Creflo Dollar - The Contrast: Self Effort vs Rest
I believe that we can be empowered by rest. I'm gonna show you how you can get from God without having to earn it. Be empowered by rest. Now let's go through some things real quick. Hebrews 4, let's start at verse 1. Let's look at this. I believe that rest is the highest kind of faith. Faith takes possession of what Jesus has already made available, and I believe, when a Christian enters into the rest, that your faith is taking possession of what's already been made available. You think the greatest thing for you to do is to work, and I'm telling you, the greatest thing for you to do is to rest.
Now, when I say "rest", I don't mean "inactivity". And you have to say this, you know. To "rest" doesn't mean "inactivity". It doesn't mean rest from work. It means rest in work. In other words, while you're workin', you ain't stressin' 'cause God has not created you to be successful out of stress. I believe that's why we have to go to sleep 'cause that's the only time God can get somethin' done. A lot of stuff he can't do while you wait. Some of y'all need to go to sleep. "Well, you know, I just don't sleep". "Well, I can tell".
Hebrews 4, verse 1 through 11. Now, "Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, that any of you should seem to come short of it". Two, "For unto us was the gospel preached", the Gospel. I'm referring to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm referring to the Gospel of grace, "as well as unto them, but the word preached did not profit them", so I can preach this gospel to you all day long, but he says there is a possibility that it won't profit you. Why? "'cause it wasn't mixed with faith in them that heard it".
It's amazing. He's talkin' about rest, and he's talkin' about faith, and so this thing that has been preached to you, will you believe it enough for it to cause you to rest and release the highest kind of faith in what you believe is already done? That's a powerful thing. The most dangerous man on the planet is a peaceful man who don't go around worrying "if" it's gon' happen, but he walks around knowing when it happens. He walks around like a bride in preparation, hallelujah. I said, "hallelujah". "For we which have believed do enter into the rest".
So this, the authenticity of your belief is going to be demonstrated through your rest. Somebody says, "Do you really believe that"? Well, what's the evidence of my belief? Rest. See, you can't say you at rest, and you stressed. You can't say you're at rest, and you're worried. And you can tell me you're worried. All we gotta do is listen what you're sayin'. "Yeah, child, I hear what they said me, but, you know, I don't care. I'm gon' be all right". And the next person, you come, the same story, sayin', "You ain't rest. You in stress". And you're not gon' see empowerment come out of stress, but the authenticity of your belief can be seen in your rest... uh-huh, in your rest.
There's a lot of stuff goin' on in the world today, tryin' to rob you of the authenticity of your faith and your belief which is your rest. Then, when people come across you, you are so at rest, it bothers them. They don't understand why won't you be worried and why won't you complain and why you ain't got nothin' to say. "Why don't you cuss? God'll forgive you". You know, but I don't need to do that 'cause I believe that it is finished. Oh, I smell a breakthrough gettin' ready to come in this place, hallelujah, hallelujah.
"For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, 'As I've sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest, although the works were finished from the foundations of the world'", now, he's referring to the foundations of the world. How many of you know that Jesus has finished the work in your life, that healing is a finished work, that deliverance is a finished work, that your prosperity is a finish work, that your care is a finished work, that your children are a finished work? I don't care how they actin'. They're a finished work, hallelujah.
"Your children are taught of the Lord, and great is the peace of your children", and "It's time for you to rest, then my children will be just fine". It'd be all right. You know, they emotional, and they'll cry, and you'll think the whole world comin' to an end, and it'd be all right. Just go pat 'em on the hand, "Baby, you'll be all right, but I love you". "Yeah, but can I move back at home"? "Mm-mm". You'll be all right. The Lord got to teach us some stuff. You'll be all right. "Well, I hate you". "No, no, you don't. You're just emotional. Praise the Lord, you'll be all right. You'll be all right".
Your destiny has already been finished. You will fulfill the will of God for your life. I don't care how many crooked streets you take, how many pathways you go down, at the end of every pathway, there's a turnaround. You understand? You seen them new turnabouts, the little round thing? You think you're goin' one way, and you end up in that circle, comin' back the right way. I'm tellin' you, Siri is gon' re-navigate you with "reroute, reroute, reroute". It's comin'. I'm prophesyin' over your children: "Reroute, reroute, reroute". "They look like they goin' away. You better watch out". "Reroute". "I'm tellin' you, reroute".
The Holy Ghost will do them like you could never do them. "Honey, it's a fixed fight, praise God". You think God put somebody here to do somethin' they ain't gon' do because of a act of their will? Are you kidding me? They ain't got that much power. God can set high and bring down. I don't care what they're doin'. If the Lord put ya here to do somethin', honey, it is done, you understand? It is done. So don't get mad at 'em. Don't have no fight with 'em. Don't get distant from... you just love 'em, kiss on 'em, and then they freakin' out on you and all that stuff. Why? Because you already know, you already done seen him work already.
Some of y'all, you saw him work in you. You wouldn't even be here right now if you hadn't seen him work in you. Some of y'all should've been dead and buried, but you saw what God did with you. You remember the path you went down because you went down that same path your children goin' down, but if God can turn your life around, get ready, get ready, get ready, get, get, get, get, get, get, get ready. Watch. But now watch this: You ain't gon' see that if you workin' 'cause, when you work, God rests, but when you rest, he work.
All right, now, he says, "For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day", hmm, "a day on this wise, and God did rest the seventh day from all his works". Now, in a moment, somewhere along the line, we'll talk about the Sabbath. The Sabbath is not a day. The Sabbath, mentioned in the Old Testament, was a shadow of Jesus. Jesus is your Sabbath. This ain't no day. Ain't talkin' about no Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. I think the Muslim's on Friday, and Jewish people is on a Saturday, and then church folks on Sunday. I ain't talkin' about no day.
I'm tryin' to get you to have a Sabbath every day. I'm tryin' to get you to wake up tomorrow and have a Sabbath. Listen, the Sabbath that was mentioned in the Old Testament, that was a day. It was a shadow of Jesus, the reality. In fact, the Old Testament can be referred to as the "Book of Shadows". It was a shadow of the things to come, and all the shadow of the Old Testament comes down to the reality of Jesus Christ, Jesus in every book of the Old Covenant, but you have to have your New Testament glasses on to see in, amen, "And in this place again, if they shall enter into my rest".
Verse 6, "Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached enter not in. They didn't enter in because of", what? So when people are not at rest, people are not in belief. People who are worried, they worry 'cause they don't believe. People who are stressed out are stressed out 'cause they don't believe. It ain't no devil. You don't believe. Unbelief is the issue. And in some of the case of church folks is just wrong believing is the issue.
So when you believe wrong, you gon' live wrong, and you ain't gon' rest right. Verse 7, "Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, 'Today,' after so long a time, as it is said, 'Today, if you will hear his voice, don't harden your heart.'" Verse 8, "For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterwards have spoken of another day", we'll go through that, but I'll do it later, 9, "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God", 10, "For he that is entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from his".
Okay, so if you're at rest, you're not at work. If you're at rest, you're not at performing. If you're at rest, you're not, through yourself effort, sweating to try to get God to do what he's already done. Verse 11, "Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest". So notice, he's saying, "Don't labor to be healed. Don't labor to be rich. Don't labor to be delivered. Labor to enter into the rest". "Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief". My labor is a labor to rest in what I believe has already been done. That's what I'm laboring.
What does it look like? You go to the doctor. There's an X-ray that comes up. It shows a tumor or somethin', and you immediately think, "Well, Jesus took care that 2,000 years ago, a'ight"? All right, now, you're human so the pictures and the words of the doctor and all that stuff comes in, and you're human, and so you got all these emotions that are gonna try to trigger 'cause there's a fight to see who's gonna lead you. So what you do is you say, "Okay, Lord, I'm healed already, and I believe I'm healed. Thank you, Lord. I give you praise. I'm healed, and I rest in that".
And then five minutes go down, then somethin' come to your mind, "You gon' die". "No, no, no, I'm healed. Praise God, he did it 2,000 years ago. I'm certain of it, and glory to God, he went into some of those villages, everybody in there, they were not even Christians, and here I am, a born-again Christian, full of the Holy Ghost, oh, I am healed. Oh, thank you, Jesus. Praise the Lord, I'm healed". What am I doin'? That's labor. That's a picture of what it's like to labor in rest.
In other words, you ain't lettin' nothin' go. You ain't lettin' it go, but somethin' come up. "Oh, God, I just praise you. I'm healed". Somethin' else come up, you just make up a song. "I'm healed, I'm healed, I'm healed, I'm healed. Jesus healed me. When? 2,000 years, 2,000 years ago". It ain't gotta rhyme. Quit all bein' cute. You tryin' to accomplish somethin'. You tryin' to release your faith, and you ain't tryin' to get no Grammy. You're just tryin' to release your faith, amen.
All right, now, and that goes on for a minute, and maybe it goes on a second day, but you know what's gonna happen? One day you're gon' wake up. You have no need to labor no more, right? And now you're at rest. Now you're at rest. There's nothin' else left to do once you achieve rest. The only thing you do now is worship him. That's 'cause you want to. You're worshiping God. We gotta learn how to enter into that rest, but it is a labor. It is a labor. You lose your job, got bills comin' up. "Father, I thank ya". Every time it comes across, "Oh, you're gon' get". "Father, I thank ya that all my needs are met. You're provider of my needs. My God's a provider".
Ooh, God, I'm a tither too. Boy, when I had a job, I was tithin' off every check. Glory to God, thank ya, Jesus, that everything is well. All is well with me. All is well with me, boy. "Abraham blessings are mine". Whatever you got to do to labor, whatever you gotta do to labor, to enter into that rest. And once you get there, you gon' look peculiar to other people. They can't figure out why you ain't stressin'. You tell 'em, "'Cause I'm restin'". Turn to your neighbor and say, "It's time to rest". But, now, how? How? I rest when I believe. "Well, I just can't rest right now". It is 'cause you don't believe right now.
See, you can't repair this thing unless you understand. You're not at rest 'cause you don't believe. "Yeah, but I go to church". I don't talk about all that. Do you believe? "But I'm a member of your church". And what do you believe? It's gettin' down to this. This New Covenant is all about, "Man, can I appropriate what Jesus promised"? You ain't gotta get all deep. Sometimes we complicate stuff by gettin' all religiously deep. I don't wanna hear all that. "Well, you know Abraham and his", wait, wait, wait. You, you, you. "Abraham", no, you. Do you believe? Do you believe? Abraham ain't sick. He in heaven. You the one who's sick. You believe God is a healer? "Well, I believe he gon' heal me one day". You don't believe. We're talkin' about finished works. We're not talkin' about, "One day". "Well, yeah, I kind of believe". You don't believe.
Had a lady in the conference I was just at, and she was really big on her oil, and she had more faith in that oil than she did in Jesus. Then I kept talkin' to her about that oil. I said, "You got it"? She said, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, I got it". I said, "All right, I'mma give you an assignment. For one year, don't take no oil with you". She said, "Oh, Lord". I'm like, "You ain't ready"? I said, "You ain't ready"? She said, "But you don't know the places I got to go". I'm like, "I'd have been in those same places".
See, religion will have you sayin' somethin' you don't believe. When I gave her the test, her knees buckled. Looked at that, I said, "She ain't ready. She gotta take that oil". I said, "So you're the reason why my airplane seat, when I go commercial, is slippery". You be goin' down the aisle, "In the name of Jesus, in the name of Jesus, in the name of Jesus", and then, when she get by the window, "In the name of Jesus".
Look at Joshua chapter 24:13. Here's the issue: Some Christian people who've been in church a long time just cannot believe that they can get somethin' from God without having to do somethin' to deserve it. "I just can't believe that God'll do this for me, and I didn't do nothin' to deserve it". But I'mma show you some quick illustrations of God doin' stuff, and he didn't need your help to get it done. Verse 13, Joshua 24, "And I have given you a land. I've given you a land for which you didn't labor". Oh-oh, he said, "I gave it to you, and you didn't labor".
I prophesy lands, not because you worked to get it, not because you labor, but God's gon' bring some opportunities your way, and a lot of y'all gettin' ready to move out of the rental apartment into some lands. Say, "Lands". But now watch this: He says, "And cities, I gave you cities which you built not, and you dwell in them. Vineyards and oliveyards which you planted not, but you ate from 'em. You didn't plant 'em, but you ate from".
Here's what he's saying: "I did this without your labor". You think you helpin' me out? You're gettin' in my way. Deuteronomy 6, verses 10 through 13. Deuteronomy 6:10 through 13, my goodness, "And it shall be, when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildest not, and houses full of all good things". Oh, they left the furniture.