Part 5 - Resting by Faith
Worship and Rest
Psalm 95, after pointing out the greatness and uniqueness of God as Creator, then relates Him as being the one who creates for Himself His people: "Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand" (Ps. 95:6-7). Creationism points to Jesus, the Creator of the church and the shepherd of it. The power is His and the work is His. He is the "Lord our Maker."
The believer knows God not only as the Creator of the universe, but also as the Creator of His people. He made the heavens and the earth, and He made the church. As individual believers, He made us to stand before Him, to know Him, and to fellowship with Him. He made us and He keeps us, "the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand." Jesus said, "I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep" (John 10:9-11).
This abundant life is for those who say of Yahweh, "For He is our God." Joshua said as he entered into the promised land, "And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15).
Resting in Jesus Christ and serving Him go hand-in-hand in a relationship with God. Rest is possible because of the greatness and power of God. He becomes all things to His people. He not only becomes redemption and righteousness, but also sanctification. In Him is purpose and the means of fulfilling that purpose. The power that saves is also the power that sanctifies. The believer's part is to rest in faith in who He is. The focus is on God, and the result of this is thanksgiving and worship. The psalmist says, "Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker." Praise and worship come out of rest, for one realizes that God has taken it upon Himself to establish the believer in Himself and to preserve him as the "sheep of His hand." The ceasing of work that originates from the believer allows for the work that originates from God.
Resting in the Redeemer
The writer to the Hebrews said, "For we who have believed do enter that rest" (Heb. 4:3). Faith in the Creator is the only means of entering. As Jesus said, "I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture." To "kneel before the Lord our Maker" is to kneel and bow down before Jesus Christ and confess Him as Lord and Savior. This is to reject self as capable of doing any good deed, as having any self-righteousness, as being able to rise up, to evolve, into a better person. This is to turn from self, turn to Jesus, and cease from struggle.
Entering the rest is more than just knowing Jesus as Savior. It is more than being born again and having one's sins forgiven. It is entering into the Spirit filled life, the abundant life, available in Jesus Christ. John records what Jesus said about this: "On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, 'If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.' But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified" (John 7:37-39). The Spirit filled life is likened to rivers of living water flowing out of the heart.
As the "Rock of our salvation" (Ps. 95:1), Jesus is the source of this living water. He is the source of the Spirit filled life. In the redemption of Israel out of Egypt, Moses was instructed to strike the rock. Out of this rock water gushed forth to satisfy the people. Paul the Apostle tells us this rock was Christ. The creation account, a type of sanctification in Christ, shows the separation and consecration one has in Christ. It shows the Holy Spirit as being life and bringing purpose to all areas that one is separated to in Christ.
There is rest as God comes into the life of the believer "to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him." As the "people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand," the believer can say, "He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake" (Psalm 23:2-3).
Worshipping the Redeemer
When the book of Revelation first records the heavenly scene in chapter four, it shows God as being worshipped for His glorious being. It next shows God as being worshipped as the Creator. After this comes a third reason He is worshipped: He is the Redeemer and creator of God's people. As Jesus is viewed upon as a Lamb that was slain, He is worshipped thus: "And they sang a new song, saying: 'You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth' " (Rev. 5:9-10). Here is recognition of Jesus as being the Redeemer of God's people by His death on the cross. They are the work of His hands, for He "made us kings and priests to our God."
Again Jesus is worshipped by those in Heaven "saying with a loud voice: 'Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!' And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: 'Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!' " (Rev. 5:12-13).
On earth Jesus had prayed to the Father, "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was" (John 17:1-5). As a Man, Jesus died as a Lamb that was slain. He was the sacrifice for sin in order to reconcile sinners to God. Now, after His resurrection and ascension to Heaven, He once again is seated with the Father and glorified together with Him, "with the glory which I had with You before the world was."
Glory in the Redeemer's strength
Jeremiah wrote, "Thus says the Lord: 'Let not the mighty man glory in his might, ... But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the Lord, exercising ... righteousness in the earth' " (Jer. 9:23-24). Jesus Christ is the Redeemer. Only through Him comes righteousness. It is His power that has accomplished redemption, and thus the glory belongs to Him only. Mankind is not to glory in his own strength or ability to do righteously. He is to rest in Jesus Christ and glory in God.
God's call to mankind is not to toil to produce a righteousness, but
to bow down and kneel before Him in worship for His glorious being, His
glory as the Creator, and His glory in being the Redeemer. He exercises and
establishes righteousness. He is the "Lord our maker." The believer can rest
when he glories in the Redeemer's strength. God's call is to fellowship with
Him and live before Him in praise and worship. This is a natural response
for those who have found that before a loving and Almighty God, "we are the
people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand."