“Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.” (Heb 4:1-2, NIV)
Without faith, no one can enter into God’s rest. We either believe Him or we don’t. The message of rest is of no value if we don’t believe in Him. Hectic life goes on, with no rest in sight.
We can learn so much from history. Most of the Israelites never experienced rest. They were their own worst enemies. They preferred to adopt the practices of their surrounding neighbours who did not worship the Almighty. They put their faith in the seen instead of the Unseen and were left wanting.
Faith however, brings hope and if we believe in the Messengers of the Almighty, we will experience rest. In history we have examples where faith made a significant difference in a restful and peaceful solution. Sordid battles can be avoided if we only have faith in our Heavenly Father.
On August 13, 1812 General Brock arrived at Fort Amhesrtburg with three hundred of his men. Canada was in war with the US, and Detroit was a threat to the national unity. He decided that an attack to Fort Detroit would be the solution. Major General Henry Procter didn’t share his decision and neither did all of his officers. Had it not been for Chief Tecumseh, who responded to Brock with the following words “This is a man!”, Brock’s plan would have fallen apart. But the chief had faith in Brock and in his plan.
This kind of faith, however, is nothing compared to placing our faith in the Almighty Father. Still God allows us to contemplate some glimpses of what faith could mean.
General Brock put his plan into motion and sent American Brigadier General Hull in Fort Detoit an ultimatum: Surrender, for I can’t guarantee your safety once the battle begins as the large force of First Nations would be “beyond my control”.
Naturally the summons was rejected, still some seeds had been spread. What if General Brock was correct?
That night five hundred and thirty First Nations warriors glided silently across the river in canoes and landed below Fort Detroit. The next morning the British followed in their tracks with three hundred regulars, thirty royal artillery and seventy Grand River Iroquois, landing south of the fort. What the Americans didn’t know was that their own forces, within the walls of Fort Detroit, far outnumbered the British troops! Did General Brock have guts? Or could it be stupidity?
On August 16, General Brocks started his march up the road to the Fort. Chief Tecumseh outdid himself, as his men swept throughout the forest, moving quickly with agility, marching three times through the opening in the forest, yelling at the top of their lungs. The Americans in Fort Detroit believed the native force was way bigger than it truly was. Fear filled the soldiers. What if these natives got out of control?
At 10 A.m. a white flag was waved. Fort Detroit surrendered. Not a single shot had been fired. No casualties had been reported. What could have been a bloody massacre had turned into a peaceful surrender.
Faith in our Almighty Father will go way beyond this example from history. God’s rest and peace is way more than surrender to an enemy. It goes beyond the visible and enters our soul. Adversity will still exist, but we can rest amidst the turmoil. After all our Heavenly Dad is with us. He is the only One who can give this inner rest. But such rest and peace depends on faith. Misplaced faith will only aggravate our circumstances. It’s up to us if we want to experience such rest.
Will you surrender to the love of our Heavenly Father?
P.S. This example from history in no way reflects how Americans live. It is solely used as an example how restful repose can exist if we have faith.
(To access the entire “Restful Repose” devotional series, please click here.)