For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29)
The concept of predestination and foreknowledge is that God knows what He is doing and has a special place in His Kingdom for each believer.
The fact that God knows what He is doing gives us rest in the security that the world and our personal life are not out of control but are being directed by the perfect wisdom and power of God, according to a master plan.
The fact that God has a special place in His Kingdom for each of us means we are to cease attempting to force our will, to direct our destiny, to cease striving to build our own kingdom, and instead to devote our days seeking the will of Christ for our life. We enter the rest of God when we turn over the remainder of our life to Christ and allow Him to perform what God has planned for us.
But, one may ask, is it possible for the believer to deviate from what God has determined?
We have our answer in the third chapter of the Book of Hebrews.
Israel refused to believe and obey God. As a result, God would not allow the people to enter the land of promise although He had promised the land to them. God suspended His promise to that generation, just as He changed what He had spoken concerning Eli, the priest (I Samuel 2:30).
The Scripture commands us to give diligence to make our calling and election sure (II Peter 1:10).
It is important to realize it is the “rest of God” we are entering. God is seeking a living temple for Himself, for His own pleasure and to accomplish His own purposes. We can be part of that rest only as we cease from our attempts to live our lives in our own way and instead present our bodies to God as living sacrifices, seeking His will. God is resting, having set in motion His eternal plan. We are to enter that rest, God’s rest, His Sabbath.
The first concept that has to do with our being able to enter the rest of God is that God has a specific purpose and plan that have been completed already in God’s mind and vision.
The second concept that concerns our being able to enter the rest of God is that of the Jewish Sabbath day.
What does the Sabbath day, the seventh day of the week, teach us about the rest of God?
To find the answer to this question, let us turn to Isaiah, Chapter 58, verses thirteen and fourteen. This passage was true for the Jew one day each week.
The Christian keeps this Sabbath, this Divine rest, twenty-four hours of every day, seven days a week.
If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
To be continued.