We concluded in Part 1 that the Language of the Widow of Zarephath was the Language of God’s Rest. This is a paradoxical statement. Hebrews 3vs7 – 4vs7. It is a paradox because God’s Rest has nothing to do with relaxing and doing nothing. It has more to do with a process of transformation. And this process is orchestrated, programmed and organised by God specifically for every individual believer. It is with God that we have this relationship, and it is the Obedience of Faith that qualifies us to enter into this Life Transforming Process called His Rest.
Entering into The School of Christ
Jesus learnt obedience through suffering Hebrews 5vs8 . It is into the same school that we are being transformed – from Children into Sons. Hebrew 12vs1-8. God makes every opportunity possible, in order to provide us with a life transforming education. This is His goal. It is the Father’s good intention that ALL His children be brought to a place where our will becomes in agreement with God’s will. Consider the various verses that give us an insight into this process that God has ordained.
Romans 8vs28 ‘And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose’.
We can get so accustomed to this verse that we could actually lose appreciation and the impact that it ought to have on us. If we read it again, and question it a little, we see that it is an outrageous statement!!! It is outrageous because it is an absolute statement. It is saying more or less that God has ABSOLUTE CONTROL over EVERYTHING. If it is not absolute, then He CANNOT cause ALL THINGS TO WORK TOGETHER. What confidence can a child of God place on His God. In the light of this verse – Absolutely Every Confidence!!
So, it is in the context of this education we are receiving from God which this verse describes in detail that He misses nothing when it comes to our Spiritual Sanctification. God causes ALL THINGS TO WORK TOGETHER – FOR OUR GOOD!! Isn’t this just an incredible opportunity that God provides for all His sons. Isaiah 30vs21. ‘Isaiah 30:21 Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.’ Ephesians 2vs10 ‘For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.’ Again, we see in this verse that God is in control – He prepared beforehand for every believer.
There is no doubt that many believers long to experience and desire to enter into God’s rest but feel increasingly frustrated that the Way of the Cross is too difficult for them. They find that their efforts frequently fail and are back to square one each time they try. The way of faith is the necessity of endurance and the perseverance of holding on to His promise. God is faithful and true to His Word and His promises are sure.
Carrying the cross means ceasing from ones own works and efforts. It is certainly not restful (in terms of how the world understands R & R), but it frees the believer from fruitless strife and the believer enters into the finished, prepared work of God. God rested when his work was completed. We rest when we enter into that finished work, which paradoxically, is being worked out in us.
Brother Steve Yap