Rest – a word that often seems beyond the grasp of people living in a hurried, ever-pressing, stressful world. The demands of daily life consume our time and energy, but God has assured us that there is a place of rest for the people of God.
Three years into pioneering Faith Ministries, I felt this urgency to purchase property and build a church. With a handful of people and a small bank account, my wife Jane and I moved forward in our search and soon found a five-acre parcel that we were able to purchase with an owner contract and small monthly payments. This brought us great excitement as we could picture the building of our own rather than renting a venue.
The process of obtaining permits and getting started was very stressful. During our entire process of building, we never had over a $1,000 in the bank at any one time. We just kept moving forward based on the urgency I had in the beginning. We were discovering this “place of rest” that I am writing about in this blog.
The moment of “discovery” came as we moved from setting the footings to setting the foundation for the building. The Lord had provided enough ¾” plywood and the steel rebar for us to build the forms for the foundation. However, we simply had no money to purchase the concrete. We were in a stalemate and progress came to a halt.
For weeks I stressed over this situation. I was fearful of installing the forms without the money to purchase the concrete as in my mind the plywood would spoil in the weather. As time went on the stress became more and more intense as I tried everything I could think of to raise the needed funds. One afternoon as I was praying, I kept looking at the covered pile of plywood and asking God for help. Suddenly I heard the words, “Get to work” as clear as a bell in my mind. Of course I argued with that thought because we still had no finances to purchase the concrete. Praying even stronger and louder, I heard those same words again, “Get to work!” Then more words came into my spirit and the Lord said to me, “I don’t need to provide any money for you until you have nothing left in your ability to do.”
Those words went deep into my heart and faith rose up. I discovered the” place of rest.” I knew in my heart, like I know that my name is Mike Walker, that I was to “get to work” and begin building the forms for the foundation of the building. No longer any worry; no longer any concern. Some men volunteered to help me do this work and asked me, “Did the Lord provide money for the concrete?” I said, “No. But by the time we finish installing the forms, the Lord will provide.”
It took several days for us to finish the work and on a summer evening I was the last man still at work. As I wired in the last piece of plywood, a pickup truck came rolling onto the property in a big cloud of dust and a new member of our young church stepped out. He was a cowboy named Don wearing a very large belt buckle. He walked over to where I was standing in the ditch and without saying a word put a check in my shirt pocket. Then he walked over to his truck and drove off. It was exactly the amount we needed to purchase the concrete!
Hebrews 4:1 “Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.”
There is a rest for God’s people; a place in the Spirit where we can live with knowledge of the abundant life and supernatural power that Christ has already provided for us. There is a place where we stop from our own works and enter into the life Jesus has provided for us through the cross.
The writer of Hebrews goes on to say in verse 2 “For unto us was the gospel preached as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. 3 For we which have believed do enter into rest…. This text is speaking about an account in the Old Covenant found in the book of Numbers 13. We can read how the Lord spoke to the children of Israel and gave them the “promised land.” He told them to go explore and see the blessings. They chose twelve spies who were sent in advance to look over the land that God had promised. In their journey they discovered walled cities and giants, but also found an abundance of blessings.
Ten of those spies came back with a very fearful report - they did not believe the Lord had given them the land. Only two of them, Joshua and Caleb, refused to believe the evil report and later entered into the land of promise, a land flowing with milk and honey or in New Covenant terms, abundance and prosperity.
The testimony I shared above about the lack of finances in the building of the church for Faith Ministries was a very real lesson that helped me navigate three building projects over the 28 years of pastoring the church that Jane and I founded together. Again and again we would come face to face with the natural reality and the reality of what God had spoken to our heart. He always backs up His word. Time and again the money would stop, so I would gather the men who were helping and we would praise the Lord for His provision - then do anything we could find to do. Many times we would just finish cleaning up the building site and money would come.
This “Promised Land” is available for every believer; it is a land flowing with health, prosperity and every good thing. This “Promised Land” is not a location on a map but a state of being. This place in the realm of the Spirit world literally affects how we manage “life” and our state of being through the many challenges that life hands out.
This place of rest that God has already prepared for us is found in believing the gospel - the good news of the finished work of Christ.
As Joshua and Caleb entered into the land of promise with the next generation, their own generation who did not believe did not enter into rest, but all died in the wilderness.
Hebrews 4:9-11 “There remains therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into His rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from His. Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall short after the same example of unbelief.”
We can settle down in our heart and mind as we hear the voice of the Lord, and by faith reach beyond the veil of unbelief and rest in what Christ has done! We are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus above all principalities, power and every name that is named.
Believe the gospel, the good news of the finished work of Christ! Jesus is a friend who will never leave or forsake you. He will guide you through all seasons of life as you rest in Him.