Enter My Rest Story – Hebrews 4

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After Jesus sent out seventy-two of his disciples on mission teams into local villages, they returned with joy, reporting that demons submitted to their authority. Though they were excited to witness signs and wonders of Christ’s advancing kingdom, Jesus gently warned them not to delight in miracles, but instead to ground their joy in salvation and eternal life. (Luke 10:17-20) We are all just like our ancestors: prone to wander and quick to forge our own destiny apart from our Messiah. (Isaiah 53:6)

The master art illustrates the battle between self and surrender. In the west, the people of Israel reject the rest of God. Moses parts the Red Sea with his staff and Joshua leads the nation by a pillar of blazing fire. Both leaders modeled restful faith in the Lord while the nation they led eventually rejected God’s glorious rest. The dead tree along the path leading away from restful pastures illustrates this rejection. The Father’s hand in the north is a barrier preventing the people from entering his rest because of their lack of faith and obedience.

In the south, Jesus stands upon the Father’s hand as our Great Shepherd leading the people out of striving and spiritual exhaustion, over the Father’s blessing bridge, and into the green pastures and quiet, living waters of his abundant grace. Families relax carefree by the river of the Holy Spirit flowing from heaven to earth who helps all God’s children experience him in loving communion and refreshing peace.

The cherubim angel stands guard between our King’s sabbath pastureland and the warrior dragon who seeks day and night to deceive God’s people and force them into chains of bondage to the law of righteous works or signs and wonders obsession. The sword in the center pierces each of our hearts illustrating how Jesus shines his light into our darkness, exposes the intentions and motives of our thoughts, speech, and decisions, and leads us to fully surrender all we have and all we desire unto him.

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Enter My Rest Story Sketches

Sketch #1: Open door & river – This sketch is the story logo. This sketch illustrates God’s creation of a special, sanctified place of rest for us to enter in and receive.

Sketch #2: Cloud & dawn – This sketch illustrates God modeling sabbath rest for his people. He created everything in six days, and then set apart the seventh day for rest.

Sketch #3: Crown, barrier, & heart – This sketch illustrates a person rejecting God’s command to rest. We do not only listen to him, we also love, obey, and enjoy his Spirit.

Sketch #4: Sword & heart – This sketch illustrates Jesus Christ as God’s Word. His truth and resurrection life penetrates our hearts, reveals sin, and sets us free!

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Enter My Rest Training

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Restful Refuge (open door & river) >> Yahweh has designed a spiritual refuge where his children may enter and receive rest. (Hebrews 4:1) >> The Holy Spirit is a river of spiritual blessing flowing from heaven to fill the earth with abundant life. (Ezekiel 47:8-9)

Creator’s Pattern (crown & stars) >> The Creator of Heaven of Earth fashioned the universe and our planet in six days, declared everything good, and then set apart the seventh day for refreshing rest. (Hebrews 4:3-4) >> Jesus modeled this pattern: waking up early in the morning to rest in God and discern his sovereign will. (Mark 1:35-39)

Sanctified Sabbath (cloud & sunrise) >>  Even though many before us have rejected God’s sabbath rest, the door is still open for each of us to obey his call. (Hebrews 4:5-6) >> Jesus’ last words cried out from Calvary’s cross were, “It is finished.” His saving work is perfect for everyone who believes. He rescued us, so we may rest. (John 19:28-30)

Hard Hearts (crown, barrier, & heart) >> The devastating reality before us is that we can see and experience God, hear the gospel, receive an invitation to obey, and yet still reject God’s free offer to rest in Christ. (Hebrews 4:7-8) >> Job’s heart became hard towards God because of his suffering. After hearing God’s perspective on the universe and the ages, he repented of his hard heart, and entered into God’s rest. (Job 42:1-6)

Identify Idolatry (crowned serpent) >> The rest of God is rest from our works and striving to please him. Rest is both an earthly discipline and a spiritual place of healing. (Hebrews 4:9-10) >> Many will bring their good works before Jesus on Judgment Day, but because they did not rest in him, he will send them to hell. (Matthew 7:21-23)

Enjoy Rest (bridge over water) >> We begin from a place of sin, like fear, lust, or pride. We cross his grace bridge over troubled waters into sabbath rest. (Hebrews 4:11) >> God is our Shepherd. He makes us lie down to rest, he leads us beside his gentle, living waters so that our souls will be refreshed and restored in his Spirit. (Psalm 23:1-3)

Living Word (sword & heart) >> Jesus is the Word of God. He is a surgical sword that penetrates our souls and exposes our bondage to the idols of this world. He is our Loving Judge; shining his divine light, so that we will embrace truth. (Hebrews 4:12-13) >> The sign of a mature leader is an abiding passion for God’s Word. (Psalm 119:9-16)

Activity > Drink coffee or tea together, discuss this story, and practice drawing the sketches. Remember to encourage each other and pray. What’s the Holy Spirit saying?

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