Tag Archives: rest

Eternal Rest

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“There remains a rest, therefore, for the people of God.”

The writer of the Hebrew went on to explain that those who have entered “the rest” have “ceased from his works as God did from His”, to mean that only those who have died and moved on from the turmoils of this earth have indeed started their rest. The attainment of “rest” comes with it a prerequisite of “work”: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works.” It also entails an approval before “rest” is given: “So I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.'”

Reading these verses from Hebrews 4 made me think of the nature of man. Look around a typical working man and his unquenchable search for R&R (rest and relaxation), only to get tired after every vacation and coveting for more. Man has a seemingly insatiable desire to have ultimate comfort. How many times have we heard or ourselves wistfully desired, “If only I can be so and so, or I have this and that, I’m sure my life would be perfect.” Man, by nature, searches for something beyond the workings of the now. And in his continuous working, strives daily, hoping to land into that perfect place of forever. Yet no matter how seemingly perfect the situation we are in, it never seemed to last. That’s why when such times happen, we would have subtle wishes of, “I hope this would last forever,” knowing that it won’t because the steam of things would ultimately dissipate into mist.

God has placed eternity in the hearts of man (Ecclesiastes 3:11). It is that hole of “forever” that is so elusive we cannot even grab hold of it even as we try to put a cut-out puzzle piece to cover the whole. It is so pervasive, it dulls even the most active of souls.

We will never get satisfied. We will never get fully comforted. We will never attain perfect rest…at least not until we enter THE rest promised to us. And that is the redeeming value of rest, that we can have it. “And this is the promise that He has given us–eternal life.” (I John 2:25) There is a rest. There is a promise. Instead of prematurely chasing after rest (which we will attain in due time), let’s take comfort in the promise and believe that the One who has carved out that hole of eternity will one day fit His perfectly-molded piece and let us enter into His promised rest.

Seated Season

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Christianity begins not with a big DO, but with a bid DONE.

That’s from Watchman Nee’s book Sit, Walk, Stand, an apologetic of Paul’s epistle Ephesians. He posits that the starting point of man’s Christian journey is accepting a position of being seated with Christ. The Christian experience is not a treadmill of efforts to earn calorie points, neither is it a piggy bank of daily rituals (so that when a major crisis comes a heavy pig can hold account), nor is it a timetable of to-dos and an analysis of past performances. The life of a Christian is fitting snugly at the rest found in the security of the finished work of Jesus. God has sent out the invitations to freely partake of the banquet and reserved seats are awaiting. The realization of this truth sets every believer free from the bondage of works for salvation, and leads him into the path of freely serving his Master.

God, by His power, raised Jesus from the dead and seated him at His right hand in the heavenly places. The same God, filled with mercy and love, dispenses His grace to us, made us alive together with Christ, raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. While these verses have redundant words, they seek to draw a clear picture of where Jesus is and where we are in relation to God. (Ephesians 1:20 and 2:4-6)

Too often I find myself asking God, myself, and other people, “What should I do?” And before I can hear an answer, I shuffle around and am doing this and that, or more like these and those. There is a sense of Christian pride when I hand out a gospel track to a stranger. “Hurray! That’s one other believer in the tally!” A warm fuzz in my heart when I hug my siblings and say “Jesus loves you” or “God bless you”. “Mmm…love and blessings are moving around this house!” A sense of accomplishment when stomachs are filled on fellowship nights. “Yes, the Bible told us to break bread often!” I convince others that I can help them because we are supposed to “carry each other’s burdens”. The lyrics from the song If We Are the Body of Christ, “why aren’t the arms reaching, why aren’t the feet going?” echo in my heart when I feel I’m not doing enough. A restless heart is what I have and I am inclined to overdo a lot of things. My sense of insecurity breeds into doubt surfacing itself into false humility and desperation, much like the kind-hearted Lucy in the Chronicles of Narnia series The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Looking in front of the mirror, with a heart full of questions, Aslan approached her and asked, “Why do you doubt your value?”

Our value has been set on stone. The price paid in history. “Why do you doubt?” People like me live in a whirlwind of answers like “really?”, “but…”, “maybe…” when God only wants a yes to His closed invitation. The first item on the Westminster Catechism suddenly sounded off: “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”

In my reading of Having a Mary Spirit in a Martha World, I realized that I had missed the heart of the gospel. “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled with many things, but only one thing is needed. And Mary has chosen it.” (Luke 10:41-42). And that one thing is to sit in the living room with Jesus, instead of shuffle in the kitchen for Jesus.

Choose the better thing. Devotion than duty. Relationship than ritual. Worship than work.

The past weeks have been stressful for me as I struggle to find my way in God’s will. In transition from being a student to a self-supporting young pro, I’m faced with endless options. My line has been, “I’m in my life’s crossroads, I don’t know where God wants me to be.” And a well-meaning friend said, “A crossroad season can last for a year?” Such remark sink me deeper into questions of worth, destiny, and ability. Frustration can lead to restlessness and it propels one to grab just about anything that feels firm. But grabbing and tossing are partners, and are inevitable ingredients in the vicious cycle of going nowhere, of if ever the spiral of depression. I’m learning to open and hold–to keep an open hand on what’s not mine, and holding what is.

So what is mine? I don’t know. But one thing I know. And one thing I do. That I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms, and I will remain sitting until He tells me to walk and conquer. Until then, I’m enjoying these seated sessions with Him, where He is reassuring me of who He is, who I am, and who I am in Him.