Thursday, October 16, 2008

Labor to Rest II

One of the most counter-productive things Christians do is trying to get things that they’ve already been given.

Let me explain. The bible says this about all provision from God… “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him…” (2 Pet. 1:3 NIV) This is past tense and refers to what we have received when we came to know Jesus as our savior. When we accepted Jesus as our savior, we received everything we needed for life and godliness…, EVERYTHING…, ALREADY.

This is no different than the concept of salvation and the gift of eternal life. Salvation has already been given to mankind through the life and death of Jesus Christ and is not something we can attain ourselves through trying. That would be "counter-productive," and would not gain for us eternal life. Salvation and eternal life is something that we must RECEIVE in order to have. (Eph. 2:8-9) It is receiving Christ as savior that gains for us salvation and eternal life. It is not obtained by trying to get it, (or even asking for it). Well, it is the same thing with everything else we need after we have accepted Jesus as savior. It has already been given to us through Christ and is not attained by trying to get it but obtained by RECEIVING it.

For example…, Christians seem always to be asking God for power, when power has already been given to us. There are many scriptures in the New Testament that attest to this. Just one of them says this, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2Tim. 1:7) So, this scripture says that we have been given power already. We need simply to receive that by faith to "have" it. In other words we just need to believe it. And not only that, but this scripture also says that we have been given a spirit of love. So, trying to be more loving or asking God to help you be more loving would also be counter-productive. In order to obtain what God has already given us, (in this case to be more loving) we must receive it, not try to get it. God can’t give you something that he has already given you.

Another example…, Christians are always trying to attain righteousness and trying to be and to live righteously, but the bible says that righteousness has already been given to us. It says that we have been … “made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Cor. 5:21) Righteousness can be obtained only by receiving it; that is, accepting by faith that we are righteous already. When we believe that, (rather than trying to be that) we will begin to see a transformation in our lives. A righteous life style will begin to grow and become natural, where we will not be trying to get it in our own effort but increasing in it through the power of God’s word. Christianity is a fight of faith, not works. (Rom. 12:1-2)

Here’s a good one. Many Christians are “trying” to get healed from God when the bible says that we are already healed! Isaiah said “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isa. 53:5) We are healed already! We need to believe that to see it. The book of 1 Peter says the same thing. (1Pet. 2:24) We do not get healed from God by "trying" to get a healing but by believing that we are healed already. Then you will begin to see a transformation in your life where healing will begin to come.

I know that this whole concept sounds a bit strange, and to the natural mind it is. Natural man needs to see things before they believe it, but in Christianity, it is just the opposite. We need to believe it before we will see it. That is called faith. And it is our faith that will bring it to pass. Watchman Nee said in his fabulous little book, “Sit, Walk, Stand”… “Christianity is a queer business! If at the outset we try to do anything, we get nothing; if we seek to attain something, we miss everything. For Christianity begins not with a big DO but with a big DONE.” (“Sit, Walk, Stand,” page 14) Everything we need has already been acquired for us by Jesus and simply must be received.

All of this is related to the verse of scripture I am focusing on in this article… “Let us labor to enter into that rest…” (Heb. 4:11) In other words, it is our job to enter into the rest of the finished work of Christ BY FAITH…, that is, to believe that what we need has already been given to us through the Lord, not try to get it. That is where the “rest” in Christ is and that is where your needs will be met and your prayers answered. (Mk. 11:24)

Submitted by John B. Agati
Author of : “Suffering (God’s Will?)”

More information about this and an upcoming book “Suffering, Unanswered Prayer, (And How to Fix the Whole Thing),” along with a short bio may be found at: www.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for this passage i'm here at work all day and usually what i do is brows through the gossip sections of every website and shoot the breeze with my internet buddies but this here was something that i can not only have here at work but apply it when i leave for home.thanks a mil.