Please take time to read Hebrews chapter 4 because the next couple of posts will likely be coming out of this chapter.
"Therefore, since the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the Gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard it did not combine it with faith. Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,
'So I declared on oath in my anger,
Thy shall never enter my rest.'
And yet His work has been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere He has spoken about the seventh day in these words: 'And on the seventh day God rested from all His work." Hebrews 3:1-4
This passage leaves us with an important question: "How do we fall short of God's rest?"
This passage is clear that we can fall short of His rest. Now, is this out of not doing the right things? Well, kind of; but not in doing the things we think of when we think of doing.
I believe that we fall short of God's rest when we start to believe that we must do something to complete God's work of salvation. Let me explain briefly why I believe this.
First off, let's start with the end of this section. "His work has been finished since the creation of the world." When I think of the phrase "It is finished" I think of Jesus' victory cry on the cross, but the writer of Hebrews invites us to see the seventh day of creation as this victory cry. "And on the seventh day God rested from all His work." All His work. God had achieved victory over our enemy at the beginning of the world. Yes, Jesus' words were a victory cry; but so too was God's rest on the seventh day of creation. This blows my mind.
Secondly, "For we also have had the Gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard it did not combine it with faith." This is an allusion to the story of Joshua, Caleb and the other ten spies who checked out the Promised Land. The Lord promised them victory, but fear crept in and ten of the spies doubted God's promise so Israel did not march into the Promised Land. In response to their fear God caused them all to wander in the desert for 40 years until a generation of them had died. They didn't enter God's rest due to lack of faith. They died in the desert. It's the same with the Gospel. God promises us victory but the Gospel is worthless to us without faith. Faith in this case equals believing that God is in control and it is finished. If we believe in the Gospel we will have rest.
So, what do we do to get this rest? What does this rest look like? This rest looks like us trusting in the promises. As 10th Avenue North sings, "Why are you striving to earn grace?" We can't earn the promise of the Gospel, but we can rest in the promise of the Gospel. This is God's rest. Be careful that we don't trust so much in our own strength that we miss God's rest. It is finished. It has been finished since the creation of the world. God wins! Believe God is in control and it is finished. Rest in God today.