We started a message series this past Sunday at our church called Enter His Rest. We're in a season where so many of our people are looking towards breakthrough in major areas of their lives and they have become a bit tired. So as Doug and I prayed for guidance on what the people needed to hear from God, He dropped this message about rest into my spirit. Today I'm posting part 1 of the message I preached yesterday . . .
Today we're going to be talking about a key that unlocks every door in Christ — the key that starts the engine to every vehicle in the Kingdom — the key to momentum, sustainability, creation and success. That key is called faith. YOUR faith! Your decision and ability to believe. Phil Pringle has said, “Now faith isn't just believing in something you can't see. Faith is an attitude. Put yourself in a position of faith and you will find yourself on the other side. Keep your eyes on Christ in the midst of the trial; don't lose your faith attitude, and you will find yourself walking in a supernatural arena.”
The word I'm releasing today is pure and simple, but it's hard. Make no mistake about it. In life, some of the best things are simple yet hard. And they are designed this way in order to build strength into you. No one gets strong lifting the three pounders. The word for today is this: If you want to enter His rest, you're going to have to believe. You're going to have to have faith.
Faith is the only ticket that gets you in to the promises of God for your life. (Matthew 9:29) You can be mad or frustrated or bitter or apathetic or jaded about that fact, but it will do nothing to change the truth. Faith unlocks and creates and sustains and causes to come to fruition. God says this is true and he only declares things that are true and possible (Isaiah 55:11). Don't think it's possible? Doesn't matter. The Bible says all things are possible with God, and if you want to see things start to move in your circumstances, you will need to start believing. Really believing. Just because it's hard or seems impossible doesn't make it impossible. Just because you may be bitter or disappointed about how it didn't work out “that one time” (or even those five times) doesn't mean God is going to change His mind about this foundational truth. He's not changing his mind on this. He's got time. He'll wait for you to adjust.
We started out the year in our church talking about living on the edge. How God wants to take us to the edge of things in life; about how He wants us to be risk takers. Because that's where His promises are. When we step out and trust Him. You won't live successfully on the edge if you are a complainer, prone to quitting or procrastinating. You need the skill sets of believing and trust. You need the kind of determination that wreaks of “though he slay me, yet I will trust in him.” (Job 13:15) Faith is an attitude. An aggressive, clinging on, I'm not letting go until you bless me kind of attitude. And you need to have one if you want to enter His rest. No matter whether you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert, Type A or not, creative or business minded, new Christian or been one for decades, you need an attitude of faith and you need one right now.
Did you know you can have the best of intentions and work as hard as you possibly can on a solution, but you won't please God if you don't have faith? The Bible says in Hebrews 11:6 that without faith it is impossible to please Him. The enemy loves to get us busy solving our own problems in our own strength and “wisdom” (which many times is actually just freneticism created by a spirit of fear) because he knows this truth about faith versus busyness all too well. He knows a faith filled person is far more dangerous than a frantically striving one. And so he'll get you busy. He'll get you frantic and spinning. He'll get you on the hamster wheel in your mind all night long. He'll have you convinced that to pray and seek God is simply going to take too long and it's faster to just put your head down and keep plowing through. Or to stick your head in the sand and hide. The devil has been around a long time. He's a student of human behavior. He knows how we work. And he knows just how to distract us from working in the manner in which God designed us to function best. And that design has a mold called faith. Believing.
Hebrews 3:19 tells us that we will never find rest — that place of peace and resting in Him — if we will not believe. Your unbelief will be the door that is shut that you just cannot open no matter how hard you try. And this message is a clarion call to the church — the Body of Christ as a whole — If you will not believe, you will not know His rest. But if you step out in faith and trust, believing in Him, He will gather you into His rest. That's a good word!
The scariest part about not entering His rest is not the anxiety or the chaos, although those are daunting. The scariest part is not operating FROM a place of His rest. His rest is where we find power because that is where Jesus sits. That's where the Holy Spirit speaks, teaches, comforts, confirms, convicts, illuminates, reveals and motivates. If you cannot get into His rest then you have left a great part of the inheritance of what Jesus died for on the table. And who wants to waste anything He died for? Not me. And, I'm sure, not you. So you want to enter His rest? It's going to take stepping out in faith and believing to get there. You're going to have to believe for some things that you just might have thought were impossible before you read this post.
We'll jump into Hebrews 3:7-19 next!