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The children of Israel did not enter the rest of God because they detached themselves from His presence. They preferred a connection with God through Moses and were content to embrace a connection to God based upon a form of service and works. Rather than embracing a fiery God who could transform them, they chose only a shadow of His presence in the form of an informative law. They rejected a relationship of intimacy with Him; thus, they could observe His works, but they could not understand His ways. Without a personal face-to-face relationship with God, it is impossible to know the ways of God. Unless we know the ways of God, we cannot manifest His character, nature, way, power, and authority in our lives. The true testimony of a personal relationship with God is manifest in the song of our hearts. When we know Him, His life springs up from within our heart. I’m not just talking about a musical tune played with instruments or sung in vocal sound, I’m talking about a spontaneous manifestation of love for God from within our hearts.
Psalms 95:1 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. 3 For the Lord is the great God, and the great King above all gods. 4 In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the heights of the hills are His also. 5 The sea is His, for He made it; and His hands formed the dry land. 6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. 7 For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice: 8 “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, as in the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 when your fathers tested Me; They tried Me, though they saw My work. 10 For forty years I was grieved with that generation, and said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts, and they do not know My ways.’ 11 So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’”
When we embrace God’s presence in or lives, we experience a worship of Him that comes from within our hearts. Our bowing before Him is a bowing of honor, adoration, and love. His presence causes our hearts to become as parchment for a letter written by His Spirit at work in our lives. Knowing His presence inspires a willingness to become a habitation for His presence in every aspect of our lives. This is the true rest of God.
A secret to entering the rest of God is found in knowing God’s ways. When we try to control or manipulate God to conform to our ways, we cannot enter the rest of God. We can only find some false appeasement for our own pain. Conforming God to our desires can never heal the roots of our being, but merely sedates the fruit of our own diseases. We were made in the likeness and image of our Father, God. The secret to growing into our full identity, testimony, and purpose in Christ is found by being connected to God in a personal and intimate way. Only this can empower a transformation in our lives that can be experienced by others around us in the world we live in. As leaders, the most important thing we can do is to seek, stir-up, and maintain a personal and intimate relationship with God in our way of life. It is by this that we can know the rest of God and it is by this that we can be an inspiration to those we lead to discover the same in their own lives.
True rest is to be fully satisfied. What is it that brings satisfaction in life? Satisfaction can only be found when we become as He is; when we become givers of life.
Acts 17:24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.
The evidence of discovering the rest of God is to become a giver of life to our world. The manifest presence of the One who gives life, breath, and all things inspires us to become givers of life to others. It motivates us to facilitate others to be expressions of life. It empowers us to partner with others in the purpose of life. It is not the work of giving that we seek, it is embracing the One who gives life into our hearts that empowers us to be givers of life to our world. Let us excel in this as leaders. Let us excel in God resting in our lives.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
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