I will be the first person to admit that I am not a good gardener! I’m just not good with plants. I’ve been known to kill perfectly hardy house plants. At home, I am relegated to weeding and watering the garden, which is probably just as well. Now, I have been to some outstanding gardens in my travels, such as the Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island, Canada, the botanical gardens in Aberdeen, Scotland, and even a cactus garden in San Jose del Cabo, in west Mexico. I would never presume to advise the professional gardeners on how to prune or propagate plants, or on how to improve the design of their garden paradises. I suppose that I could consult gardening manuals and work alongside those who are experienced gardeners and learn the ropes. I know that I could never improve on the art of gardening, though.
Just as a master gardener has plans and vision for the garden, God has designs for His people, too, and a paradise to welcome them into. The people of Israel rejected God’s plan for them in the Promised Land, reacting in fear and doubt, and wandered for forty years.
“For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: ‘And God rested on the seventh day from all His works’; and again in this place: ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, again He designates a certain day, saying in David, ‘Today,’ after such a long time, as it has been said: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.'” (Hebrews 4:4-7 NKJV)
Living in God’s land of promise meant having His rest and provision, enjoying a true purpose in life, being content with His design, and experiencing victory over those who would oppose. God did not intend His people to wander in a wilderness, trying to lead themselves, anxious about each day, and struggling to exist in their own strength. Since those who first received God’s invitation hardened their hearts and were prevented from entering the land of promise, He has set another time to enter His rest, for those who now hear His voice with joy and obedience. How wonderful to trust in God Who still offers this promise of rest to people of faith in Him!
How can we enter into His rest?
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17 NKJV)
The Word of God, in which is His design for our lives, can change and prune our lives. Listening to His voice shows the way through faith in Jesus, that allows us to approach and enter God’s promised land, and enjoy His rest, which He Himself still enjoys after creating the world, and which He intends to share with His people. God greatly cares for us, with His plan, purpose, and presence. When each new day seems uncertain and we’re not sure what to do, let us listen for His voice, with a ready heart, and respond to Him in obedience to His Word.
Prayer: He leadeth me, O blessed thought! O words with heav’nly comfort fraught! Whate’er I do, where’er I be, still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me! Create in us, O King, create in us as You did of old, Your new creation, the children of Your hands; now create artistry in the new kingdom. Hosanna, King of all, hosanna to the great One among us. Your people wait for the power of Your hands, O Redeemer, our Rock, King of kings. Hallelujah! Amen.
Copyright © 2021, by Shirley Moulton <firstname.lastname@example.org>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission