Devotional for Day 19 – 24 August 2013
Intention: That we might truly enter into God’s provided rest.
Scripture: There remains then, a Sabbath rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience (Hebrews 4:9-11 NIV).
Reflection: The author of Hebrews spends the entire fourth chapter dealing with the Sabbath rest of the people of God. In verse 10 he writes, “…for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work.” As we rest from our works, God’s work is highlighted and He receives all the glory and praise. We enter into His rest, which is not a cessation of activity on our part, but an awareness that we are called to allow God’s work to progress within us. To make it simple, it means going back to the words of Jesus in John 15:5, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing.”
We need to repent, because we have not entered God’s rest. We have tried to build our own kingdoms, in our own strength, and somehow procure our own salvation. We repent and rest, and when we move away from God’s rest, we repent again and move back into God’s rest. This, Isaiah says, is our salvation…depending upon the saving power of Christ and His continued work within us.
Prayer: Lord, I thank you for providing an eternal rest for us. Even now, on this earth, you invite us into that rest. Forgive me for not staying there with you in that resting place. I so often try to do your work in my own strength. I repent! I turn from dependence upon self and turn completely to you.
[Blogger’s Comment: I have felt a real peace in my soul as I have read this devotion today. Right through the preparations and the first 18 days of this prayer call, I have wished I had more time to do what I wanted to in order to raise awareness of the need to pray, fast and repent and to provide resources to help people do that. But I cannot ask for more hours in my day! As Dave Butts reminds me, this is God’s work and I can do nothing apart from Him. I am called to enter His rest and cease from my own striving as I serve Him to the best of my ability. Thank you Lord.
We now have 21 days remaining in our 40-day prayer call. This reminds me of the 21 days that Daniel mourned, not eating any rich food or meat, or drinking any wine, or using any oil on his body (Daniel 10:2-3). He did this because he needed to understand a vision that God had given him concerning a great war. So he entered into 3 weeks of special fasting as he prayed and sought God for an answer. I encourage you to read Chapter 10 to find out what happened. To follow Daniel’s example has become known as a Daniel Fast.
How have you decided to fast through this global prayer call? Can I ask you to consider
a Daniel Fast for the next 21 days. We need to understand the times in which we live
and repent of our complacency or self-sufficiency. We desperately need God to act.
Only He can achieve the 4 prayer points for which we are praying.
I can see now that fasting is actually a form of resting – resting from our efforts to make something happen and instead calling on God to do His work. Will you join us in a Daniel Fast? There are some resources to help you on this website. MR]
Cry out to God that He would do these 4 things according to His will.
- A worldwide outpouring of the Holy Spirit for revival and transformation of the nations of the world.
- A billion people to find Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
- An end to abortion and a turning back the tide of death and immorality that is sweeping the nations of the world.
- A multiplication of prayer, praise and worship to God across the world as never before, to bring great glory to God.
With God all things all possible!