The best analogy I’ve heard about entering God’s rest is from Graham Cooke, one of my favorite teachers. This is my (admittedly poor) paraphrase of his vision/dream.
Orcs were chasing me. I ran up mountains and through forests, and was nearing total exhaustion. They would catch me soon, and my one sword would not be enough. I was running across a grassy plain, about to collapse, when I saw a tent in front of me and ran inside. It was strangely peaceful. There was a fire pit of burning coals in the center, from which I could sense the presence of the Lord. I turned to see my pursuers running full speed, close to the tent. Unable to run any further, I drew my sword.
Gently and softly from the fire behind me, I heard the Lord say, “You won’t need that.”
The orcs ran right past the tent as if they couldn’t see it. In fact, when they moved onto the space the tent occupied, they didn’t come inside but instantly appeared on the other side, as if in their dimension the tent wasn’t even there! They were shouting angrily at each other for losing their prey (me) who was there just a moment ago. In the middle of a grassy open plain, where could he have gone? And they loudly and with much cursing blamed each other.
Meanwhile, I heard the Lord, softly chuckling from the fire. He was laughing at them!
Where was I? Safe, yes, totally, but where was I? I was in the Lord’s rest.
From Graham Cooke’s vision on The Way of the Warrior Series CD series. (You can get your own copy here , and Graham’s general website is here. Very much worth a browse. BTW, these are not affiliate links. I get no commission if you click them or buy from Graham. This is an honest recommendation.)
So what exactly is God’s rest?
God’s Rest “rest,” in Hebrews 3 and 4, doesn’t mean physical rest or sleep. It’s the opposite of being anxious. It’s the opposite of being fearful.
It’s that place of quiet confidence, believing the Lord would do what he said. Believing his presence in my life is enough. A place without striving. An spiritual eye in my very real hurricane of life.
Hebrews 3:19, talking about those Moses recused from Egypt, says they were not able to enter God’s rest because of their unbelief. Earlier in chapter 3 the writer quotes Psalm 95, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion,” and “So I (God) declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest’ ”. Then he says in 3:19, “So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.”
Entering God’s rest doesn’t change the circumstances around us, but it changes the power those circumstances have over us. Our fear gives them power. When we’re not afraid of them, because we’re in God’s rest, they have no power over us. We can think clearly and act from the wisdom of the Spirit.
Today’s Action Step: When things are crazy around me, I will enter God’s rest by choosing to believe him over the fear my circumstances are trying to inspire.
I’m learning to enter his rest more and more. What are your experiences with God’s rest? How do you personally enter it? Tell us in the comments; we’re looking forward to learning from you. And please share on social media if you think this would benefit someone else.