Rest Pt. 2
The atmosphere on the flight from Amsterdam to Nigeria was very tense after the local police came on board at the last minute escorting a handcuffed prisoner through the back door. The prisoner was a Nigerian man who had overstayed his visa and they were deporting him back to his country. Suddenly the prisoner began to yell, “I am not a criminal, I am not a criminal!” The passengers in the back of the plane where we were seated were immediately upset and chaos was the result.
People were standing and defending the prisoner others were defending the police. The flight attendants were amazingly calm and in firm, but soft voices were trying to calm the crowd. A man was standing next to me in the aisle yelling at the officers and someone reached across to stop him. I put my arm around Jane, and pulled her down and we both kept our heads down. The man yelling at the officers placed his hand on my back and was leaning over using me as support.
After some time, it began to calm down except for one or two who just kept on, a man sitting on the other side of the plane opened up his mouth and said to them, “Why don’t you guys just be quiet so we can depart.” The man he was talking to slugged him in the face and all chaos erupted again. The man who was slugged was escorted out of the cabin and the police took the prisoner back off the plane and soon things calmed down and away we went.
With so much instability in the world and all the voices that speak into our lives, it is so amazing to receive the abundant grace of God in the area of rest. At the cross Jesus paid the full price for our peace, so in our redemption we have the promise of rest. By faith in the finished work that Jesus did at the cross, this place of rest in reality is total peace and victory in every area of our life and it is found in believing the Gospel.
Hebrews 4:1-3 “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest…”
There is a rest for the people of God. There is a place where we can live and know with an awesome assurance that God will do what He said He would do. Everything we need for life and godliness is found in Christ and His finished work of redemption. But because of unbelief many people either don’t believe or can’t accept the good news of the Gospel – peace, victory, healing, prosperity, deliverance and every good thing. The only power the enemy has over our life is to deceive us into believing that the Gospel is not true! Religion tells us we have to earn it, but the Gospel tells us to simply believe!
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 “But if our gospel is hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
Ephesians 4:17-18 “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that from now on don’t walk as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart."
We don’t want to be alienated from the abundant life Jesus came to give, but we want to rest in the finished work of Christ. Believe that He is everything necessary for complete victory in our lives because He has already won the victory, finished the work, and is seated in heavenly places. Also, He has raised us up to be seated together in Him – now that is Good News! We have all the resources of heaven at our disposal to capture our minds and believe the Word of God, the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Hebrews 4:6 “Seeing therefore it remains that some must enter in, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief.”
We can read in the Old Covenant about Joshua and Caleb and how they believed the good report of the land of promise and later entered into that land with the next generation, however because of unbelief, their own generation did not enter in but died in the wilderness because of unbelief. There are many disappointments that will come to fill our minds but we fight the “good fight of faith” and lay hold of the promises of God. We can have peace with God that passes all understanding and move forward in victory because we know the devil is under our feet.
Ephesians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.”
Ephesians 1:12-13 “That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation…”
The Word of Truth is the good news of our salvation. First we hear the news that is too good to be true – we are saved and victorious in every area of our life – and then we have to believe it. It’s done, and we are resting in the finished work of Christ; free from sin, sickness, anxiety, bondage, poverty, and all the works of the devil. This is the abundant life that Jesus came to give and we are seated far above all principalities, power, dominion, might and every name that is named!
Ephesians 1:13 goes on to say: :…in whom also after you believed, you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.”
When we believe the Gospel, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise. A seal is a mark or stamp or private mark. For example, when we travel overseas we have a passport that may also require a visa depending on the nation we visit. If we don’t have a passport, then we are not allowed to enter or leave that country. A few years ago my wife Jane and I were once again on our way to Nigeria, West Africa via London. As we came through the customs at the Heathrow Airport in London, a young American man had somehow misplaced his passport. Although he argued and raised a disturbance, he was not allowed to enter but was sent back to the United States. Likewise, Jesus is the passport and believing is the visa! When we hear the promise and believe the Word of Truth, we allow the seal to be put on us – forgiveness of sin, healing, provision, guidance, peace, friendship and total victory over all the powers of the enemy! We carry the mark of heaven on our lives by believing the Word and the finished work of Christ!
1 Corinthians 1:22-22 declares that: “All the promises of God in Him are yes, and in Him amen.” We have been sealed “… and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts!”
God has set His seal of ownership on us and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come! We can rest in the fact that the promises of God are for us and for now!