'Tis the season when Christians the world over celebrate the birth of Jesus. But do you know that you don’t have to wait for the festive season to walk in peace and joy? You can rejoice in spite of your circumstances because God wants you to take a throne attitude and rest while He takes care of everything else for you!
Today, Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father’s throne. (Hebrews 8:1) And the Bible says that as Christ is, so are we in this world. (1 John 4:17) This means that we are also seated at the Father’s right hand.
Now, being seated is a picture of rest. In the Old Testament, the priests never sat down. There were no chairs in the tabernacle of Moses or in the temple of God because their work was never finished. But Jesus sat down because His work is finished. (John 19:30, Hebrews 10:11–13) And God said to me, “Son, tell My people to have a throne attitude.” So what does it mean to have a “throne attitude”?
Having A ‘Throne Attitude’
The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies!
In Hebrew, the first “LORD” refers to Jehovah, or Yahweh, and the second “Lord” is Adonai. Therefore, the first verse actually reads, “Yahweh said to my Adonai…” After Jesus conquered sin and death, and rose from the dead, He returned to the Father. And the Father said, “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” So Jesus’ throne attitude is to sit and expect His Father to bring all His defeated enemies under His feet.
In biblical times, defeated enemies were brought back in chains and the victorious king would sit on his throne and put his feet up on the backs of his defeated enemies as a sign of victory. Likewise, Jesus’ conquered enemies are being dragged to Him one by one, and put under His feet.
Ephesians 1:20, 22–23 (NIV)
...He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand...And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body...
We, the church, are the body of Christ. And who is the one who makes the enemies our footstool? It is not us, but God Himself! God’s Word is the truth and He keeps His Word. God is telling us to have the same throne attitude as Jesus—to rest, while He makes our enemies our footstool. So with each passing day, we have all things, including the defeated enemies of disease, poverty, depression and all kinds of curses, being put under our feet.
Enter God’s Rest
Do you want to know God’s definition of His rest? Hebrews 3 describes how the children of Israel were not allowed to enter the promised land because they doubted God’s Word. However, instead of saying “They shall not enter My promised land”, God called the promised land “My rest”.
So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’
This means that what the physical land was to the children of Israel in the Old Testament, God’s grace and rest are to the believer under the new covenant. That is your inheritance today. God wants to bring you out of lack and into the land of abundance! He wants to bring you out of sickness into robust health! And this promised land is the place of His rest.
God’s Word always tells us “Fear not, fear not”. But do you know that there is only one thing the Bible tells us to fear?
Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.
In Hebrews 4:1, God tells us to fear that we don’t enter His rest. Now, many of us worry about many things and everything that God tells us not to be afraid of, we fear. But the one thing that God tells us to be afraid of, we aren’t!
Be Rest-Conscious, Not Giant-Conscious
There is another lesson that we can learn from this story. God told the children of Israel that He had come to bring them into “a land flowing with milk and honey”. (Exodus 3:8) This means that the promised land was a place flowing with abundance and provision. It was also a sure promise, a statement of what God will definitely do.
However, what was the posture of God’s people when they reached Kadesh Barnea, the border between the wilderness and the promised land? They sent 12 spies into the land for 40 days and chose to believe the report of the 10 spies who said that the Israelites could not take the land because it was inhabited by giants from the tribe of Anak. (Numbers 13:33)
In Hebrew, the word Anak means chain or neckchain. A chain around the neck is a picture of a yoke which weighs you down. Although God had delivered the children of Israel from their taskmasters in Egypt and they were no longer slaves, they still had a slave mentality. Instead of focusing on God’s goodness and promise, the children of Israel focused on their giant problem—the Anakim—and they were weighed down with anxiety and fear.
Today, some of us still have this slave mentality. We are so focused on our “Anakim”—our problems and symptoms—instead of Jesus’ finished work on the cross, that we cannot enter our promised land of rest.
Now, I want to pose to you a question that God asked me which I had to answer as well. Have you ever read the story of the 12 spies and asked yourself if you would side with Joshua and Caleb—the two spies who said, “Let us go immediately and take the land!”—or if you would agree with the 10 spies?
Well, the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, like your fathers in the wilderness.” (Hebrews 3:7–9) In other words, are your problems bigger than what God is saying about your situation? Before your body is healed, before the money is in your bank account, before every problem in your life is resolved, will you believe that God will deliver you according to His Word and still walk in rest?
God wants you to have the revelation that whatever you need Him to do for you has already been done because Jesus has accomplished all for you. And God is asking, “In spite of the giants, would you go up and enter the promised land of My rest? Can you be rest-conscious, rather than giant-conscious?”
When You Rest, He Works
What happens when you become rest-conscious? Let’s look at this secret hidden in the story of how Jesus healed a man who had been suffering from an infirmity for 38 years.
Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.
I asked the Lord why He asked the man to take up his bed. Why not just ask him to rise and walk? And He showed me that the bed is a picture of rest. So what Jesus was actually saying to the man was, “Rise, take up your rest and walk!”
Notice that that day was the Sabbath, the day of rest. Therefore, what God is saying is that when you rest, He works! Isn’t this amazing?
Yet, there was a group of people who were unhappy that the Lord had healed this man.
John 5:10–12, 16
The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.” He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’” Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?”...For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath.
The religious people were upset because it was the Sabbath. They saw healing as work. To them, healing the man on a day of rest meant that Jesus was working on the wrong day!
Now, if you had known this man, wouldn’t you ask him, “Hey, what happened to you? How did you get cured?” Instead, the people he met said, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.” Look, this man hadn’t walked in 38 years! But the people around him were only concerned that he had carried his bed on the day of rest. This is how legalistic people are. They cannot see the blessings, only the problems.
The last phrase “had done these things on the Sabbath” in the original Greek is in the imperfect tense. The imperfect tense generally represents continual or repeated action. This means that it was a habit for Jesus to heal on the Sabbath and He had repeatedly performed such miracles on the Sabbath. On the day that man rests, God is able to work!
Your Healing Is In The Rest
Another example is the healing of a woman who was bowed down for 18 years. When Jesus healed her in the synagogue, the ruler of the synagogue, the woman’s “pastor”, said, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.” (Luke 13:14)
What was Jesus’ response?
The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for 18 years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?”
Jesus said that her healing came just by being a daughter, a child of God. But some Christians still think that healing is man’s work, not God’s work. They go around thinking, “I’m not doing enough, that’s why I’m not healed.” They cannot believe that healing can be as simple as being at rest in God’s finished work, saying and believing, “Lord Jesus, as You are free from every disease and sickness, so am I in this world.”
Did you know that even the words “healed” and “relaxed” are linked in Hebrew? One of the Hebrew names of God is Jehovah-Rapha which means “I, the Lord, am your healing”. (Exodus 15:26) The Hebrew word rapha not only means “to heal”, but one of its root definitions also means “the relaxed”. So healing comes by being at rest, not by working. Jesus’ death has given us life and wholeness.
Seek Rest First That It May Be Well
God does not say, “Wait until all your enemies have been destroyed, until every problem in your life has been resolved, then you can rest.” He says, “Rest first until I make all your enemies your footstool.”
What do you see when it comes to healing for a condition in your sick body or breakthroughs for your financial challenges? Do you see lack and say, “Let me get out of this situation first. Let me hear the doctors’ reports say that everything is clear, and then I can rest”?
We find it hard to rest because our human nature is inclined toward worry and restlessness. The devil loves to see human nature reign in the church and to have you believe that you can only rest when things go well or when you see your breakthroughs. Stop saying, “When my child finishes primary school, I will stop worrying and rest.” You know what? After primary school, there is secondary school. Then, after your child completes secondary school, you will say, “I think when my child finishes university, then I will rest.” And you will never rest!
I want to share about two women who faced a financial situation during a time of famine. Now, Naomi was a woman of God and this is what she said to her daughter-in-law Ruth.
Ruth 3:1 (KJV)
…My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?
In other words, Naomi told Ruth, “Shall I not seek rest for you, so that things will go well for you?” Isn’t it strange that Naomi mentioned rest first? Isn’t human nature more inclined to say, “Shall I not seek for things to go well with you, so that you can rest?”
But God wants His nature to reign and He loves you so much that He says, “You are already seated on the throne. You rest first. Sit down until I put the conquered enemies—that financial situation, that symptom in your body—under your feet.”
God wants you to find rest in the midst of the storm. And when you rest in Him, things will go well. This doesn’t mean that there are no enemies. But you will rule in the midst of your enemies! (Psalm 110:2)
Psalm 23:5 says that God prepares a table for you in the presence, not the absence, of your enemies. Some of you may say, “Lord, how can you expect me to eat now? The symptoms are still in my body! My bank account still shows the lack! Lord, I will eat well and I will celebrate when all my problems are resolved.” But the Bible says that God doesn’t follow human nature. God says, “I will prepare a table. You eat first! You eat in the presence of your enemies, and I will take care of your enemies.”
Don’t Postpone Your Rest
Isaiah 53 describes Jesus’ suffering and what He accomplished for us on the cross. It says that He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities, and by His stripes, we are healed!
The reason we can rest and rejoice in the midst of our enemies is because Jesus defeated them when He took our place and bore our sins on the cross. He has done it all and the work is finished. (Hebrews 10:12–14) We only need to take up a throne attitude and rest in Him.
So as we are resting in His finished work, what should our response be? How do we partake of all that Jesus has done? Right after Isaiah 53, the Scripture says:
“Sing, O barren, you who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you who have not labored with child! For more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married woman…Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; do not spare; lengthen your cords...For you shall expand to the right and to the left, and your descendants will inherit the nations...
Jesus has defeated the enemies and God is telling the barren woman to rejoice! The “barren woman” is a picture of someone who has not seen results, signs of health in her body or signs of abundance in her situation. Being barren is not God’s will for you. The Word says that God never meant for us to be barren. God blessed man and told him to be fruitful. (Genesis 9:7) So in Isaiah 54, God is saying, “Sing now, and prepare for your blessing! Enlarge your tent and prepare for growth! Do not spare. Expand your territory and your descendants will inherit the nations.”
Imagine you are a barren woman singing, “Hallelujah! I’m a mother of many! The Lord loves me!” The devil will come and say to you, “A mother of many? Where is your child? Aren’t you a hypocrite?” But don’t stop rejoicing. God wants you to enjoy life before the problem is resolved. Start singing even before you see the manifestation. Stop postponing your joy and peace. Stop waiting for Christmas to celebrate. Make every day a celebration of life, and learn to rest in the midst of your problems.
It should be a daily response to go to Jesus for our rest. Jesus Himself tells us to come to Him and He will give us rest.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Whenever you are heavy laden with worries or cares, weighed down by the yoke of the law, or in the midst of any enemy that is weighing you down, go to Jesus and you will find rest in Him. Rejoice, sit down and prop your feet up, because God has promised that He will deal with your enemies and make them your footstool!
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