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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Pressing Into God's Rest, #6
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. (Hebrews 4:1—NIV)
When we are speaking of the rest of God we are not referring to Heaven. Canaan is not a type of Heaven. Canaan is a type of life lived in the fullness of the Person and will of Christ. Paul never spoke of Heaven as his goal. Paul was endeavoring to gain Christ, to know the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering.
If Paul, toward the end of his life, was still seeking to make Heaven his home, then not many believers are going to go to Heaven.
In any case, Canaan was filled with the enemies of the Israelites. God led them into Canaan one city at a time, slaughtering the inhabitants as they went. This hardly is a type of dying and going to Heaven!
To fall short of the rest of God means to not press forward to the will of Christ to the point our adamic nature has been overcome and we are living in God's Presence. To fall short of the rest of God means to not gain victory in Christ but to remain bound by the world, sin, and self-will.
Salvation is our change from Satan to God. We move from the bondage of Satan to rest in the Presence and will of God.
To not enter the rest of God, to fall in the wilderness, means we have been unable to overcome the challenges set before us. We may have started on our journey from Egypt, from the world, but we have not maintained our faith in God to the point of gaining victory over the world, over the lusts of our flesh and soul, and over our self-will and personal ambition. Many Christians of our day have not gained personal victory in Christ, but they are hoping for a "rapture" that will deliver them from trouble and bring them to Heaven in their untransformed state.
They have been deceived. They will not be "raptured" out of trouble. Furthermore they will not go to be with the Lord when He appears because they do not have the inner spiritual life, the "oil" that will draw them up to the Lamb when He appears. They are not living by the strength of the Lord, by the body and blood of the Lord Jesus. They have slain their own resurrection by not following the Spirit in putting to death the sins of the flesh.
Christian teaching is in immense confusion today!
The following passage is critical. It is central to the subject of the present essay.
Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, "So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest." And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. (Hebrews 4:3—NIV)
We see from the above that we are to enter that rest now. So it has nothing to do with going to Heaven when we die.
The expression "his work has been finished since the creation of the world" gives us the basic understanding of God' rest. It means God finished everything in six days, including our own life and destiny. Our task in life is to cease from thrashing about in our graveclothes and to enter the role for which God has chosen us.
To be continued.