The things we need to be most fully alive never come in busyness; they grow in rest. —Mark Buchanan, The Holy Wild: Trusting in the Character of God
I’m a fan of road trips; I love the scenery, the playlists, and the long conversations. What I don’t love is finding signage that promises great food, but as I try to change lanes and veer right, a semi-truck shows up out of nowhere. Just like that, I miss it. Whatever rest the sign promised is now a blur in my rearview mirror.
Can that happen in our spiritual life, too? Can we miss the promise of rest?
Hebrews 4:1 reads, Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.
This is present tense, friends. We aren’t talking about final rest—or rest in heaven. We are talking about today—the here and now—so long as we remember the “therefore.”
The author wants us to keep in mind the history of Israel. The first generation of Israelites refused to enter their promised place of rest. More accurately, they refused to trust. As a result, they stayed in the wilderness—wandering, wanting, and whining. Their unbelief excluded them from God’s rest.
But that’s not all. The second generation of Israelites did enter the Promised Land. When God said “go” they said “okay.” This second generation entered God’s promised place of rest but failed to experience it. Why? Their cycles of unbelief show us that even inside the place of rest, they struggled with trusting God.
That’s what our Hebrew author is saying to us today: The promise of rest still stands, but don’t miss it!
How can we make sure we don’t miss the rest? Believe. Believe God’s invitation to rest is for you—today—and then trust His promise. No plan B. It’s either God’s rest or bust!
Father, I long to release feelings of doubt, unbelief, or control so that I don’t miss the rest You promise in Jesus. Give me the opportunity to fix my eyes on You. Steady my gaze through the strength of Your Spirit so that I become unwavering in focus and belief. Amen.