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Heard – Promise of Rest

Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker, for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care. If only you would listen to his voice today!

The Lord says, “Don’t harden your hearts as Israel did at Meribah, as they did at Massah in the wilderness.For there your ancestors tested and tried my patience, even though they saw everything I did.

For forty years I was angry with them, and I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts turn away from me.They refuse to do what I tell them.’ So in my anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter my place of rest.’” 

Psalms 95:6-11 NLT

There is a promise for you and me and for whosoever will come to Him, if we will listen, a REST that supersedes a world that is in complete chaos. That is so hard to even imagine because it seems so impossible in the midst of such turmoil that is in our world. 

In the world we live in today, there is so much anxiety, depression, worry, anxiousness, restlessness, fear, and every other word you can add that is the opposite of rest.  

We are so worked up about current events, and so consumed with mankind being our answer to a better world, we continue to be stuck in the wilderness. It was never God’s will for His people to stay in a place where they were barely making it. Was it God’s will for them to be in the wilderness for a season? Yes, but not forever!

They were so focused on what they didn’t have, they could not HEAR what was promised to them… a place of rest.  A place of more than enough.

Current events will NEVER be the answer for your rest.

Who is in the White House will NEVER be the answer for your rest.  

The unbelief and not listening to what God is saying that kept Israel out of the promise land – will also keep you and me out of what He has promised.

Rest does not mean a perfect life.

Rest does not mean no storms.

Rest does not mean no difficulties.

Rest does not mean no sickness.

Rest does not mean no giants.

Rest does not mean we will have no enemies.      

Rest does not mean we will not have to fight the good fight of faith. 

Rest does not mean we get to lay down our spiritual weapons.  

Rest does mean is that we will have peace in the midst of our daily chaos.

Because our rest is found in Jesus, not in things and not in people.  

And the rest that we find in Christ is always MORE THAN enough. 

“So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:14-16 NLT

In the beginning of Hebrews 3, the writer is quoting from our text in Psalms 95. Then he carries on the theme about listening to God’s voice and not hardening our hearts towards Him like Israel did.

Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters.  Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.

For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. Remember what it says: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled.”  And who was it who rebelled against God, even though they heard his voice? Wasn’t it the people Moses led out of Egypt?

And who made God angry for forty years? Wasn’t it the people who sinned, whose corpses lay in the wilderness? And to whom was God speaking when he took an oath that they would never enter his rest? Wasn’t it the people who disobeyed him? So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest

Hebrews 3:12-19 NLT

Charles Spurgeon suggested several ways that we may harden our hearts.

  • Some harden their hearts by resolving not to demonstrate emotion in regard to spiritual things.
  • Some harden their hearts by delaying a real relationship with God.
  • Some harden their hearts by getting into evil company.
  • Some harden their hearts by focusing on silly amusements “all intended to kill time and prevent thought upon divine things.”
  • Some harden their hearts by indulging in a favorite sin.

My prayer this morning is that none of us get stuck in a place that God has not intended us to be.

One of the favorite things Israel loved to do in the wilderness was murmur and complain. They did not accept the season God had them in, therefore they were not able to move to the next season that was promised.

Do not let doubt and unbelief keep you from everything God has for you.

Today, you can enter into His REST by softening your heart, listening to His voice, and obeying the Gospel.  

Kent Elliott

Senior Pastor | Faith Tabernacle | Manchester, CT

Sr Pastor at Faith Tabernacle / President & Lead Consultant, FAITHWORKS Image Consulting. Husband to Crystal & father to Kaylea, Johnny (SIL) & Chase.

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