Sunday, April 11, 2010

Entering into Godly Rest

Are You Resting in Christ?
Hebrews 3:8-19

I am sure that each one in this room looks forward to those times we think if everything goes as plan we might get some rest.
There is so much we have to do that it seems that rest is hard to come by. It is not that easy to find rest now a days. We work long hours; have so much to do after we get home from work especially if we have kids or grandkids to raise that we find ourselves many nights keeping the midnight oil burning.

We try to make time by microwaving our dinner rather than cooking those good old “home cooked meals”. We talk on cell phones as we drive around town to save time. We run through the “drive ins” to pick up our prescriptions, doing our banking or pick up our dry cleaning in the hope that it will save us a couple of minutes.
But despite all that we do, rest is hard to find.
I think that the same thing is true in our Christian lives. God promises us rest. “Come to me all you who are weary, and I will give you rest.” But despite God’s promise, many don’t find rest there either. There are many weary Christians walking around.
The Israelites didn’t find God’s rest and I want to know why? Twice the writer of Hebrews tells us in the passage of Scripture we are studying tonight that they could not enter into God’s rest. What may have prevented them from finding rest may be the same exact thing that is keeping us from finding rest! So that is where we are going to learn tonight what is it that is keeping me from finding God’s rest?
Read Scriptures: Hebrews 3:8-19

I. You will fail to find the rest you are looking for in Christ if you can not hand over your problems to God.
Hebrews 3:8 “do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert,”
The time of testing for the Israelites occurred when the twelve (12) spies returned from searching out the Promised Land and ten (10) gave the negative report that persuaded the whole assembly not to enter the Promised Land because there were giants in the land and fortified cities.

The Israelites could not hand over their enemies to God; and the Israelites could not hand over the fortification that the enemies possessed to God. And as result they could not enter into God’s rest.
I wonder tonight- what it is that you are hanging on to that you have not given to God and as result you have not found God’s rest?
Let me boil it down to basics for you. It is an issue of trust in God because trust is an act of my will whereby I give my burdens to God. The Israelites could not trust God to deal with their enemies or their fortified cities and therefore they could not give those things over to God and find rest.
I have learned that there are a lot of things that I can not control. I can not control my health. I can not control my financial future. I can not even control the church I attend. So can I trust God to handle those things? If I can, I will find God’s rest. If I cannot, then God’s rest will pass me by and I will have missed it.

II. You will fail to find the rest you are looking for in Christ if you can not see that God is working in your life every day you live.
Hebrews 3:9 “ where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did.”
How often did the Israelites see the working of God in their life?...
You will fail to find the rest you are looking for in Christ if you don’t follow God’s blueprint for your life.

Hebrews 3:10 “That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, ’Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.”
Where are you going to find God’s blue print for your life? The answer is His Word. The writer of Hebrews tells us the Israelites did not know His ways. They didn’t know His Word despite Moses telling them all that God wanted to share with His people.

So how do I know if I am following God’s blue print for my life? If you are lost, wandering, or feeling like you are always in a fog or your life seems to be always unsettled you really don’t know God’s ways. If your heart has found what it is looking for and you are at rest then you know God’s ways.

The true is that you can’t be at rest without knowing God’s ways because it is His ways that bring you rest.
IV. You will fail to find the rest you are looking for in Christ if you will allow the voice of sin to drown out the voice of God.

Hebrews 3:13 “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
And I am here to tell you today that the deceitfulness of sin is sometimes louder than the voice of God and if you tune in to it you can not hear what God is telling you. You have to make the effort to hear what God is telling you. You have to tune out sin and tune in God.

Listen, sin will offer you everything but it will deliver on nothing. It will tell us that it will provide you with peace but it will never deliver.

If you want to find peace you better be listening to God and not to sin.