Finding the Ancient Path of Rest and Grace
The Lord Himself said to rebellious Israel through Jeremiah the prophet,
“Ask for the ancient paths where the good way is and walk in it and you shall find rest for your souls. But they said, “We will not walk in it.” Jer. 6:16
God wanted His people to find this rest from Him, but they refused. Years later when Jesus shows up and addresses the people of God He tells them the same thing.
“Come unto Me all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. . . You shall find rest for your souls.”
Who is He addressing? People living under the demands of the Law.
Rest is offered but rest must be found by us.
This rest is found by a revelation of the grace of Jesus Christ. “Now I see!”
Last week we learned that mercy is given at God’s throne but grace also must be found.
“Let us then come with confidence (boldly) to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrew 4:16
Rest and grace are not the same. Rest is trust in the promises of God and grace is receiving the ability of God.
There is an ancient path that Noah found, Moses found it, David too.
It has always been around since the beginning of time, yet it must be found by us. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord – Gen. 6:8. Noah was not a perfect man, yet God spared him and his family from destruction. Abraham and Sarah both lied and yet God still used them –grace. Moses asked God to use someone else yet found grace – Ex. 33:17. David lusted, lied, killed, adultery and yet found grace.
These ancients found both grace and rest before the new covenant was given. What is it about them that they found grace and rest where others who may not have done as bad of things as they did, yet did not find grace?
Last week I shared about Abraham when God told him to offer Isaac as a sacrifice. Most movies show Abraham in agony about this. But the truth is I don’t think he was in agony because he believed the promise of God that Isaac was the promised seed. For God’s promise to come true Isaac had to be alive. Abraham did not know how, or details but he trusted God and rested in God’s promise even when he is told to sacrifice his son. Isaac asked, “Where is the sacrifice?” Abraham said, “God will provide Himself the lamb.”
As Abraham lifted the knife to slay his son the angel stopped him.
“Then Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked . . .” Gen. 22:13
HE FOUND GRACE after He first rested in the promise of God.
The greatest test of faith is when we are told to do something without any explanation of the details of how it will work out. Abraham’s part was to stay in faith that rests and then he found grace to do what he could not do on his own.
First he rested (SETTLED God’s Word in His heart) then he found grace. God provided Himself a ram that would take Isaac’s place.
Ill. The Promised land of rest was a land where God promised Israel houses they did not build, vineyards they did not plant, cities they did not build, wells they had not dug, olive trees they did not plant. For 40 years Israel wandered in unbelief that God would be that good to them in providing everything they would need in abundance to live the life He called them to live. Things He already provided for them!
Only one place in the Bible we are told to fear and it is referring to the example of the Israelites who died in the desert because they would not believe God and enter His rest and the promise land.
“Therefore since the promise of entering His rest remains, let us fear lest any of you should seem to come short of it.” Heb. 4:1
We are to fear coming short of entering God’s rest today. It is possible we could miss it. Israel did and missed the promised land. If we come short of entering His rest, we will not find the grace (ability of God) for our breakthrough.
Since Jesus has finished all the work of God on the cross, what are we to rest in? His finished work: Enter His rest – it is finished.
1. We are righteous by His finished work.
2. We are saved by His finished work.
3. We are healed by His finished work.
4. Everything we need for life and godliness is provided
How did Abraham receive from God? By believing what God said. He had to believe God and trust even though it looked impossible. He did not consider His body, age, circumstances. He considered what God said more powerful than what he felt or saw!
Today believers still have to labor against unbelief to believe God is that good and that Jesus’s work is complete. They are trying to complete a completed work, finish a finished work, and to defeat a defeated devil.
There are believers working to produce their own righteousness, or their own healing, or their own success and victory. We have to believe what God’s Word says instead of what we see of feel.
“For being ignorant of God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to the righteousness of God.” Romans 10:3
This is the same context where we tell people how to be right with God. You believe in the finished work of Jesus on the cross in your heart and confess that with your mouth that Jesus is Lord you shall be saved. Jesus bore my sins and penalty and gives me His righteousness.
“For being ignorant of _____________ and seeking to establish their _____________, they did not submit to the ______________.” Romans 10:3
Replace with salvation, healing, victory, God’s leading, God’s provision.
In healing you find grace.
You tube clip on Hebrew word for healing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rafwZdhpqGo
Jesus bore my sickness and disease and gives me His health. I believe this and meditate upon it and speak it to myself.
In all these things our will is involved. Isaiah 1:19 says,
“If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.” Isa. 1:19
“Willing” involves a decision. Willing means I have made up my mind to believe God. I have determined, I will live in divine health, I am not willing to be sick or stay sick.” Obedient means I am saying the same things God says.
Example of healing: The head and mouth agree and speak of the strong sacrifice of grace found by us.
- Believing right and speaking right. In time the manifestation of healing comes.
“Through faith and patience you receive the promise.” Heb. 6:12
“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law but under grace.” Romans 6:14
“For sin (sins ‘results = sickness, disease, depression, poverty) shall not have dominion over you . . .
The only “work” left for us to do today is to enter His rest. We are to enter rest in Jesus, as Noah entered the ark, Jesus, our true ark, who will carry us through tempestuous waters.
First You enter rest (faith) then find grace (ability).
Ill. Few people in the bible are called great by God. But when He calls someone great it is because of their faith. The Centurion who told Jesus just speak the Word You don’t have to come to my house. Then an OT example of a mother God calls a great woman. 2 Kings 4 she is told by Elisha since she has no son that God wants to give her a son. She says to him please don’t give me false hope. A year later she bears a son as her gift from God. Years go by and the young boy dies in her arms from aneurysm. Without panic she tells her husband she has to go see the man of God now. He asks is everything ok? She responds, “It will be alright.” She knows God gave her this child and now goes to Elisha and says, “Didn’t I say to you don’t give me false hope?” Elisha does not know the child has died. She did not say it either. He sends his servant to lay his staff on the boy. The woman says, I will not leave her without you. Scripture says “She CAUGHT his feet.” CAUGHT – used to describe a battle scene indicating she would not budge. Women tend to have this kind of perseverance that men do not have. So he got up and went with her. When he got to the house Elijah saw the boy was dead. He lays on top of the boy, prays and walks the floor and stayed there until the child came back to life!
Here’s the point:
1. She rested and trusted God was in charge.
2. She did not make any negative confessions.
3. She did not understand why this was happening, but she would not let her outwards circumstances upset her inward faith.
4. She did not budge from resting in the goodness of God and as a result she found grace that raised her son from the dead.
Concl: She found the same ancient path that Noah, Moses, Abraham, David found. The ancient path of rest and grace that Jesus set us on when we fist got saved.
The question is are you still on it today so you will find the grace you need for your breakthrough? The Bible says remember from where are you fallen and we need to remember where we got out of rest because that's where our problem began. Get back to the path of resting in the promises of God then you will find grace.