God's Rest

“There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.” (Hebrews 4:9-11).

"God's rest" is a very interesting subject to me, especially when I entered it to a deeper degree, and it was a theme He was speaking to me about. God's rest is a subject people have written entire books on but I will summarize what God showed me.

First of all, I think it is important to point out that there are different kinds of "rests." The most popular understanding of entering "God's rest" is the Sabbath day, one day a week to set aside from work, and rest. I discuss this in my article on "The Sabbath." I find it interesting that the Sabbath was a day of rest, for fellowship ("sacred assembly"). The Bible says, "There are six days when you may work. but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to the Lord" (Leviticus 23:3). There are numerous verses that talk about the Sabbath and "sacred assembly." There are actually eight Sabbaths (including the "high Sabbaths") but that's another study. Even so, "God's rest" is much more than that! Thus begins my story...

During a time of being in God's rest I recorded the following:

"I just finished a season of "seeking His face" recently and everything else was laid aside. I am not involved in ministry and I have been spending most of my time in prayer, reading the Word, reading a dozen or so devotional-type studies a day, and going to Bible studies and worship times. I have spent time with friends and Yvethe's family and spoke to my parents for over one hr. today. I am content and happier than ever, I have favor with God and those I come in contact with, my relationship with Yvethe could not be better and I don't feel any stress. I'm healthy and definitely feel connected to the Lord, never content and still pressing in for more. But that is not all. His rest is so much more... I am no longer striving in my flesh. In fact, I am doing everything in His power. I also think God's rest is a time of refreshing spiritually. I am being fed now like never before and His Word is like living water to the soul. As I rest in Him and His handiwork, He is able to do what He wants. He dwells and rules without rival within. If I come to Him and take His yoke (Matt. 11:28-30), He gives me rest for my soul, exactly what I am feeling, but to take His yoke I have to get rid of mine! In this place of God's rest, nothing moves me. The enemy can't disrupt me. My flesh is subject to the Spirit and the Lord is first and foremost in my life. All aspects of my life are working properly and everything is balanced, for they have found their place in Him. For His rest is His Holy Spirit..."

One of the most wonderful promises of God is that He will give us rest. Think about that. This life is a battle, is it not? We are called to war with an enemy who wants to "steal, kill and destroy" (John 10:10). Satan is trying to rob us of peace while God is trying to provide it. Recognizing the rest of the Lord is essential if we are going to enter this place which God has prepared for us. Ultimately, heaven is our final rest and this life is a preparation for that. Our life is the time for us to do our work for God and His kingdom, but we also have the benefit of rest and special times in God's rest. Look at Psalm 23 and how it promises rest, even in the presence of our enemies:

Psalm 23
A psalm of David.
 1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
       he leads me beside quiet waters,
 3 he restores my soul.
       He guides me in paths of righteousness
       for his name's sake.
 4 Even though I walk
       through the valley of the shadow of death, [1]
       I will fear no evil,
       for you are with me;
       your rod and your staff,
       they comfort me.
 5 You prepare a table before me
       in the presence of my enemies.
       You anoint my head with oil;
       my cup overflows.
 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
       all the days of my life,
       and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
       forever.

FOOTNOTES:

1. Psalm 23:4 - Or through the darkest valley


Here is a study on the word "rest" in the New Testament (Greek)

Rest (Noun and Verb) - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words

A-1, Noun, 372, anapausis

"cessation, refreshment, rest" (ana, "up," pauo, "to make to cease"), the constant word in the Sept. for the Sabbath "rest," is used in Mat_11:29; here the contrast seems to be to the burdens imposed by the Pharisees. Christ's "rest" is not a "rest" from work, but in work, "not the rest of inactivity but of the harmonious working of all the faculties and affections, of will, heart, imagination, conscience, because each has found in God the ideal sphere for its satisfaction and development" (J. Patrick, in Hastings' Bib. Dic.); it occurs also in Mat_12:43; Luk_11:24; Rev_4:8, RV, "(they have no) rest" [AV, "(they) rest (not)"], where the noun is the object of the verb echo, "to have;" so in Rev_14:11.


A-2, Noun, 2663, katapausis

in classical Greek, denotes "a causing to cease" or "putting to rest;" in the NT, "rest, repose;" it is used (a) of God's "rest;" Act_7:49; Heb_3:11, Heb_3:18; Heb_4:1, Heb_4:3 (twice), RV (1st part), "that rest" (the AV, "rest," is ambiguous), Heb_4:5, Heb_4:11; (b) in a general statement, applicable to God and man, Heb_4:10.


A-3, Noun, 425, anesis

for the significance of which see EASE, B, is translated "rest" in 2Co_2:13, AV (RV, "relief"); 2Co_7:5 (ditto); in 2Th_1:7, the subject is not the "rest" to be granted to the saints, but the Divine retribution on their persecutors; hence the phrase "and to you that are afflicted rest with us," is an incidental extension of the idea of recompense, and is to be read parenthetically. The time is not that at which the saints will be relieved of persecution, as in 1Th_4:15-17, when the Parousia of Christ begins, but that at which the persecutors will be punished, namely, at the epiphany (or out-shining) of His Parousia (2Th_2:8). For similar parentheses characteristic of epistolary writings see 1Th_4:10; 1Th_1:6; 1Th_2:15-16.


A-4, Noun, 4520, sabbatismos

"a Sabbath-keeping," is used in Heb_4:9, RV, "a sabbath rest," AV marg., "a keeping of a sabbath" (akin to sabbatizo, "to keep the Sabbath," used, e.g., in Exo_16:30, not in the NT); here the sabbath-keeping is the perpetual sabbath "rest" to be enjoyed uninterruptedly by believers (ideally!!!!) in their fellowship with the Father and the Son, in contrast to the weekly Sabbath under the Law. Because this sabbath "rest" is the "rest" of God Himself, Heb_4:10, its full fruition is yet future, though believers now enter into it. In whatever way they enter into Divine "rest," that which they enjoy is involved in an indissoluble relation with God.


A-5, Noun, 2838, koimesis

"a resting, reclining" (akin to keimai, "to lie"), is used in Joh_11:13, of natural sleep, translated "taking rest," RV. Note: In Act_9:31, AV, eirene, "peace" (RV), is translated "rest."


B-1, Verb, 373, anapauo

akin to A, No. 1, in the Active Voice, signifies "to give intermission from labor, to give rest, to refresh," Mat_11:28; 1Co_16:18, "have refreshed;" Phm_1:7, "are refreshed;" in the Middle Voice, "to take or enjoy rest," Mat_26:45; Mar_6:31; Mar_14:41; Luk_12:19, "take thine ease;" 1Pe_4:14; Rev_6:11; Rev_14:13. See REFRESH. In the papyri it is found as an agricultural term, e.g., of giving land "rest" by sowing light crops upon it. In inscriptions it is found on gravestones of Christians, followed by the date of death (Moulton and Milligan).


B-2, Verb, 2664, katapauo

akin to A, No. 2, used transitively, signifies "to cause to cease, restrain," Act_14:18; "to cause to rest," Heb_4:8; intransitively, "to rest," Heb_4:4, Heb_4:10. See CEASE, A, No. 6, RESTRAIN.


B-3, Verb, 1981, episkenoo

"to spread a tabernacle over" (epi, "upon," skene, "a tent"), is used metaphorically in 2Co_12:9, "may rest upon (me)," RV, marg., "cover," "spread a tabernacle over."


B-4, Verb, 2681, kataskenoo

"to pitch one's tent, lodge," is translated "shall rest," in Act_2:26, AV (RV, "shall dwell"). See LODGE.


B-5, Verb, 2270, hesuchazo

"to be still, to rest from labor," is translated "they rested" in Luk_23:56. See PEACE (hold one's), No. 3.


B-6, Verb, 1879, epanapauo

"to cause to rest," is used in the Middle Voice, metaphorically, signifying "to rest upon" (epi, "upon," and No. 1), in Luk_10:6; Rom_2:17. Note: For "find rest" Rom_15:32, RV, see REFRESH, No. 2.


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