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The Rest of Faith (1 of 4)

Mike Connell

I could feel all the pressure on me. I looked to him, and I said to him: “I can tell you're very sad, to have done that - you must have had a lot of disappointment”.

I said: “You know what? God's not too worried about your tithe. Why don't you go and take yourself and your family out for a meal, and give thanks to the Lord for all His abundant blessing, until your heart comes right?”

I said: what you're doing is, you're trying to manipulate God; “oh, You didn't give me what I want, so therefore I'll do this”. You can't - that's just not how we work with God. We don't work with God that way.

God is generous, and loving; and because I believe that, I can respond out of a generous heart. Anyway, he got himself sorted out very quickly after that, but see: Grace was given to him; not the Law.

We've got to not be under the law. Jesus came to set us free from the laws of do's-and-don’ts; and to bring us into the Rest that Faith brings.

So you notice here it says: “he that's entered into Rest has ceased from his own works”.

Notice two things here. When you come into the rest of God, you: ‘enter’ into the benefit of His works; and you ‘cease’ from your own works. Getting the idea?

Cease from works, means a cease from struggling. So if you're struggling, striving, contending, in distress, pressure, guilt, fear, anxiety, all that kind of thing, you are struggling and striving.

What’s needed is to understand what God has provided for you, and come to trust in that; and rest from whatever's pressuring and driving those emotions inside you.

Second thing about this, is that Repentance from Dead Works is quite foundational. In Hebrews 6 - the foundational doctrine of establishing your life in Christ - the first things you learn is: Repent from Dead Works; and Faith towards God.

It doesn't say there: repentance from Sin; its saying: repenting from working, trying to establish yourself with God. It's repenting from: striving hard to please God.

How can you please God more? He's pleased when you have faith in His Son; and what the Son has done.

He delights in His Son, and if I'm in His Son, He delights in me; and that's irrespective of whether I'm up and down, have problems, or fall over, or fall on my face, or make a mistake, or sin or something like that. It doesn't change God's view of me.

My daughter had an open vision, in a meeting where deliverance was taking place (I was leading the meeting).

She said: I couldn't see you, I saw Jesus; you were in Him. That's what the demons were seeing - they weren't seeing you; they were just seeing Jesus represented.

So that takes away a lot of the stress then, and the striving. We realise then, that I'm called.

Anything that I'm doing, and I'm struggling to get something God has already given me - that is a dead work. If I'm struggling to get accepted, to get forgiven, struggling, struggling, struggling; if I pray harder, work harder, read the Bible more, do this…

Praying is a necessarily discipline in our life; reading the Bible is a necessary discipline in our life; but if you approach it: I have to do this, in order to get something - you're going to get nothing much.

What I need to do is: come into the place of faith and rest that this is: I need to engage with God.

So Repentance from Dead Works - it shifts us. It shifts us from: striving to rest; from self-effort to grace. It's a shift, a big shift, from reasoning to revelation - I need to be listening to God more, instead of trying to figure it all out; from anxiety to peace.

It's a shift, a major shift; and when you're in the shift, your life looks different to everyone else; because they say: how come you're at peace, when there's all this turmoil going on? They can't understand it - how come you're at peace?

Simple: you're at rest.

How can be at rest? Don't you understand how bad it is?

Yes, I do; however, my eyes are fixed on Jesus Christ, who has promised: “My peace I give to you”.