Life Until Jesus Comes Back

The story told in the book of Exodus is a beautiful picture of God’s presence and provision for His people as He leads them out of the bondage of Egypt and into the promised land.  His presence was with them, guiding them out of Egypt, rolling back the water to allow them to cross on dry land, destroying those who intended harm for them, providing good water and consistent food every day, detailing for them a good structure for living in community with Him and with one another, bringing them to the border of the promised land… and their delay in claiming what God had gifted them.  It took another forty years and another generation before His people entered into His provision for them.  

We, too, are offered the opportunity to enter into relationship with our Father, through Jesus, and all that means for us.  The book of Hebrews links the release of Israel from their bondage in Egypt and the promise for us to enter the rest He has provided for us in Jesus.  Hebrews 4:1 tells us,

Therefore, while the promise of entering His rest still remains and is freely offered today, let us fear, in case any one of you may seem to come short of reaching it or think he has come too late.  For indeed we have had the good news [of salvation] preached to us, just as the Israelites also [when the good news of the promised land came to them]; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not united with faith [in God] by those who heard.  For we who believe [that is, we who personally trust and confidently rely on God] enter that rest [so we have His inner peace now because we are confident in our salvation, and assured of His power], just as He has said, “As I swore [an oath] in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest.” [this He said], although His works were completed from the foundation of the world [waiting for all who would believe].

Hebrews 4 continues for the entire chapter to encourage us to make every effort to enter into His provided rest.  We are told that we have a great High Priest in heaven whom we should cling in trust in Him.  We are admonished that we should approach God’s throne with confidence and without fear so that we can receive mercy for our failures.  Does this passage give you a sense that we are blessed and cared for?

I just want to remind you of some of the invitations and instructions that God gives us through His scriptures:

  • Come unto Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation].  Matt. 11:28
  • … casting all your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you with deepest affection and watches over you very carefully]. I Peter 5:7
  • Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, take pleasure in Him]; again, I will say, rejoice! Phil. 4:4
  • Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. Phil. 4:6
  • And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus {is yours].  Phil. 4:7
  • Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honoring and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on the things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]. Phil. 4:8

God is our Father.  He cares deeply for us.  He is all-powerful.  Our sins are covered by Jesus.  We are in relationship with God because of Jesus.  God can be trusted.  We must continue to come to Him and not resort to our own thoughts, solutions, imaginings, to navigate this difficult world.  Still, we are, as Adam before the fall, to cultivate and tend to our part of the world under the watchful, loving direction of our God, Who is the creator of us and our world.  And so we live, and we wait.