THIS SERIES: HOW TO ENTER REST
We see this idea explored further in the stories about ancient Israel’s entry into the Promised Land. They had been slaves in Egypt for 400 years, and toil and hardship had characterised their lives. In Egypt the land had been irrigated by a sophisticated system of water pumps: prosperity had been produced by the graft of slave labour.
After fleeing enslavement, the nation had to learn a new way of living, to put on the mentality of freemen, to receive from the Lord’s hand all they needed [Deuteronomy 8:3-5]. This process took 40 years because of their unwillingness to trust the Lord who had rescued them.
A graphic illustration of the trust required was that the new land would be watered from Heaven, rather than by hand-pumping. Their source of provision, their prosperity and supply, would be first from the hand of God, rather than their own efforts. They could work as hard as they liked, if God didn’t send the rain, their efforts were in vain.
But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. It is a land the LORD your God cares for;
the eyes of the LORD your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.
And the implications for us?
To find true rest, first we have to know that God is good—that He is good all the time; that He is good to us personally, and that he is not witholding good from us. Then we need to trust Him to supply all of our needs out of His goodness. It is not the rest of inactivity or unending leisure, but it is the rest of sons and daughters—people who know they are no longer slaves.
Truth only sets us free when we actively embrace it. As a fellow-traveller on this faith-journey, I want to encourage each of you, in this growing online community, to visit these journey checkpoints...
4. What are your most pressing needs? Start to confess (declare aloud) His promise to meet all of them [Philippians 4:19].
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[**Photo credit: Inge Maria @ Unsplash, with thanks]