Entering into rest
“Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God:”
There is no rest to be found in the council of this world. However hard we try and whatever great people we seem to find, there is no help for the inner person, except the one who made us in the first place. We seek advice, support, help, and a companionship that will fill all the gaps in our psyche, and make us feel whole.
People are only people. They are fallen and fallible, just like us. Why would we seek them out? Why do we think that any person can make us whole?
The thoughts that we think; our remedies; our devices for solving problems, are all fleeting. We have an idea and it disappears as quickly as it came to us. We can record our ideas in words or pictures, and some will see it and it might be remembered for some time, but not forever. As soon as our breath leaves our bodies, we are truly gone. There is no more communication with other people, and our contribution to this worlds system has finished. We each leave things behind, but few remember.
As we think on these deep issues, the reality of meaninglessness kicks in and we can find ourselves hopeless and in despair without the knowledge of a loving God who waits for us in the shadows until we come to our senses. Ecclesiastes is all about this huge issues and so applicable for us today. It is worth reading this book and mediating on it.
“Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless.”
Psalm 108:12 BSB
People are weak and cannot stand against even human opposition, so why do we think we can resist the enemy of our souls? He is a powerful foe and can overpower us easily without the strong power of the Holy Spirit who helps us to resist and overcome. To look for help anywhere else is foolish. We all must walk with God in our individual lives and are be responsible for our thoughts and behaviour. Leaning on other people, is not an option we should be dreaming about.
People get married thinking that the partner will support all their needs and be the help needed to walk through their world. It is not so. Without Christ we are helpless and cannot do anything. Without Him, everything is impossible. With Him, all things are possible. Marriage is our closest relationship that it is possible to have in this life, but it is not a support mechanism for our souls. It is our responsibility to stay close to Christ and walk with Him, helping and encouraging each other to do the same.
Sisters and brothers in Christ can be helpful, but often not. We are all fallen creatures and want recognition and validation. There are few who walk uprightly with God, and those who do walk up rightly, have learned to stay close to Him and not another. This is the strength given by God through the teaching and power of the Spirit within.
How can I then rest? We rest only in the arms of Christ. Jesus is the only comfort and hope for the human souls and heart and mind. Only He is reliable. The help of man in the spiritual circumstances of Iife, is worthless. No one can resist for us, reason for us, fight for us… Christ has fought and won, and we gain the victory through him, not another. There are many who rise up and set themselves as “princes” and “councillors,” but they are not. Anyone who takes the place of Christ in the human psyche, is not godly.
“But Jesus didn’t trust himself to them, because he knew everyone, and because he didn’t need for anyone to testify concerning man; for he himself knew what was in man.”
Jesus knows what we are like, and kept Himself in the love of God, through communion with the Father in heaven. He did not ask advice from the disciples, who were incapable of understanding so many things, until the Holy Spirit came, or from any recognised human authority. His rest was in God alone.
“My soul rests in God alone. My salvation is from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress— I will never be greatly shaken.”
Psalm 62: whole Psalm…
This is the wise Psalmist who spent his young life on the run from danger. He had men with him to support him and protect him, but the Psalmist recognises that it is not the protection he needs. Rest is in God alone. It is a state of mind that keeps itself steady, in the Word of God and the promises of “Yes” and “Amen.”
Life is a raging sea, and unless the mariner is in the boat, we are ruined! Life is a war and unless the Master is in command, we are totally defeated…. Life is a symphony and unless the Maestro is conducting the orchestra, there is no sound at all…!
Rest is not inactivity, but a state of mind. It is not about how much sleep you are getting or how regular your relaxation times are, but if God is your portion and your praise. This is the powerhouse of the Christian life. God-filled, God-orientated and God-driven activity for the coming kingdom, which will be a place of such rest in the power of the Spirit forever. We enter into that rest fully, when we get there, but in this life, we take the rest God gives to us, and continue on loving for Him and serving Him alone.
“Let us fear therefore, lest perhaps anyone of you should seem to have come short of a promise of entering into his rest.”
This is our only concern. That we will not enter that eternal rest and miss the mark of the right calling of God. This is for every Christian, not just a chosen few. We seek to not come short and to work out our salvation with “fear and trembling” so that we are sure we are in the kingdom and not unprofitable servants.
We rest on Christ the author and finisher of our faith. Only He can do this. It takes the Eternal Son of God to save us and keep us as we walk through this dark world and bring us safely home to heaven, where we can rest and praise and worship and serve with great delight, forever… this is the inheritance of the saints.
“…. that you may walk worthily of the Lord, to please him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to the might of his glory, for all endurance and perseverance with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the Kingdom of the Son of his love; in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins.”
“For the LORD has chosen Zion. He has desired it for his habitation. This is my resting place forever. Here I will live, for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provision. I will satisfy her poor with bread. Her priests I will also clothe with salvation. Her saints will shout aloud for joy.”
This is the rest that keeps us going in this life. This is our eternal inheritance and our motivation to keep going and serve relentlessly, with all our being, living sacrifices which is our spiritual worship….