We have spoken of trying and trusting, and the difference between the two. Believe me, it is the difference between heaven and hell. ~Watchman Nee
Therefore, while the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. For we who have believed enter that rest, as He has said, “As I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest,” … Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again He appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. ~The Encourager, in Hebrews 4
Oh beloved, it is true. We are tired. So much has happened in our lives. But mostly, we are tired because of our efforts to try and live a christian life. And it is this “christianism” or “churchianity” that is nearly the end of us.
There is an opposite to this. And it is so very opposite, that we have a hard time even beginning to believe that it is true. Everything within us rails against the prospect that we have been getting it wrong. We think that our efforts to show G_d our gratitude are the way to go.
We know that we are sinners. We know that we are broken. We know that we need to live for God. We know God, in Jesus, has already given everything for us… But, something is teasing at the edge of our soul. We read His Word, and it tells us… but we think that we are just getting the interpretation wrong. Our fear (and our enormous pride) won’t let us see what is right in front of our face.
Something is not right.
We are exhausted
and becoming bitter
and, just wishing things could be better in our walk with Him.
We have counted the cost of following Him, but what is happening to us seems far from abundant. It feels like we have been cheated. We don’t even feel the joy of His Presence, and the lightness of losing everything to gain Christ. Instead, we are just worn out. We are beginning to wonder if we got something very, very wrong.
Can we see it? We have indeed gotten something VERY wrong if we are in this place. We are to strive in this Life He has given us. But, we are only to strive for one thing – and one thing alone. We are to strive to quit striving. We are to shatter the idols of our busyness and effort. We are to slice up our lists of things to do, and we are to let His Word cut deeply into who we are.
And when we do, something amazing happens. We finally get it. The gargantuan Love of G_d has already saved us in Christ Jesus. There is nothing do, but rest in this certainty. Instead of trying to claw and trudge our way home, we find that we are already seated at table with our Lover and King and Dear Friend. And it is here, in this reclining at the table of Grace, we find strength we never knew could even exist.
Oh yes, there will be great labors and even deeper pain in the future. But now, everything is different. We are beginning to get it. It is joy that is our strength. It is Love binds us together with Him and it is Grace that empowers us for the work in His fields quite white unto harvest.
So, are you tired? It happens. But, are you worn out? Are you fraying at the edges? If so, you may indeed want to focus your efforts on just one last work: stopping. Tonight is your night beloved. Time to rest in Him. The cost of any other approach is just too high.
Written by Makala Doulos: Makala is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.
Daily Quote: “It is the Father’s life, and the Father’s life alone, that ever lives the Christian life. It is the Father’s life, and Father’s life alone, which will live the Christian life in you. Embrace a formula or a list in order to “live the Christian life,” and you are doomed to frustration.” ~Gene Edwards
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? ~Romans 8:31-32