Joyce Meyer Daily Devotionals May 18 2022 :
Under the Old Covenant, the Lord required the people of Israel to observe the Sabbath every week. They were to do no work from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday. It was a symbol to them of rest. Throughout the Old Testament, God says that He created the world in six days and ceased from His labors on the seventh.
The writer of the book of Hebrews used the idea of Sabbath as a way of talking about a rest that is available to God’s people. In chapter 3, he wrote about Israel’s unbelief and quoted from Psalm 95:11: Accordingly, I swore in My wrath and indignation, They shall not enter into My rest. [Therefore beware] brethren, take care, lest there be in any one of you a wicked, unbelieving heart [which refuses to cleave to, trust in, and rely on Him], leading you to turn away and desert or stand aloof from the living God (Hebrews 3:11–12 AMPC).
The book of Hebrews makes it clear that although the Israel of old saw God at work every day in their lives and enjoyed the divine provision of manna and water and every other need they had, they still did not believe. The Israelites could not enter into that rest—that Sabbath.
Hebrews four makes it clear that the Sabbath rest—the peace of God—is still available to all believers. It is the privilege of every believer to refuse to worry or have anxiety. As believers, we can enter the rest of God. The promise is unchanged. The danger is that we may fail to reach it because of disobedience and unbelief.
The writer uses the word rest to mean more than just not working. It also implies setting aside those things that trouble our minds. In other words, to enter the Sabbath rest, we must not allow anything to prevent us from fully enjoying God’s peace.
Isn’t it interesting that although the Israelites regularly read the Ten Commandments and felt that they followed the Law, either they didn’t get what God was saying or—more likely—they didn’t believe it. God commanded them not to work, but it wasn’t just that He wanted them to take some time off. He was instructing them to do something far more important—to cease the daily routine of their busy lives and spend the Sabbath resting and reflecting on His abundant provision.
I know some people—and I’m sure you do, as well—who work every day of the year. They seem almost afraid to let up, as if they might lose momentum or money or not have enough to provide for their needs. Some people take on two or three side jobs for extra income, even though they don’t really need the money. It’s as though they think some measure of peace and happiness will come if they have accumulated enough “things” in life.
Sooner or later, they will find that peace doesn’t come that way. The Sabbath rest is God’s way of saying, “I’m in charge. I’ll take care of you if you’ll trust Me.”
And how do we trust God? One way is to begin to understand the importance of setting aside time to let our minds get quiet enough to recognize that God is truly with us. We don’t need to worry or be anxious about paying our bills or having enough food to eat. As long as we worry and fret about those things, we aren’t living in the Sabbath rest of God.
I am not suggesting that people quit their jobs and just sit around reflecting on the goodness of God. I believe we are to work hard and do our best at whatever God has given us to do. But ultimately, it is God’s love, His peace, and His provision that will see us through. The devil will whisper that it depends on us and we have to do it all. But once we have entered into the Sabbath rest, we know that God is the One who provides, and we can truly rest and enjoy our lives.
Prayer Starter: Father God, please forgive me. Too often, I worry or fret about not having enough. You are my God. You will always assure me that my needs are taken care of. My concern is to enter into Your Sabbath rest and take pleasure in Your presence. In the name of Jesus Christ, enable me to live in that Sabbath rest, amen.
Author : Joyce Meyer
Source : Joyce Meyer Ministries/ joycemeyer.org