The word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.
How do we experience God’s rest? In Hebrews 4, the writer gave us the formula for experiencing God’s rest:
God’s commands + our faith = His supernatural rest.
Hebrews 4:2 says, “The word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.” The Israelites who wandered in the wilderness never experienced God’s supernatural peace. Why did they fall short of the Promised Land? Because they heard the Word of God, but the Word of God was not united with their faith and their obedience.
Faith means believing what God has said and acting accordingly. Faith is a synonym for obedience. Because the Israelites did not obey God when ordered or trust God when tested, they failed to experience God’s supernatural peace. As you think about an area in your life that is causing you turmoil, ask yourself, “Am I going to worry or am I going to rest?” The only way to experience God’s supernatural rest is to trust and obey Him.
The place of our future rest is Heaven. The place of our past rest was at the cross of Jesus Christ. Do you know where the place is for our present rest? Right in the middle of those problems that are challenging you right now. That is where you can experience supernatural peace.
Think about this: When Joshua finally led that new generation into the Promised Land, did that mean an end to the Israelites’ problems? No. Even though they were in the Promised Land, the Israelites faced attacks from their enemies. They were in the place of blessing, but it did not exempt them from problems. God says you and I can experience His supernatural blessing right now in the midst of our circumstances no matter what is going on around us. So often when we are in a difficult situation, we pray, “Lord, take us out of this difficult marriage. Take us out of this stressful job. Take us out of this health disaster.” Most of the time, God does not take us out of our problems; instead, He strengthens us in those problems.
Why do we need to trust God when we are tested? Why do we need to obey God today in the thing He has commanded us to do? That’s simple: because there is no other way to experience God’s supernatural rest. Just as there is only one way to experience the ultimate rest of Heaven–through faith in Jesus Christ–there is only one way you can experience God’s supernatural rest in your life right now. As the hymn says, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” That is the way to have supernatural rest.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Quest For Rest” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2018.
John H. Sammis, “Trust And Obey,” 1887.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.