In recent months I was listening to an interview on the radio. The host was interviewing a professor and researcher about mindfulness. The professor was lamenting how the practice of mindfulness had been commercialized. An example he gave was Google programming staff being trained in mindfulness so they could be more focused in their jobs. OF course the obvious irony here is that much of what they were doing was creating ads and programs to distract others! Quite the dichotomy.
In Hebrews we have an apparent dichotomy. From the end of chapter 3 to the end of 4 the focus is on entering the rest of the Lord. Here is a brief excerpt.
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. 11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. Hebrews 4:8-11 (NKJV)
Verse 11 is where our dichotomy shows up, being diligent to enter rest. The English Standard Version says, “strive to enter that rest.” No matter how the Greek word is translated into English, the point being made is that entering rest takes effort. Our task is understanding the effort required to enter rest.
Prior to the above verses the writer of Hebrews referenced what happened to the children of Israel in the wilderness with his primary point being that they failed to enter into rest due to disobedience and rebellion. His point being that they failed to trust God. We become His house and enter His rest not by accomplishing some work but by trusting in what Jesus has accomplished. Here is how the writer of Hebrews put it.
4 For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. 5 And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, 6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. Hebrews 3:4-6 (NKJV)
The diligence or effort required of us to enter His rest is retaining our confidence in Jesus and His finished work. In many ways the book of Hebrews carries the same message Paul presented in Galatians. A need to trust Jesus and not turn back to the works of the law for salvation. We cannot earn our salvation. We can trust in what Jesus has accomplished, maintain our focus there, and then have what it says in Hebrews. Free unfettered access to the throne of grace.
14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16 (NKJV)
So let’s focus or efforts on trusting what Jesus has already accomplished and live in and from that place of rest before the throne of grace.