Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it…Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said. Hebrews 4:1-3

The goal is to enter into God’s rest and we enter by faith, trusting that God has done everything necessary to make us acceptable to himself. The writer of Hebrews connects this thought with Genesis 2:2: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.” Rest follows work. God has done all the work to get us back in relationship with him. He is not impressed with our pitiful attempts at working for him. Thinking we can make ourselves acceptable to God underestimates his holiness.

“For anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his” (v.10). God has designed us to rest from our own work, that is, rest from trying to control our circumstances, rest from manipulating events, and rest from working to earn ‘brownie’ points. We are free from the pressure of having to perform.

Will all this talk about rest make us apathetic? The disciples asked Jesus this question: “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent” (John 6:28-29). Perhaps we have not thought before of believing as “work”. Yet it can be hard work since it goes against our natural inclinations. We prefer to believe those things we can see, hear and feel. Trusting God who we can’t see, hear and feel is difficult. Yet as we do the “work” of believing, we will find ourselves trusting less in our own efforts and more in God thus resting in him.