In the Heart of Wisdom Teaching Approach I compare the homeschool journey to the Exodus from Egypt (leaving public school) traveling in the desert, and seeking the Promised Land. The Passover story and journey to the Promised Land is a meaty symbol of our spiritual journey and growth. The Israelites were saved from Egypt but not all entered the Promised Land—only their children and a few men of faith entered. Likewise, in our spiritual journey we can be saved but fall short of arriving in the promised land.
The words Promise, Inheritance, Rest and Land are meaningful spiritual symbols in the Bible. In Hebrews Paul compared spiritual rest with the physical Promised Land:
For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterwards have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest for the people of God. ( Hebrews 4:8-9)
Jesus said He would give rest to those who were weary and heavy laden. Spiritual rest is not lying down to take a nap. God didn’t rest on the seventh day because He was tired. His rest was a cessation of labor.
Rest is the opposite of work or striving; it is found in relationship with God through Jesus. Resting in Him is peace, joy, healing, provision. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2). Spiritual rest is Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith. Heb. 12:2.
The Christian life is not a life of working but of dwelling in Him. As we dwell we become transformed into His image, being changed by His glory.
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:)
The “Rest” is The Kingdom of God
The ‘rest’ in Hebrews refers to the Kingdom of God. Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33).
We learn to rest in God by conforming our mind to His through His Word. This is why His Word is the most important thing we teach with our children daily. There is a work involved to enter the rest.
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. Heb 4:12
The labor to enter the rest is a labor of love, spending time in God’s Word renewing our mind, little by little daily.
For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Heb 4:13.
Knowledge of God
Spiritual rest—and come to think of it, all spiritual fruit—begins with the knowledge of God (knowledge of His Word). Faith begins with knowledge.
The more time we spend in the Word, the more we reap from the Word. The more time we sow the Word in our children’s hearts, the more spiritual fruit will be evident.
Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides. (Mark 4:24)
God has wonderful promises in store for us when we spend time getting to know Him. Personalize these verses from 2 Peter 1:2-4 : God has given [your name here], through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord… exceedingly great and precious promises that [your name here], can be a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world…
God promises us a new spirit and victory over flesh when we walk in His ways. Personalize these verses from Ezekiel 11:19-20. And I will give [your name here] one heart, and put a new spirit within [your name here]. And I will take the heart of stone out of [your name here]’s flesh and give [your name here] a heart of flesh, that [your name here] may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them…
Take Possession of the Land
Don’t make an 11-day journey into forty years in the desert. Due to our sinful nature, we would rather go our own way contrary to the Lord; we tend to wander off the path God has chosen for us in life. My spiritual journey has taken many detours. Each time I lost my way was because I was focusing on self and my failures instead of God’s promises. It’s not that I don’t have faith in God—my faith can be compared to the story of Peter walking on the water. I never doubt Jesus can walk on the water; it’s me I doubt. I struggle to see myself as an heir.
But when I stay in God’s Word—instead of focusing on my failures and shortcomings—I can fix my eyes on Christ—not circumstances—then I can enter His rest. When we stay close to God, even while we make mistakes, He will love us, forgive us, lead us, heal us and bless us as we abide with Him. Sometimes we take two steps forward and two steps back (fruit needs to mature before it is sweet), but if we choose God’s will over our own will at every fork in life’s road, the Shepherd will lead us.
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it]
until the day of Jesus Christ. (Phil 1:6)
Resting in Christ means we rely on His work, not ours, and then we will know first-hand of the promise of His rest.
Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.
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