If you could chose any dream vacation destination, where would you go? A tropical island get away, with five star treatment? A remote cottage in the mountains, fully equipped for your comfort? A five star lodge in the middle of the beautiful African game reserve? Ive got you dreaming haven't I? Now, let's say you have been looking forward to this particular trip for some time. In fact, it's all you ever think or talk about. The day has come where you finally arrive! Well, almost arrive. Let's say you are so close to being in that beautiful paradise, you can actually see it, smell it, even feel the welcoming breeze.... It's right there in front of you, but suddenly, to your horror, you realise you can't go in.
That's pretty much what an entire generation of Israelites must have felt when they came a breath away from entering their 'Promised Land'. For 40 years they had been wandering around in the desert, with a promise of finally entering a place of abundant provision and much sought after rest. And now that they were face to face with that promise, because of their unbelief, in an instant, their dream slipped away from them. With the exception of Joshua and Caleb, the Israelites' refusal to TRUST and OBEY the Lord, kept them from entering their PROMISED PLACE of REST.
Aaah, REST, now that's a word that conjures up a wonderful sense of peace and longing doesn't it? For the Israelites, that rest, meant living in a place where lack didn't exist. Every need they had, would be met. It would be a place of safety, out of reach from their warring enemies, a place no one would drive them from, or make them wandering, homeless people again.
In Hebrews chapter 4, God explains exactly why the Israelites never entered that place of rest, by showing us exactly what His REST means. In a nut shell, it means FAITH. Even though the Israelites knew all about the promise, (they knew it so well, they could even see it) they could not POSSES it because of the one thing required to do so. They simply didn't TRUST God.
Now the first verse of Hebrews 4, tells us that the PROMISE of ENTERING HIS REST, still holds and is offered to every believer, today. Just like the Israelites of old, we have a ''Promised Land" - the Word of God, filled with promises of abundant life and peace. But like that particular generation of Israelites, those promises may end up being something we see and desire, but fail to actually posses, unless we choose to COMBINE the KNOWLEDGE of them, with an ABSOLUTE TRUST in GOD.
Take a look at what verse 2 of Hebrews 4 says, "For indeed we have had the glad tidings [Gospel of God] proclaimed to us just as truly as they [the Israelites of old did when the good news of deliverance from bondage came to them]; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith (with the leaning of the entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) by those who heard it; neither were they united in faith with the ones [Joshua and Caleb] who heard (did believe)." Amplified version.
Entering God's Rest is what causes us to walk in the reality of His promises. And that only comes "....with leaning (our) entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness)" .
So many of us come so far in our walk of faith, only to give up right before our breakthrough. Remember, EACH STEP OF TRUST LEADS US INTO HIS PROMISES. Entering HIS REST (trusting Him) and LIVING IN HIS PROMISES go hand in hand, because His promises are fulfilled while we are in perfect rest. So don't be distracted by the challenges around you, refuse to take your eyes off the Lord, even for an instant. Enter His Rest by having absolute trust in Him.