Thursday, March 4, 2010

Not Romans 7 but Entering Rest

When someone shared with me how he has the same struggles as Paul in Romans 7, I wrestled with it for awhile. For I learned in this journey that after understanding grace and what Christ has done for us, He says we will find rest in Him. The following passages now have new meaning to me:

Psalms 23:2
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

Hebrews 4:3
For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: "So I swore in My wrath, 'They shall not enter My rest,' " although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

Hebrews 4:10
For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

Well, I thought I understood rest until what my friend shared and then I got confused. I could relate to his struggles and his reasons were that we are only human and that the spirit fights with the flesh. But it just did not make sense for if it were true then we don’t actually have “rest” per se. The bible says our old sin nature is dead, we have a righteous nature now i.e. everything is alright now between God and I.

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Are we in Christ? If we are Christians, the answer is yes. Yes, we are in Christ. So why the resistance to the truth that the old sin nature is gone. Why does our experience contradict the truth? For that matter, why did we have church crisis? Or for myself personally, why was there a blown up situation 2 weeks ago when we had a heated debate which caused me to toss and turn in bed unable to sleep? There was definitely no peace in my heart, my mind was troubled and many emotions brewing. Definitely not at rest.

Worse still, last week Tony and Dennis shared that some people actually enjoy being in “anger” or “pride”. Huh? Why make ourselves miserable when we can have peace of God? What? Because it makes us feel in control?

So why does our experiences contradict the truth?

It took me a few weeks to figure out. The answer is because we are not really willing to trust Jesus. It’s all head knowledge. It hasn’t sunk into our inner man or our spirit what Jesus has done for us and why. We haven't really experienced the love of God or we have but we are disobedient.

Today, I was meditating on 1 Thessalonians 2:13
“And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.”

I was just sharing with Henry that there’s just so much comfort meditating God’s word. It’s really really from God. And to allow His word to work in us is even more awesome. It makes me want to hear what Father God wants to tell me. When I was troubled and not at peace with my home group member after the heated debate, His word was like a mirror to my soul (my mind, will and emotion) showing me where I had gone wrong. It did not matter who was right or who was wrong. Reading the bible one night, His words simply flashed at me.

In 1 Corinthians 13:5 it says that love
“does not act improperly; is not selfish; is not provoked; does not keep a record of wrongs;

After only that small little account over a few minutes of heated debate, God’s word mirrored at me at what I did! Wah, I quickly emailed him to apologise and quickly made calls to hunt him down. Hmmm, believe it or not the devil was still trying its luck because I did not get to speak to him even after a whole day of calling but still I pursued till the very end with only a mischievious voice at the other end saying “So you reckon I was trying to avoid you?”. Of course he wasn’t. My heart was just at peace and all of God’s love, joy and peace flowed back into my heart once again. Praise the Lord!

By not delving too much in the topic or why words were spoken the way they were or letting my emotions control me, I could trust that God will find the right time for us to discuss on the topic again in the future. I could trust that God in His timing will reveal more to him in personal experiences.

I know that our peace of heart is destroyed after any argument. It’s in these times that we need Jesus so much to guide us what to do next. We need to remember that Christ came to die once for our sins to set us free from captivity including sorrow, pain and diseases. We are free. We are overcomers. We are sons of God, heirs and co-heirs with Christ, seated at God’s right hand. Everything God gave to Jesus, He gave to us. "Why you are no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ (Galatians 4:7)". And if we are his children and everything is alright between God and I, we can just cry out to Him and He will answer us. That is the faith we have in Him.

That is faith mixed with God’s word:

Hebrews 4:2
For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.

Hebrews 4: 11
Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.

I pray that in this period of lent, we will diligently enter into that rest in Jesus, NOT by diligently working on our own strength to love others or overcome anger, hatred, discouragement, pride etc BUT by meditating on God’s love for us by reading His word and looking at the cross once again and finding that rest in Him through faith in Jesus Christ. You can trust Jesus. He is really all that He says in the bible.


  1. hi bunny
    cant agree more. lately, my finger kept flipping to micah 6:8. love mercy seems to be something that i have to keep relearning and relearning. its great that you pursue your cell mate to set things right. this means that you are putting yourself aside and god 1st! :)

  2. Hi Fee, it's encouraging to know that you too are hearing the voice of God. I quickly checked up micah 6:8. Yes! totally agree. As I go through this adventure I realise it is really imporatant to be doers of the word. This same verse I would always be confused as people use it for works.So now i am beginning to understand how it is applied. :)