The number one most important thing to get right in Christianity is; Rest.
Why? because it affects everything you do and the reason why you do them.
There is an internal pressure that happens inside all of us. This internal pressure is what causes all the restlessness and sin in the world, including all the sin you experience in your own life. This pressure is either vented by chasing things or coming into a place of rest. This rest is like coming home, finding a deep inner peace, trusting and letting go.
What causes this internal pressure? The internal pressure is cause by us missing the mark of perfection. It is a leftover remnant from Adam’s perfection and the guilt he suffered being no longer perfect. We know deep down inside we are suppose to be perfect. It is also caused by being without a deep secure centre, being an orphan in our hearts, does God really love us? This lack of security, perfection, power, purpose causes pressure.
This rest is all centered around one thing. His Righteousness. Unless you understand His righteousness you have nothing but errant religion. All religion does is bind us up with fear and striving.
What does that mean? Simply put if you don’t know you are right with God right now, or at any point of your born again life then you will be forever trying to become right with God.
The bible says God was angry with the Children of Israel because they wouldn’t enter His rest. They wouldn’t mix the Word of God with faith (Hebrews 4).
This internal pressure without the knowledge of His righteousness causes venting, restlessness or striving, this is the number one problem in many Christians, it is such a big problem that God wants you to strive to enter His rest so that you can cease from your own works.
What are these works God wants you to cease from? It is the works of trying to earn right standing with God, either through repentance, living right, good works or sincere worship and devotion. These things will never give you right standing they will only satisfy your conscience, because you think “I have done these things well, I am ok with God”.
This internal pressure is an emotional feeling, it is a pressure we feel. We look in our hearts for reasons why it is there, and try to release it by getting right with God. Let me tell you plainly. If you have Christ, you are right with God right now. You don’t have to come to Him and get cleaned up to be right, you are right, that cleaning up will only enable you to walk right.
There has been an errant religious doctrine doing the rounds of Christianity saying you are only as good as your relationship with God. It is a lie from the enemy, your relationship with Him has nothing to do with your salvation. Kick that lie out of your heart. It just puts people under another performance doctrine, another works based saving yourself lie.
Do not polish your relationship trying to become right with God, showing you are sincere, and proving it by your striving. You are not saved by your sincerity, by your good works or your devotion, you are not saved by the performance of your heart, your repentance, your effort level. Do not touch, to not taste , do not handle, do not think, these things have nothing to do with your right standing. You are saved by the blood of Jesus and nothing else!!!
So there is a place of rest, it is a place you must come to that you let go and cease from your own works of righteousness to be saved. It is a place you must believe in His work and cease from your own earning.
What will coming into His rest do for me? It will give you a peace the world can not find. It will make you secure in your heart, and give you a home. It will release all the guilt, shame and frustration that is caused by missing the mark, by being a insecure spiritual orphan. In turn because of the lack of internal pressure it will clean you up faster than any religion ever could. Why? because you won’t seek to vent, either by restlessness or a striving to release the pressure.
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It is a letting go from all striving. God has taken your sins into account, Jesus’s account, and Jesus paid for them in full. All your sin forever.
What about the sins I do tomorrow? Notice he said justifies the ungodly, not the godly, not the sinless, but the unworthy, the always messing up ungodly ones. Thats you and me, everyone really because our best righteousness is as filthy rags.
If you are going to really really trust something and someone in this life, make it God your heavenly father and His finished work in Christ.
What must I do? Nothing… You are right with God, right now, for always, rest in that.
Now that you are set free from earning with God, you are free to live for Him. Live untainted by religion, that ugly thing that taints everything. It taints by you forever trying to stay saved and stay righteous, by you trying to earn the un-earnable gift of salvation. Now you are free from that, you can do the good works set before you, out of a heart of love, compassion, thanksgiving and true worship.
Release that internal feeling of pressure to perform by trusting in Him today. Be free child of God and rest, rest in knowing that right now you are ok with God, and only because of your saviour the Lord Jesus Christ.
Can you smile about that?