I am a proud grandfather of two rambunctious grandkids. Like many grandparents, my wife and I are often amused by their candid innocence.
At a young age, kids are so eager to please and to help out wherever possible. I can remember a time when my grandson decided to assist me with my laptop bag. Picture a 4-year-old attempting to lift a 40-pound bag.
Although I told him several times that it was too heavy, he insisted that he could carry it. Needless to say, although he tried with all of his might, the bag barely budged. So I walked over and grabbed the bag by the handle with my grandson yet holding on. When we reached our destination, he looked up at me and proudly said, “See, Pop-pop, I told you I could do it!”
This amusing story highlights how some of us interact with our heavenly Father. We often stubbornly believe we can do much in our own strength. As we strive, we often work harder rather than smarter.
Are you like Jacob? Jacob spent a lifetime striving for position. The Bible even says that he was holding onto the heel of his twin brother in the birth canal. Later, he worked 14 years for his father-in-law to receive Rachel as his wife. It wasn’t until he wrestled with God and lost that he became blessed. (See Genesis 31-33.)
How long is it going to take for you to come to the end of yourself and trust God? According to the Word of God, this is the smart way to accomplish anything.
Hebrews 4:9-11 says, “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief” (KJV).
God promises to all who choose to believe and walk in obedience that they will enter into His rest.
According to the English language, this verse is an oxymoron. Labor to rest? At first glance, this doesn’t seem to make sense. However, rest is a state where God has supernaturally removed yokes or burdens from our lives.
Everyday concerns such as working in a hostile environment, finding the right mate or raising God-fearing children can be burdensome and fruitless in your own strength. It may seem as though the weight of the world is on your shoulders, but God wants to carry that weight.
Therefore, the labor is not in grabbing your “40-pound bag,” no matter what comes your way. The labor is having faith in God and taking Him at His Word. But it often takes a work of humility to allow Him to do what He does best and not concern ourselves with the results.
Faith is an essential key to entering into God’s rest. It is established by the foundation of relationship and trust. Belief in God’s Word thrives on the fundamentals of prayer (communication) and testimony (experience).
Let’s consider the consequences of unbelief with Moses and the children of Israel. God worked with the Israelites for 40 years in the desert. Miracle after sign after wonder occurred on a daily basis. Yet it wasn’t enough to gain their trust. God swore that they would not enter into His rest because of their unbelief (Heb. 3:16-19).
Take inventory of what God has done in your life already and the snares He has delivered you from. Still counting? Is it enough to earn your trust? When you choose to believe, it’s not your reputation on the line; it’s His. God will not be put to shame, and neither will you.
Abiding by God’s plan for your life will lead you to that place of rest. If the children of Israel had obeyed God, they would have certainly entered into a land of rest. However, they chose to conduct themselves according to their own will.
I have done things of my own accord time and time again, only to find myself upset, disappointed and discouraged at the results. Surrender your will to His. The outcome will be astronomically better.
Psalms 46:10 says, “Be still [cease striving] and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the heathen. I will be exalted in the earth.” Remember, you can’t do anything without the help of the Lord. Your faith manifested by your attitude is key. Here’s a simple algorithm for entering into God’s rest:
(Faith + Obedience) – (Sin + Unbelief) = God’s Perfect Rest
Let your heavenly Pop-pop carry that bag for you. His place of rest awaits.
Kyle Searcy has a passion for developing a new generation of leaders. He serves as senior pastor of Fresh Anointing House of Worship in Montgomery, Ala., and Norcross, Ga. Learn more at KyleSearcy.com.