A PLACE FOR HIM TO REST

By Francis Frangipane

In the Kingdom, there are no great men of God, just humble men whom God has
chosen to use greatly. How do we know when we are humble? When God speaks, we tremble. God is looking for a man who trembles at His word. Such a man will find the Spirit of God resting upon him; he will become a dwelling
place for the Almighty.

Entering the Sabbath Rest of God

Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house
you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest? Isaiah 66:1

God asks for nothing but ourselves. Our beautiful church buildings, our
slick professionalism, all are nearly useless to God. He does not want what
we have; He wants who we are. He seeks to create in our hearts a sanctuary
for Himself, a place where He may rest.

In the Scriptures this rest is called "the Sabbath Rest." It does not,
however, come from keeping the Sabbath, for the Jews kept the Sabbath, but
they never entered God's rest. The book of Hebrews is plain: Joshua did not
give the Israelites rest (Heb. 4:7 8). And after so long a period of
Sabbath-keeping, the Scripture continues, "there remains therefore a Sabbath
rest for the people of God" (Heb. 4:9). This rest was something beyond
keeping the seventh day holy.

The question must be asked then, "What is this Sabbath rest?" Let us explore
Genesis in pursuit of our answer. "Then God blessed the seventh day and
sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work" (Gen. 2:3). Before
God rested on the Sabbath, there was nothing special or holy about the
seventh day. Had the Lord rested on the third day, then it would have been
holy. Rest is not in the Sabbath, it is in God. Rest is a prevailing quality
of His completeness.

Revelations 4:6 describes the throne of God as having before it, as it were,
"a sea of glass like crystal." A sea of glass is a sea without waves or
ripples, a symbol of the imperturbable calm of God. Let us grasp this point:
the Sabbath was not a source of rest for God; He was the Source of rest for
the Sabbath. As it is written, "the Creator of the ends of the earth does
not become weary or tired" (Isa. 40:28). And even as the
Sabbath became holy when God rested upon it, so we become holy as we put
away sin, as the fulness of God settles and rests upon us.

In our study, we are not associating God's rest merely with the sense of
being rebuilt or rejuvenated, which we obviously need and associate with
human rest. The rest we seek is not a rejuvenation of our energy, it is the
exchange of energy: our life for God's, through which the vessel of our
humanity is filled with the Divine Presence and the all-sufficiency of
Christ Himself.

Enveloped and Permeated with God

The Hebrew word for rest was "nuach," and among other things, it meant "to
rest, remain, be quiet." It also indicated a "complete envelopment and thus
permeation," as in the spirit of Elijah "resting" on Elisha, or when wisdom
"rests in the heart of him who has understanding." God is not looking for a
place where He can merely cease from His labors with men. He seeks a
relationship where He can "completely envelop and thus permeate" every
dimension of our lives; where He can tabernacle, remain, and be quiet within
us.

When God's rest abides upon us, we live in union with Jesus the same way He
lived in union with the Father (John 10:14 15). Christ's thought-life was
"completely enveloped and thus permeated" with the Presence of God. He did
only those things He saw and heard His Father do. He declared, "the Father
abiding in Me does His works" (John 14:10). There is rest because it is
Christ working through us! Jesus promises us, "If you ask Me anything in My
name, I will do it" (John 14:14). How vain we are to think we can do
miracles, love our enemies, or do any of the works of God without Christ
doing His works through us!

This is why Jesus said, "Come to Me . . . and I will give you rest" (Matt.
11:28). In a storm-tossed boat on the sea of Galilee, Christ's terrified
disciples came to Him. Their cries were the cries of men about to die. Jesus
rebuked the tempest, and immediately the wind and sea became "perfectly
calm"; even as calm as He was (Matt. 8:26). What program, what degree of
ministerial professionalism can compare with the life and power we receive
through Him?

You see, our efforts, no matter how much we spend of ourselves, cannot
produce the rest or life of God. We must come to Him. Many leaders have
worked themselves nearly to exhaustion seeking to serve God. If they spent
half their time with Him, in prayer and waiting before Him, they would find
His supernatural accompaniment working mightily in their efforts. They
would become passengers in the vehicle of His will, a vehicle in which He
Himself is both Captain and Navigator.

Cease Striving, Know, Then Obey

To enter God's rest requires we abide in full surrender to His will, in
perfect trust of His power. We learn to rest from our works "as God did from
His" (Heb. 4:10). It requires diligence, however, to enter God's rest (Heb.
4:11). To "rest from our labors" does not mean we have stopped working; it
means we have stopped the laborious work of the flesh and sin. It means we
have entered the eternal works which He brings forth through us.

The turmoil caused by unbelief is brought to rest by faith. The strife
rooted in unforgiveness is removed by love. Our fearful thoughts, He arrests
through trust; our many questions are answered by His wisdom. Such is the
mind which has entered the rest of God.

The church needs to possess the knowledge of God's ways, for herein do we
enter His rest (Heb. 3:8 12). We gain such knowledge through obedience to
God's Word during conflicts. As we obey God through the testings of life, we
learn how to deal with situations as God would. Consequently, it is of the
utmost value to hear what God is speaking to us, and especially so when life
seems to be a wilderness of hardship and trials.

Therefore, the Spirit says, Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, as in the day of trial in the wilderness. . . .
Therefore I was angry with this generation, and said, "They always go astray
in their heart; and they did not know My ways"; as I swore in My wrath, they
shall not enter My rest. Hebrews 3:7,8,10 & 11

He says, "they always go astray in their heart . . . they did not know My
ways . . . they shall not enter My rest." Let us understand: Knowing God's
ways leads to His rest.

We must see that there is no rest in a hardened heart. There is no rest when
we rebel against God. Our rest comes from becoming honest about our needs
and allowing Christ to change us.

Thus Jesus said, "learn from Me . . . and you shall find rest for your
souls" (Matt. 11:29). Stop fighting with God and learn from Him! Let His
Word put to death the torments of the sin nature. Cease struggling; cease
wrestling against the Blessed One. Trust Him! For eventually His Word will
plunder the defenses of your heart. Be committed to your surrender! In time
He shall no longer use adversity to reach your heart, for you shall delight
in being vulnerable to Him. Continue your diligent yielding until even His
whisper brings sweet trembling to your soul. Far more precious than the men
of a hundred nations is one man perfectly given to the Spirit of God. This
man is God's tabernacle, the one to whom God looks . . . and is well
pleased.

He says, "Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Where then is
a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest? For My
hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being" (Isa.
66:1 2). Yet, incredibly, one man with one quality of heart captures the
attention and promise of God. "But to this one I will look, to him who is
humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word" (v. 2).

God looks to the man who trembles when He speaks. For in him the holy power
of the Most High can, without striving, abide in perfect peace. He has
learned the ways of God; he delights in obedience. He has chosen to give God
what He asks: nothing less than all he is. In return, this man becomes a
place, a holy place, where God Himself can rest.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Gary Amirault:

Much of the church world has followed the ways of the first “chosen people”
and have therefore, failed to enter into the promised rest of God. On our
journey, we have gotten side-tracked and have begun building kingdoms of men and women. We have built religious institutions made of bricks and mortar
and not living temples who have ceased their striving and have become an
abode for God Himself to work through. We have substituted the works of the
traditions of men in exchange for the works of God “prepared from the
foundation of the world for us to walk in.”

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is
the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his
workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before
ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)

When we become seduced into performing the religious works of religious men
and women, we fall from grace and enter into dead works. These dead works
produce self-righteousness thus cutting us off from grace. At that point we
become just like the ancient Pharisees, mouthing grace but really trusting
in our own self-righteousness through our law-keeping. Then we become
worthless as far as manifesting the works prepared by God for us to walk in.
God will not give His grace for religious works of men, for works of the
flesh nor will He put His glory upon them.

When Jesus walked through the Temple in Jerusalem, it was 46 years in the
making. It was actually not complete until just a few years before its
destruction in 70AD. Millions of dollars of tithes and offerings went into
this magnificent building dedicated to the work and glory of God … or so
they thought. Jesus prophesied that this Temple, held in high regard by Jew
and gentile alike, would be torn apart stone by stone within that very
generation. That is what God thinks of man’s works in the name of God; they
are utterly worthless regardless of the money and time put into them.

Dear brothers and sister, strive to enter into the true rest of God, ceasing
from your own labors or the labors of some men and women building their own
kingdoms in the name of God that you may discover the true works of God
prepared from the foundation of the world which will indeed manifest the
kingdom of God and all its righteousness. --Gary Amirault



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