But First, We Rest

14 January 2018

I have discovered in life that you choose to live a busy life or you choose to think you live a busy life! Either way it’s completely our choice. How will you start this new year? As we begin a new year we can see ‘busy’ as a force beyond our control and unable to contain or we can choose to live in the peace and rest of God that is available to every believer.

In the book of Proverbs 27:3 it states “as a man thinks in his heart so is he.” Did you know that what you think determines and more than likely will outwork how you will live and how you see things? Our thinking can create an outlook for your life that may not be true.

The world around us knows the furious pace at which the world is living at. We see this via many resources from authors, doctors, psychologists, bloggers, who recognize that humanity is craving for rest, flooding their thoughts and suggestions through literature, social media and blogs trying to provide solution, solace, tranquility and rest.

The real antidote for rest and peace can be found in the pages of scripture.

After creation on the seventh day the scripture says “and God rested from all His work.” God rested!

In the New Testament the scripture reveals to us that when Jesus died on the cross for our sins, mistakes, depravity he cried out “it is finished!” (In other words, the job is done, the victory is His, He has provided salvation which is available to us!

The Greek word for salvation is ‘sozo’ which incorporates not only salvation, but also peace, joy, wholeness and rest. The book of Ephesians, Colossians, Hebrews and Romans echoes this rest by stating “He is seated at the right hand of majesty.” Who is seated? Jesus is seated, rested!

But what does that have to do with me? I’m not Jesus. I know you aren’t and neither am I, but in Romans 8 “that the same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you.” Wow! Did you catch that truth? The same spirit that raised Jesus, that restores lives, produces miracles and brings shalom (peace) to people lives in you. His peace LIVES IN YOU! This peace is different to the peace the world gives. If we could only grasp that truth; hold on to it tightly.

From these scriptures we see Jesus is seated and rested. If He is rested and if the scripture states “as He is so are we in this world (not just in heaven) is true” (see1John4:17), then we can enter this rest.

Hebrews 4:6-16 (NLT) speaks of this rest …. So God’s rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God. 7 So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted:  Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.” 8 Now if Joshua had succeeded in giving them this rest, God would not have spoken about another day of rest still to come. 9 So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God. 10 For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. 11 So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall. 12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable. 14 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Two key thoughts from Hebrews 4

1. “TODAY” verse 7 states ‘today’ is the day of rest. This is wonderful news, it means I can quit striving, performing, stressing and shift my focus to His rest. Jesus has made a way for us to rest and enter His peace. He said in John 14:27 .. “My peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I don’t give it as the world gives it. Therefore don’t be troubled in your hearts and don’t be afraid.”

The answer lies in those key words “don’t be troubled in your heart.” 

Again we see that what happens in our heart will determine what we see, how we think, and what we believe.

What is happening in your heart right now? Anxiety? Un-forgiveness? Doubt? Fear? Bitterness? What is happening in your heart will become the theme of your life.

2. “WORD” Verse 12 “The WORD of God is ALIVE and POWERFUL”

In Proverbs 4: 20-23 it speaks of the the words in your heart “My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

Rest comes from allowing His Word and truth to abide in your heart today.

“Everything you do flows from it”. When we guard our hearts with His Word, it reveals how to enter that REST and PEACE!! Right Believing, leads to right living!

Click here to rest ‘But First, We Rest (Part 2)’


Brenden Brown
Campus Pastor
Hillsong Church San Francisco