I've been sharing how Jesus is our Sabbath-rest, and anything we do in the natural like taking a day off, is a type of the rest in Christ we have.
Another example of types would be clothing - when the Lord God made the first clothes for Adam and Eve, they were a type of something to come. Genesis 3:21 says the Lord God made the first clothes, specifically stating made of skins of animals. The animals were the first blood sacrifice which covered the nakedness of man, as a temporary picture of the Lord God's final sacrifice on the cross.
Therefore every time we put on clothes we are reminding ourselves of the covering God provided, first and last, to cover our nakedness. Is it any wonder man has twisted the original intent of clothing to make it both worshipped and often something design NOT to hide a person's nakedness fully?
As it relates to our topic, when we take a day off we are rehearsing the true meaning of rest, which came when God sent His Son to make peace, reconciling us to Himself, that we may be at total Sabbath-rest in Him. Just being.
Faith is not the issue. Faith is of the spirit and Spirit,
So faith cannot be touched by the devil. Consider that you believe in and know Jesus. Satan can't touch that. The demonic attacks our soul, our thoughts and emotions but can't touch our spirit. So faith isn't the issue, working to enter into His rest by ceasing our own efforts is the issue. The effort is to enter into rest, to enter into peace. That is the battle.
Why does he say to work to enter into rest right before he tells us of the sword of the Spirit in v12-13? The answer is because entering into His rest involves a real person, not a set of rituals or formulas to move God or position ourselves for better standing with Him. Here he is writing about real peace found in Jesus, and the Word of God he writes about is not chapter and verse, but the Person of the Word, the Lord Jesus:
"For the Word of God is living and alive and shaper than any two-edge sword. Piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and judging the thoughts and intentions of the heart. There is nothing hidden, all things are open and naked before the eyes with whom we have to do. Seeing that we have such a high priest who has passed into the heavens, Jesus Christ the righteous....let us come boldly to the throne (of the Father) to receive mercy and grace." (12-16 in part)
Hebrews 4 presents the totality of our Sabbath-rest in Christ. He is the fulfillment of the 7th day Sabbath. He is the fulfillment of the type of the family gathered for their day off. He is the fulfillment of every sacrifice made in days of old to bring peace and reconciliation between the Father and the worshipper.
When we cast our cares on the Lord, when we give up all ritual and formula realizing we cannot influence the Father to any greater degree because He already gave us His only Son, we rest. We are at peace. We live as if in a river of life flowing in life in Him, knowing He has provided all things for our life and godliness, and all He wants is us to walk with Him in that rest, in that peace...
What about the sabbath command being a forever command?
One final question is often brought up by those who want to ignore the work of Jesus on the cross to bring us the True Sabbath rest, and that is that God commanded Israel the Sabbath would be a perpetual command. This is especially strong among Messianic Christians and 7th day Adventists. One passage used is Exodus 31:13 & 16:
"...my sabbaths you will keep; for it is a sign between me and you throughout all your generations..."
"...to observe the sabbath throughout their generations; it is a perpetual covenant."
I could bring up the first rule of Bible interpretation is to understand who was being spoken to which would be therefore to whom the command applies. In this case God is talking to Israel in about 1400BC, not to gentile nations nor to New Testament people. But even with that said the passage still applies to us through Jesus.
It is in that statement of the sabbath being a perpetual covenant where we find Jesus. For Jesus is the sabbath and keeping Him is perpetual. Forever. Entering into His rest is forever. This statement in Exodus is a statement of a forever Sabbath found in Christ Jesus, the Lord and Master of the Sabbath. It is perpetual covenant.
This should bring peace to all who struggle, wondering if 10,000 years from now they may lead a rebellion in heaven and lose their salvation - they fail to recognize one our full spirit and soul and body are made of heavenly material, and the devil is dealt with, we will forever be one with the Lord. There is no possibility of rebellion for it just isn't in us any longer. Jesus is our perpetual covenant of rest.
How do we enter into that rest?
In Philippians 4:6-7 gives us understanding for how to enter into that sabbath-rest.
"Be anxious (worried, fearful) for nothing. But in every thing by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God (Father). And the peace of God (Father) which is beyond all understanding, will keep (hem in) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
For years I found myself as worried and afraid after I prayed as I did before I started praying. Then one day I realized I needed to take scripture as a command, not as reading material or a suggestion.
Step one:Be anxious for nothing.
I took that as a command. I started not praying until and unless I had first dealt with the fear and worry. One issue that turned my life in this direction had to do with a situation at work with the church where I was the Bible school Director. The auditorium church is political by nature because it patterns the federal government of Israel set up by Jethro on Exodus 18 with 'captains' over 1,000's, 100's, 50's, and 10's. It can't help being political with all the territories guarded and climbing over one another to be noticed that goes with political structures.
Just such a situation where I was being attacked verbally by someone on staff had me worried and afraid. But I was determined to 'be anxious for nothing' before I ever made my request to the Father. I struggled for 2 or 3 weeks going over and over it in my mind. The worst case scenario of losing my job over false accusations born of greed for my position and budgeted departmental money played over and over in my mind. How would I provide for my family? What would we do? What about the kid's tuition at the Christian school? And so much more.
About 2 or 3 weeks later each issue, one by one, had been met by 'the Lord hasn't brought us this far to let us down', and the realization He had always taken care of us. One by one each fear was dealt with in that way. Finally free from fear, I made my request to the Father, and suddenly peace came upon me. Flowing in my spirit and up to my soul, I was bubbling over with peace and joy....and the problem was dealt with without me having to do anything.
The work is to get into His rest, and that is done by ceasing our own works. I had to cease and desist worry and fear. Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. He IS that rest. No formula, just conversational relationship, and dealing with life and our own heart as needed so that we may grow in Him. Rest.
New subject next week, until then, blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org