I think the biggest misunderstanding of the grace message is that if you preach grace and rest you will promote a bunch of lazy / carefree people. I have to admit that when I first started hearing Joseph Prince say things like “the work is finished, don’t work rest, labor to enter the rest, the law demands grace supplies, “…I was thinking this sounded too good to be true. I even had thoughts like this message aint for me, I am a hard working, back breaking, American worker! But thank God the gospel IS good news (almost too good to be true, but it is). I was captivated by these teachings though, and the Holy Spirit started to minister the true gospel of peace to me.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:10…
“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them–yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”
This is the man that (I believe) wrote to the Hebrews and said “Let us labor to enter rest.” Yet from the verse above he worked harder than all the disciples?
John wrote this about Jesus in John 21:25…
“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.”
In Mathew 11 Jesus says, “My yoke is easy, my burden is light.” What is up with that? From the verse above it sounds like he was the busiest man in the world?
The Gospel of Peace is inner rest! I am not minimizing the principle of the Sabbath. We don’t need to work all the time. Physical rest is a key part of a successful life. I am all for a day off, or a long vacation to unwind / refresh / relax. However, this post is about inner rest.
In a sermon on confidence in the finished works of Jesus, Creflo Dollar makes the following statement…
“Rest is the result of confidence in the finished works of Jesus. A life full of rest produces joy. And when you are operating in joy, it’s evidence that you are at peace! I am truly convinced that a life full of inner rest is a life that will experience Christ manifest.”
Have you ever noticed that the days you are really busy, but you are stressed, that nothing seems to get done…You feel as tired as you are more should have been accomplished that day. Then there are days when you have allot on your plate, you are happy / carefree, and it’s like you get in a flow and things are way more productive. Looking back at the end of the day you are like, How did I get all that done?
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
For me this week it was work. I became worried about a job I was on. Tuesday night when I left this jobsite it looked like we were going to overrun some material that was going to cost us approximately $10,000 to the bottom line of the job. Stressed on the way to work Wednesday morning I prayed, “Father when I step on this job, I know it is blessed because Jesus is there! I trust in you! I know this job will be a success! Give me grace, wisdom, and knowledge I need for the task at hand today.” Finally I was getting back to a place of inner rest. I had peace about the situation. Mid morning something inside me (probably the Holy Ghost) told me to re-check my survey on the job. It took me about an hour to re-set everything back up, take the shots, and do the math. I had soon realized that I had originally measured a distance wrong and my survey was showing to put more material in than needed. We corrected everything and what do you know…everything was dead on the money of what we estimated. Thank you Holy Spirit!
The point I want to make here is that there was physical labor involved on my part, but it was lead by the Holy Spirit from a place of rest. How cool. God designed the gospel in way to make like fun. There is no way I could have caught that on my own stressed out.
Seems like to me that the areas i worry the least about is the areas I am the most blessed. It is like my worry constricts the flow of God’s grace. I think it is because when I stress, its like saying…”God I got this, I know more about the situation than you, I need to work this out on my own.” How ignorant and stupid is that. I want the God of the universe working on my behalf all the time!
What are you stressed or worried about…your career, family, health, finances, school? Are you experiencing peace and joy in these areas of your life? If not, no worries, just look to the cross, and know you are righteous in Christ!
As a believer, if we are truly righteous (in right standing with God) in Christ (2 Cor 5:21), and we have been adopted into God’s family (Eph 1:5), we have a Father that loves us and wants to protect and provide for us. Let that sink in! Trust him!
God will work it in, and you will work it out!