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God's True Rest

God’s rest is a spiritual experience into which the soul enters upon conversion. In the unregenerate man there is unrest and strife; an evil conscience make life a burden; the heart is filled with wicked thoughts; worldly ambitions hold sway; envy and pride bring heartache and sorrow; impurity dominates the mind; and man is at war with his fellow men, with himself, and with his God. Then comes the blessed day of surrender. The soul casts itself upon the mercy of God and is accepted. The former things pass away, all things become new, and all things are of God. He enters a new world, becomes a new man, has a new name, is a different person. At last there is peace in his heart—his sins are forgiven. At last his soul is at rest; he has found God. Gone are the accusations of conscience; gone his wicked ambitions, his envy and pride, his love of the world, his love of sin. He is completely a new creature. He has entered God’s rest. He has heeded Christ’s call, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

This is the rest that was promised to Israel when God said to Moses: “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest” (Exodus 33:14). It was of this rest Jeremiah spoke when he said, “Stand ye in the old paths, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein” (6:16). Isaiah says, “The Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the bondage wherein thou was made to serve” (14:3).

This call to rest has sounded throughout all time and is still sounding. Many have heeded it, but more have rejected it. The call rings out in every generation: “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23).

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