Hebrews 4:11 tells us to ‘be diligent to enter the rest’ that God has provided. How do we do this in the midst of trying times, in the middle of so many challenges that we face in our lives?
Over the last years, it seems that my life has been filled with challenges, most of which have to do with following Christ along the ministry path that He has for me. I have entered into a landscape of spiritual battles.
Indeed, I have been very surprised by the path that my life has taken over the last ten year period as my husband, Sam, and I have been answering God’s call to the ‘open door of ministry’ that He spoke to us about, in 2005. At that time, we moved from Houston, Texas to Charlotte, by faith, following His lead.
The years which followed have been filled with tests and trials, as we have pioneered a church plant.
The primary challenge has come because the ideas that we had in our minds were not the plans that He intended for us. It has taken much seeking of Him to find our way- to find the mold, or type, of ministry that He has for us. It has taken years for us to become the vessels that He can use to accomplish the supernatural, in order to make significant impact in our community.
This challenge has to do with God’s handiwork in our lives. It has to do with the Father putting His imprint on our very beings.
It has to do with us opening our souls, our spirit man to the heavenly funnel of the Holy Spirit, to the anointing that He desires to pour into us. This comes through much stretching and through our willingness to be conformed to His image.
And it has to do with rest. We must choose to rest in Him. We do this by waiting upon His Presence for these transformations to take place. We do this by engaging with the very person of God.
Coming into the purposes that God has for me, means that I must discern the times in which we live, and from that learn what actions I must take.
What is God saying and how must we respond?
The goal of our lives before Jesus is this: Obedience- fulfilling the assignments that we are given. Not giving up, but pursuing Him until that assignment takes a turn unto another or until the assignment’s end.
In order to fulfill obedience, we must pursue Him until we find rest, until the words ‘My yoke is easy and My burden is light’ are a reality in our daily walk. This grace, ‘the grace that is sufficient’ for the journey, comes only through His Word and in His Presence, through communion with our Creator, with our Father.
And so we seek to enter into His rest.
It is there that the great words of Psalm 23 open up before us. “The Lord is my shepherd.” He leads me into the pastures that are fresh, which feed my soul, and beside the still waters that nourish and sustain me.
It is there that He restores me. He patches me up from the daily battles. He puts a salve on my wounds. He comforts me.
It is in the place of rest that Jesus gives the sustenance that is needed to continue on the journey, and to continue in the battles, in the fight to win – so that others may know.