I have some restless searcher in me. Why is there not a discovery in life? Something one can lay hands on and say “This is it”? What is it? And shall I die before I find it? — Virginia Woolf, A Writer’s Diary
Imagine you’re walking through the forest and come to a fork in the path. To the left is a sign that reads Restless. A trip down this path is a series of small choices that harden a heart. One step at a time, you become unresponsive to God when He speaks to you.
The other sign reads Rest. What’s beautiful about this path is that, from the very first step, We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end . (Hebrews 3:14) The phrase have come means we choose once to follow Christ, and the rest of our future reaps the benefits of this choice.
Now that small word if can trip some people up, making them think their salvation is conditional. At first glance, it sounds as though we only share in Christ if we are strong enough to hold on. But Scripture doesn’t teach self-perseverance, only Spirit-perseverance. So if is a word of demonstration (this word is elsewhere translated since). We know we are in Christ as evidenced by the Spirit’s perseverance. Our lives are firmly rooted as we rest in Christ.
Rest or restless? We must choose; there is no path-straddling.
Hebrews 3:19 tells us the Israelites were not able to enter [His rest], because of their unbelief. They were standing outside the Promised Land, so close to the place of God’s rest for them, but they refused to enter. Instead, they hardened their hearts toward God’s invitation and chose “restless” over “rest.”
Which path do you walk? Do you share in Christ’s rest, knowing the mystical union believers have with Jesus? In Him, we share in birth, death, and resurrection. We experience a magnificent transformation, becoming completely different. We are made new and are indwelled by the Spirit of God.
These are the new promises of rest given to us by God. But first we must choose.
Giver of Rest, I thank You that You’ve done all the work necessary to rescue me. Thank You for providing the strength I need to persevere. May I say yes to Your rest and allow You to carry me to the end. Amen.
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