Hebrews 4:9-10 “There remains, then, a Sabbath rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.”
Anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work. I have known people who try to get more out of their physical exercise by using small weights that they can strap to their wrists or ankles or carry in their hands while they walk or run. This will certainly make your body work harder, but you have to be careful. The extra weight can also cause damage to joints and lead to injuries.
I have known people who have strapped the spiritual weight of saving themselves to living their daily lives. This is not a small weight. It is huge. It presents more than a risk of spiritual injury. Carried to the end of life it is eternally fatal. Under this load there is no peace. Life is driven by a desperate pursuit of saving sinlessness. Life is haunted by an ever-growing burden of guilt to carry. God is resented and dreaded for his impossible and unending demands.
But those who enter God’s rest also rest from the work of saving themselves. Jesus has carried all our sins for us when he took them to the cross. He has not left us with so much as a little ankle weight of the work to carry ourselves. Everything has been forgiven–sins past, present, and future. Everything about God’s regard for us has been repaired and restored. He sees us only as loving and holy. We can live and rest in knowing that all of his demands have been fully met. We are spiritually safe and secure with him.
And no discussion of God’s rest would be complete without mention of his ultimate rest in heaven. Those who enter God’s rest can rest from all their scurrying around trying to build a counterfeit heaven on earth. They can rest from all the frustration of seeing the little utopias they attempted to construct destroyed by financial crisis, failing health, or shattered relationships.
In Jesus, our Lord has provided a better and perfect heaven. There we will rest from all the spiritual attacks that try to disturb and remove the peace and rest Jesus provides. There we will know the perfect rest of enjoying God and God enjoying us face to face, like the perfect rest God and man once knew on the first day after creation was done.
Many people today suffer from a chronic lack of sleep. This does more than make us tired. It affects the way we digest our food. It makes it more difficult to think and interferes with our ability to remember things. It weakens our immune system and makes us vulnerable to disease and sickness. Proper rest is an important part of maintaining our health.
The consequences of missing the spiritual rest God gives us are eternal. Trust his gospel. Live in his grace. Let him take your load, and find your rest in him.