This is my prayer topic I want to pray upon. It is my own personal prayer topic and you can decide to share it with me. It will benefit you a great deal. Let me read from Hebrew 4: 9 “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.” 10 “For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.” 11 “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”
You see God has made provision for you and for me that we can have rest. Rest is sweet, rest is wonderful. There’s no rest without peace. Rest comes when there is peace and calmness. In a world of turbulence, chaos and anarchy, there can not be rest, but in your life, in your heart, in your family there can be rest in your house. Even when there is chaos and anarchy, around your working place, and business arena, there can be rest in yours. Some will say it is not possible to have rest in this world, this because it is not common, but possible. It is forces of push and pull in life that is affecting all of us. In all these cases we can have rest.
God promised rest and only God can give it. We should decide to possess it and we shall have it.
We shall consider two cases and then pray. The first case we shall consider is David. Remember we have been told Jesus labored, suffered for our rest. Now, David is a great person to consider in the case of rest. If David could have rest, start thinking about yourself.
2Samuel 7: 1 – “And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies;” 2 “That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.” 3 “And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee”. 9 “And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth.” 10 “Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime,” 11 “And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house.” God is a great God. David came to fight war, God referred to him as MY CAPTAIN. He was made basically for war. And all the lands that God promised Abraham that he will give him, all those lands, David conquered them and claimed them for Israel. But then as he was fighting up and down, a time came in his life that the Bible says that he had rest. And God Himself also said He had given David rest. Look at it in verse one, we are told God had given David rest round about from all his enemies, not from some of his enemies but from all is enemies
2Samuel 7: 9 “And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth.” God said He had cut off all David’s enemies. Is it possible? Oh yes! If it was not possible, He would not do it for him. Since God is not a partial God, whatever He had done for one person, He will do for all. If at a time of war when every thing was war, war, war, at the time of David there were inter-tribal wars, international wars – war, war, war every time. It was war in every place. If at that time God could give rest to David, what about today, can’t He give you rest.
Can’t He give me rest? You say, ‘well my enemies are too many.’ Are they more than those of David? Think about all the enemies of David – the Moabites, the Canaanites, the Jebusites, the Philistines, Saul’s family and every thing. Yet God gave him rest.
My brother, you are to die on the battle ground. You must have a time of relaxation whereby you can worship and magnify the name of the Lord. God gave David rest, why will He not give you rest. When God gave David rest, he was able to think of building a house for God. Rest will make your brain sharp and you will think straight. When God gives you rest you will start thinking about what you can do for God. How you can labour for God, how you can do this and do that. Your brain will become sharp; you will start thinking better than before.
Let’s look at another case.
We are looking at the case of Solomon 1Kings 5: 4 “But now the LORD my God hath given me rest on every side, so that there is neither adversary nor evil occurrent.” Praise the Lord! This so clear but I will say it is great and uncommon. He said “But now the LORD my God hath given me rest,” where and how “on every side”. Think about the Northern side, think about the southern side, think about the Western side, think about the Eastern side, think about up and down –“on every side”. The principalities working in the air, the powers in the sea, the workers in darkness with all of them working, still- “on every side”. And then he said, “so that there is neither adversary nor evil occurrent.” That is, it was so serious that God had given rest all around. There were wars all over the world of that time but God gave Solomon rest because Solomon had rest he was able to build on to the best edifices of the world. The finishing was superb. Rest is sweet.
When we have rest, we can serve God better. Think faster and be more useful to God, to ourselves, to our families, to our neighbors and to our communities and to our nation. Are you praying? Yes you have to pray now, and say God, give me rest.
But before we pray, I will mention some things. The first one, is
How do we receive rest? Remember where we read first in Hebrews 4: 11 “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest,” we are told we must labour to enter into that rest. There was a small girl where I was staying some time ago, when you tell her to go and sleep, she will run and jump into the bed. Give her just five to six minutes she is gone. Then you start wondering how someone can rush to go and sleep. Yes, that person is laboring to rest. Now look at the same verse again – Hebrews 4: 11 “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest,” Hebrews 4: 14 “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.” 15 “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. “ 16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” We are to labour to enter into that rest and we are to hold fast our profession and we should consider our high Priest that there is nobody that can feel for us like Him. With all He went through, with all the temptations He passed through, yet He could stand, which means, we too would stand and we can enjoy that rest. We are also asked to come boldly unto the throne of grace. To have rest, we need to come boldly to the throne of grace. So we can say from this passage, there are some points we can point to;
- We have to labour for the rest, work for it, plan for it and discipline yourself for it. You can not just take it for granted and say rest means go and lie down while your enemies are standing outside. You are making yourself a minced meal for the enemy. You will labour to enter into that rest. That is the first thing we are getting from this passage
- You must exercise your confidence in God. We are going to read some passage here – 2Ki 6: 14 “Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.” 15 “And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?” 16 “And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them”. This is a case of confidence in God. Elisha was there, may be he was even having his quiet-time at that time, the servant jump up to find out what was happening and he saw chariots and horses and he quickly ran to disturb the man of God. Then Elisha said, “And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them”. This servant of Elisha then had confidence before he could have rest. In the case of Elisha, he had rest; he was not looking at the multitude of the enemies but the strength and faithfulness of God. It is not the problem that is too great but your attitude to the problem that is making tensed and making you not to have Peace. It is not the problem that is big but your attitude.
Follow me to the New Testament and we shall read,
Mar 4:35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.
Mar 4:36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.
37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Mar 4: 40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
Mar 4: 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
Now, let us see the situation together, in that turbulent area, in that turbulent situation, Jesus was sleeping. He could sleep. When the disciples disturbed him He stopped the wind and talked to them; “Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?” Your problem is not greater than your God. You can have rest, if only you can have confidence in God. Have you forgotten the story of Peter? Let us read it in Acts 12: 5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
6 And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.
7 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.
8 And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.
9 And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision.
10 When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.
11 And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.
Peter was sleeping. He was in the prison tied to the soldiers and still he could sleep. The death sentence was hanging on his head and still he could sleep. If you were in this situation, would you have slept? Knowing the plans of Herod, would you have slept? Seeing the soldiers around you and remembering how James was killed, would you have slept? May be at that time, we would have been picturing how Herod would call the meeting, command Peter to be brought, and the commanded the executioner to cut off his head. Instead of Peter to be picturing all these, he was sleeping. That is confidence in God.
Let us also consider the case of Paul and Silas, Acts 16:23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
Act 16:24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.
Act 16:25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
Act 16:26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.
Act 16:27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
Act 16:28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
Act 16:29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
Act 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
Act 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Paul and Silas were imprisoned after given many merciless stripes of whip. They were thoroughly beaten and their legs were fixed inside stocks. What were they doing in such situation? They were praising God. Why were they praising God? The answer is simple, because of their confidence in God. When there is confidence in God, God will surprise you. That is what gives rest. Confidence will make you to know that your enemies are nothing to God. Look at it again, Elisha had confidence in God, the enemies – the Syrians – were not able to destabilize him. Jesus could rest and even sleep on the troubled sea because He had confidence that nothing would change what He had said. He had already told them, “Let us pass over unto the other side”. He knew nothing could change that statement. Peter was at danger point but he could sleep because of his confidence in God. Paul and Silas were singing in chains inside the dungeon when they could have been weeping or questioning God. Exercise your confidence in God.
For God to give you rest, you must give Him implicit, prompt, and complete obedience in all areas of life. This was the secret of all the battles of David. He would stand on the side of God and obey God completely. No wonder, he could have rest. If you want rest, you must target the glory of God in whatever you are doing then believe God’s plan for your life. Do not look down on God’s plan for your life because if you do not change God’s plan for your life, no man can change it. God has a plan and program for your life; believe it and God will do something wonderful in your life.
To have rest, fight every trace of sorrow with all your might. Sorrow comes not because of the problems you have but your attitude to your problem. Whatever is giving you sorrow; fight it because it is your enemy. As you fight sorrow, your rest will come. You see sorrow is a very terrible enemy. Sorrow is a great enemy. Sorrow paralyses our brains. Sorrow works against our mind, heart, our blood system, and our nerves; so all the nervous system could be affected seriously whenever sorrow is working you. Joy liberates us. Joy set us free. Joy releases us. Joy makes us to think better, joy makes us to work better; joy makes us to work in a beautiful arena. The blood circulation is better when there is joy. The heart pumps better when there is joy, the lungs work well and the nervous system. They all work better when we are in joy. Therefore when we start fighting sorrow in every area of our life, we will see that rest will come. Agitations will be out and serenity will take over. So then after you have taken this six steps, then you will have to say “Lord give me rest.” If you will be serious about it, God will do it now. You can now start praying, please include every area of your life and as you trust God; it will be to you even according to your faith.