of us.
The Bible calls this resting place "Kingdom Living." "For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness (right standing with God), peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."
Just becoming a Christian does not cause you to be at rest in every area of life. Paul said in the above scripture that we must labor to enter into this rest. That's right! We must labor to enter into rest! The problem we have is discerning where and when we're to labor. Laboring in the wrong area is like chasing the wind; you'll just get tired of chasing.
Finding rest always has to do with walking in God's wisdom instead of man's wisdom. We must have the ability to discern the difference. Choosing Gods wisdom will bring us the rest that we desperately want and need. Man's wisdom brings exhaustion, discouragement, and frustration.
There are many areas in which we need to discern God's wisdom from man's wisdom. For example, you will live a continuous battle if you can not discern the difference between lust and love.
Love desires to get at the expense of others and Love desires to get at the expense of self. Love is of God, lust is not! People who constantly experience failing relationships may think their walking in Love, but most of the time they're not. Love never fails!
We must also be able to discern the difference between condemnation and conviction. Condemnation brings guilt and shame. These emotions will drag you into a fight that you will never win. Conviction, on the other hand, will bring Godly sorrow that leads to repentance.
Conviction leads to freedom; condemnation leads to bondage. Many people are unable to discern the difference between ownership and stewardship. Ownership brings with it a sense of pride and arrogance. We see this in little children when they learn one of their first favorite words, "Mine." Stewardship remains grateful for everything it receives. Stewardship maintains a sense of responsibility for what it's been given. Unfortunately, I've witnessed too often the fight people enter into when they're going through a divorce or receiving an inheritance. They get worn out fighting for what they think is "theirs."
We also need to discern the difference between trying versus trusting. I hear people say it all the time, "I'm trying." I'm trying, always carries with it the idea of working hard, but never arriving. I know in my own life, I've been caught in the cycle of trying and failing. It's exhausting!
When we move into the place of trusting, we find rest. Trusting is allowing God to do the work, not you. . A former Pastor of mine once had to take a two year sabbatical because he had what he described as "Ministry Burnout." He shared his experience with a fellow minister who politely responded, "You mean you were trying to do it yourself?" This minister pinpointed the problem perfectly!
How can we properly discern what kind of wisdom that we're walking in? First, check your level of peace and rest. God's wisdom will lead you to peace and rest. If you don't have peace and rest, you're probably not walking in God's wisdom somewhere in your life. It's easy to begin to take on battles, fights and responsibilities that God never intended for us to have.
Faith is the victory that overcomes the world. Doubt and unbelief kept the Israelites out of the rest God had called them to. Doubt and unbelief are still the biggest enemies to faith and peace. Doubt and unbelief lead us down the road of using man's wisdom to conquer our battles. The labor were supposed to be involved in is, laboring in word and in doctrine. We're to seek after God's wisdom as one would seek after a hidden treasure. God's word is able to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart. Renew your mind with the word of God! God is not hiding things FROM His children, but rather hiding things FOR His children. When you find His wisdom, you will find….. Ahhhhh…rest.
The Rev. Jeff Stonerock is pastor of of Victory World Outreach.