Hebrews 4:11 Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. (NKJ)
Why is labor needed in order to rest? When faced with trials and tribulations, it can be a struggle to keep our thoughts on the victory that has already been won rather than succumbing to fear and unbelief. That’s fighting the good fight of faith.
Do you ever wonder why it seems to take so long for you to get your prayers answered? There must be an easier way – a shortcut to receiving what God has promised!
Exodus 13:17-18 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them along the road through the land of the Philistines, even though it was shorter; for God said, “The people will change their minds and return to Egypt if they face a battle.” (CSB) (Egypt = bondage, slavery, oppression, burden.)
The time spent in the Wilderness was not to get the people out of Egypt, but to get Egypt out of them. Too many Christians don’t want to fight to receive from God. Most would rather stay in bondage than to put forth any effort.
Hebrews 3:12-4:1-6 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. 13 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. 14 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. 15 Remember what it says: “Today when you hear His voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled.” 16 And who was it who rebelled against God,
even though they heard His voice? Wasn’t it the people Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And who made God angry for forty years? Wasn’t it the people who sinned, whose corpses lay in the wilderness? 18 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? 19 So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter His rest.
You cannot be in unbelief and rest at the same time. So, anytime you are feeling restless, what are you believing? What are you focusing on – the problem or The Solution?
4:1 God’s promise of entering His rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it. 2 For this good news—that God has prepared this rest—has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn’t share the faith of those who listened to God. 3 For only we who believe can enter His rest. As for the others, God said, “In my anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter My place of rest,’” even though this rest has been ready since He made the world. 4 We know it is ready because of the place in the Scriptures where it mentions the seventh day: “On the seventh day God rested from all His work.” 5 But in the other passage God said, “They will never enter my place of rest.” 6 So God’s rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God. 7 So God set another time for entering His rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted: “Today when you hear His voice, don’t harden your hearts.” (NLT)
We must act on God’s Word now – immediately – today.
Exodus 14:10-15 As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the Lord, 11 and they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? 12 Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’”
(Fear always exaggerates the circumstances.)
13 But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. 14 The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” (Other translations read “just keep your mouth shut.”)
15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the people to get moving! (NLT) (Other translations read “move on, go forward, break camp.)
Exodus 15:24;16:2,7;17:2,3,7 The people grumbled, murmured, complained, and quarreled with Moses.
Murmuring and complaining tells everyone else you are not at rest. You haven’t given your problem over to God. You are still trying to solve it yourself. You’re still in bondage.
2 Chronicles 20:15 “Pay attention, everyone in Judah, in Jerusalem, and you, too, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Stop being afraid, and stop being discouraged because of this vast invasion force, because the battle doesn’t belong to you, but to God. (ISV)
Psalm 68:1 Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered; let those that hate Him flee before Him. (NKJ)