I never really understood what rest was after I got born again. I found myself really working towards making God proud. I remember one time I headed to a mountain top all alone thinking that God would see my effort in pursuing to worship Him. I knew I loved God but at the back of my head, I thought maybe God would move because I had put such an extensive effort.
I had heard one prophet say that there is something really special about praying on a mountain top. There was this theory that when you go to a mountain, you are either close to God since the mountain is closer to the sky. I know ey, sounds absurd. I really took that and believed it so much that I walked miles and climbing a mountain so as to work in gaining God’s approval and make God move. I think I enjoyed the view from the mountain top more than I did enjoy my purpose for having gone up there🤣. It was hot and had not even taken a bottle of water because I had also fasted. The intention was to have fasted all day, and prayed on top of the mountain. When I came back home, I was dehydrated, tired, scorched and broke the fast 🤣.
All that done with the right intention is a beautiful thing. You can go to the mountain if of course your intention is to be alone and just shout out unto God without having anyone thinking you are weird but going to the mountain because you think you will be closer to God is not the right reason for you to go to the mountain. Jesus said it himself…
Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.
Beautiful, it is not about the mountain or the place, totally not about it but about knowing that we are always and always in the midst of the Father. He is us and we are Him.
Where I was trying to focus on actually is about us resting from our works. What I was doing was me trying to work in order to please God and earn His favor so that when something good happens, so that I would be in a perfect position to say, “I am blessed because I fast and pray on mountain tops.” This was me performing. I like what the writer of the book of Hebrews says. Hebrews 4, 10: For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Through Christ Jesus, we have entered into this rest. We have been given rest and ceased from our works. We no longer work into earning approval.
Romans 5, 1: Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Having peace with God means that we have been accepted therefore no amount of fasting and heading to the mountain will give us any more acceptance from God because He has called us into rest. Matthew 11, 28: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11, 29: Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Jesus said Himself, He wants to give us rest.
He mentioned that He does not want us to labor. What I was doing was labouring, I thought sweating would get me approval. So this would in turn went South wise when I would do something wrong, I would feel so distant from God. For instance, that very day, coming from the mountain, after I broke the fast, I went back to square one. So meaning I thought to myself, “so I have to do all this again and do it perfectly, go to the mountain, fast perfectly so as to get that smile from God.” I had a very faulty belief.
So one might be asking, what then should we do? What do I do to enjoy this rest. The writer of the book of Hebrews displays it with a rather juxtaposed picture, Hebrews 4, 11: Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. How do we labor to enter rest? It’s as though we are adviced to do exactly what we are told that we are saved from, we are delivered from. To labor into rest, yet Jesus said that all who labor should go to Him and He would give them rest. Wow, what an oxymoron.
This says that we should really fight to enter that rest. Yes Jesus has come for us to enter that rest but our emotions are not going to allow us to enter this rest. We will hear theories that pressure us into wanting to labor, either labor in our cognitive dissonance or in action. Either worrying or making efforts that make you think that God will be a bit more pleased with you rather than being pleased with us through Jesus.
Us labouring to enter rest is us fixating our focus in the word of God. Thinking on it. Speaking it. Seeing who we are in Christ through the word of God. I like how Andrew Wommack says it, the most practical thing he can advise us to do is to study and think on the word of God. So I totally take his word for it. Through the word is where you will see yourself through Jesus. Through the word, you will be motivated to spend more time in prayer. You will just be in awe of who you are now and what Jesus had done through the word of God.
This is a topic I love so much. I’ll go deeper with this subject in other posts. Jesus is our rest.