We which have believed do enter into that rest.
Christianity often speaks of things that at first look seem like a contradiction. One of my favorites is found in Heb. 4:11 “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience”. This absolutely makes no sense to the unrenewed mind. How can someone strive and exert extreme effort to enter into rest. Wuest brings out the power of this word ‘strive’.
“The verb speaks of intensity of purpose followed by intensity of effort toward the realization of that purpose”.
So which is it, strive or rest? Actually Paul is pointing us to the key to powerful Christian living, using our energy and strength to press into the very presence of God. Actually, the whole book of Hebrews is about that, entering into the life of the Spirit behind the veil. Here is how Watchman Nee describes it.
“Rest follows work. In the fullest sense rest is only possible when the work is completed to a point of satisfaction. It is no trifling matter that God rested after those six days of creation. How, we may ask, could He—this God of purpose, this God of abounding life—come to rest? Genesis 1:31 gives us the reason: “God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” He had accomplished something which rejoiced His heart. The good pleasure of His will had been realized, its goal attained. In resting He proclaimed His approval. Today God invites us to share with Him His rest in Christ. Another work is accomplished, a new creation secured. His good pleasure has been realized, and no fuller realization is necessary or possible. We enter into God’s rest when, ceasing from our own strivings, we find all our satisfaction in Christ.”
That is the key, our efforts are aimed at finding satisfaction in Christ. Religious systems are all about work and effort to please God. There is no amount of effort any of us can exert to please Him. That is the frustration of the law, we all fall miserably short even with our best efforts. He is already pleased. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not our works that He finds pleasure in, it is the work of His Son. The finished work of the cross is what we rest in. We rest in what Christ has done and press in to find pleasure in His presence. That is the essence of finding life in Christ, striving to enter His rest.