If there’s one reason why you would want to pay serious attention to getting into God’s rest, it is this: God’s grace flows exclusively when you rest.
God’s grace is the unearned, undeserved, and unmerited favour of God – it’s God making good things happen to you when you’ve done nothing to get it.
God’s grace and favour is what causes us to be at the right place at the right time. It leads us to meeting the right people and encountering the right opportunities. It’s what makes people somehow like us and prefer us over others when ordinarily there would be no reason for them to do so. It’s what causes things to go through for us against all odds and normal reasoning.
Just one touch of God’s grace and favour puts us way ahead of what we could ever achieve by our own skills, talents, and smarts, with far less effort.
If there’s something you definitely want working for you, it’s God’s grace and unmerited favour.
Because it’s what gives you the God-kind of results, versus the ordinary man-kind of results wrought by our own works and efforts.
Many Christians’ understanding of God’s grace or unmerited favour is limited to God pardoning our sins through Jesus’s sacrifice for us at the cross.
But God’s grace is not limited to our forgiveness in Christ. It begins at the cross, and extends and permeates to every area and every scenario in our life.
It includes meeting that project deadline. It covers successfully parenting your kids and being at one with your spouse. It includes that holiday trip, that business transaction, even that visit to the mall.
Indeed, the source of all grace is the cross of Jesus Christ. Because it was there that God replaced the old covenant of the law, demand, and deserved favour by works with the new covenant of grace, supply, and unmerited favour through rest (Hebrews 8:7-13).
At the cross, Jesus voluntarily and willingly took our place to suffer the full punishment for all the bad that we ever did or would ever do in our entire life, took on and became every curse and disease that we were due to suffer on our behalf, so that we who receive Him would permanently take His place of perfect righteousness, holiness, health, blessings and unbroken favour!
Everything that we ever owed or might ever owe God was more than paid by Jesus – the perfect and sinless Man and Son of God – for us at the cross. Everything that we ever need from God has been supplied by Jesus through the cross.
Rest cannot help but come upon us like a soothing wave when we realise and believe this. We have rest in our soul. We have rest in our conscience. We have rest in our body.
When we realise that there’s nothing more we need to do to earn God’s favour and blessings apart from simply accepting Jesus and what He has done for us, rest just floods our entire being.
And that rest becomes a blessed and unshakeable assurance when we further realise that there is nothing we can do that would remove us from that position of God’s favour and blessing and God being firmly on our side. Because our acceptance of Jesus and salvation in Him is once for all, our position in Him is also permanent.
God’s rest is not observing a Sabbath day of abstinence from work but rather maintaining a consistent posture of resting in the finished work of His Son, Jesus Christ. Because simply observing a day of not working doesn’t necessarily produce true rest within us.
Man’s idea of faith and religion, and all of the world’s systems would invariably shift the focus back to ourselves and hoodwink us into thinking that we need to perform or behave so as to keep our position secure. It is the inherent tendency in every one of us.
But God’s ways are not as our ways, nor His thoughts as our thoughts, for His ways and thoughts are higher and unlike ours (Isaiah 55:9).
The gospel of Jesus Christ as designed by God Himself is a gospel of grace and peace. It is a wonderful good news of His unmerited favour, a good news that brings rest to every fibre of our being.
It is a good news that urges us to simply rest in what He has done for us so that His unmerited favour can keep on flowing freely in our lives. And it is His grace that will transform and grow us to lead godly lives (Titus 2:11-12).
It is a good news that is so contrary to our normal way of thinking and functioning that we have to constantly listen to it to be reminded of its inherent truth and to renew and align our minds with God’s way of thinking.
The first mention of the word “grace” or “favour” in the Bible is this:
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. (Genesis 6:8)
The name Noah means rest. In other words, “rest” finds grace and favour in the eyes of the Lord!
Rest and grace are 2 sides of the same paper. When you find rest, there grace will be also.
Jesus is the embodiment of God’s grace – God’s divine supply of life, healing and miracles flowed incessantly through Jesus. When the people rested and trusted in Jesus’s ability to forgive their sins and provide for their needs, His grace flowed effortlessly to them to fulfil whatever they needed – be it healing, provision, or a miracle of bringing the dead back to life!
Today, find rest in the finished work of Jesus for you. And you can surely expect the favour of God to start flowing abundantly into your life.
Because when you encounter Jesus, you encounter grace.