The Rest of Faith

16 June 2013


1.    Introduction

·         Psalm 23:1-2 “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.  He makes me lie down”

·         David expresses his personal relationship with God – Shepherd, personal friend.

·         David outlines in Psalm 23 the friend of this relationship – the outcome of faith.

·         “He makes me lie down” = picture of sheep resting with legs folded in sheepfold (Ezekiel 34:14)

·         What is he resting from?

Stress   •Anxiety  Fear   •Pressure   •Danger   •Striving   •Self effort                      

•This is the rest of faith! – a friend and outcome of relationship.


2.    Kingdom Life is about Rest not Works

Romans 14:17 The Kingdom of Heaven is not about eating and drinking (law keeping) but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.


·         Peace is an evidence that the inner life is at rest from striving, struggling.

·         Peace is a gift that God imparts to us when we learn to trust (John 14:27).

·         Anything that disturbs our inner peace is a signal something is wrong.

·         Colossians 3:15 “ Let the peace of God rule in your hearts….”

·         Rule = NT1018 = to attribute, act as an umpire, rule, prevail.

·         Hebrews 4:10 “He who has entered his rest has himself ceased from his works as God did from His.”


(a)  Cease from Works = Cease from Struggling

·         OT laws – full of works to be done to earn blessing, often forever.

·         Reliance on own efforts and strength results in striving and struggling.

·         This leads to cycles of defeat, frustration, trying ‘to be good enough’.

·         People lean towards self effort, ‘keys to success’ instead of faith.

·         Books/resources abound in keys to success – works to do!


(b)  Repentance from Dead Works is Foundation in Christ

Hebrews 6:12 Repentance from dead works and faith towards God.

            Dead Works                                       Faith

            -Striving                                               -Rest

            -Self Effort                                           -Grace of God

            -Reasoning                                         -Revelation

            -Anxiety/Pressure                             -Peace

            -Self Centered                                  -God Dependent (Faith)


·         Rest comes when overcome inner pressure by faith in God and His Word.

·         Enter rest when you believe in your heart what God says and act upon it.

·         Enter rest = focus effort on believing not doing.

·         Holy Spirit rests on men of peace who have come to rest of faith.



(c)  The Rest of Faith Produces Fruitful Works

Titus 2:14 “…..zealous for good works”.

Titus 3:8 “… careful to maintain good works”.

Titus 3:14 “Let our people also learn to maintain good works to meet urgent needs that

            they may not be unfruitful”.

Hebrews 4:11 “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest (of faith)”.

Diligent = NT4704 = to make effort, labour, study, haste

                               = Key issue is where effort lies:

                                                                         •From contending to get results.

                                                                         •To contending to believe Gods Word


3.    Jesus Invitation to Rest

Matthew 11:28-30 The Kingdom of Heaven is not about eating and drinking (law keeping) but

(a) The Invitation to All

·         “All who labour and are heavy laden".

Labor = NT2872 = to feel fatigue, wearied, work heavy, troubled.

Heavy Laden = NT5412 = to load up an animal, overburden, heavy cargo.

·         Invitation is to all in turmoil in their souls to find ­rest.

Turmoil of duties, have to’s, laws, anxiety, stress, pressure, intentions.


(b) “Come to Me”

·         This is the first of three decisions you need to make – rest is the outcome.

·         Connection to a person not a principle – rest is in the person of Jesus.

·         Peace/rest is a gift from Him – if it is a gift then it is not a work.

·         Centre your focus on Jesus not on storms or pressure of life.

Eg Matthew 14:28-31 Peter walking on water.

While he maintained focus on Jesus not the storm he walked on water.

(c) “Take My Yoke on You”

·         “Yoke” = teaching and lifestyle of a Rabbi.

·         “Take Yoke” = to become a disciple/follower of Jesus and His lifestyle.

·         Jesus was surrounded by turmoil, agendas, hostility, malice but walked in inner peace.

·         Jesus rested by listening to directions of the Holy Spirit (John 5:19) and refused the pressures, expectations others placed upon Him.

·         Loss of peace = signal to evaluate what is happening and yield to obedience.


(d) “Lean on Me”

·         This means to receive instruction in the same way, same attitude – meekness and humility,  disciples did from Master. 

·         A process of interaction, questions, enquiries  listen to response.

·         A process of gaining insight, wisdom through direct interaction.

·         Slow down – stop reading – ask Holy Spirit questions – listen and obey.

Results: “Find rest for souls”.