In this message, we learn God’s original purpose for work and how to rest in the midst of it.
Hey, friends, good morning. It is so good to be back with you. Thanks for allowing me and my family to take a couple weeks off to just get some rest and refresh, and just spend some time together as a family. That’s really all we did. We just kind of needed a little bit of a break. So, thanks for loving me and my family enough to allow us to take some time off. We say to the staff around here all the time, we want to do this a long time together. And the only way we get to do this a long time together is by staying healthy. So, thanks for allowing us enough or loving us enough, that you allow us to take some time off to stay refreshed and to get healthy. And I got to tell you, I missed you. I missed you these last couple weeks. And I missed being in worship. I love this church. And I hope you have that same experience, that when you’re out for a few weeks, or you go on vacation, or you travel that you can’t wait to get back. And I got to tell you, I’m so proud of our guys, in how they communicated the word of God over the last few weeks.
I think they did an incredible job. I’m really proud of them. And that’s what our vision is all about, helping people take their next steps on their journey with Jesus.
And so, if you haven’t heard me say this, I think it’s important for you to know that in the months and years to come, you’re going to constantly see new leaders rising up to communicate the word of God, and new leaders rising up to lead us in worship, and new leaders rising up to lead small groups in children’s ministry. Hopefully, you will rise up as a leader to do the thing God has called you to do in the kingdom of God because that’s our heartbeat. That’s our value. We want to be a reproducing church. And we want to celebrate people as they take their next steps on the journey with Jesus. And so, I hope you were inspired watching them. Both Robert and Justin, it was the first sermon they ever preached. And listen, getting up here every weekend is really hard. Getting up here for your first time is really hard, and they did a great job. And I hope you are inspired to take the next step on your journey by watching them. And I want to tell you this, I am so proud of you for how you treated them. I am so proud of you for being a church that wants to be a people of honor. That’s one of our values, to create a culture of honor. And you honor them.
You celebrated them. You engaged them. You encouraged them. You participated with them. You literally put courage inside of them, by the way that you responded. And I’m so proud of you. You have no idea how big of a deal that is to me because we say it all the time. This is not a church for entertainment or performance. This is a church, a community, a family, a group of people that want to become everything Jesus has called us to be. And the way we fulfill our vision best of helping people take next steps is by celebrating each other when we take those next steps, no matter how big or how small they may be. And you guys did such a great job of celebrating and honoring them. And so, I just want to say thank you and celebrate, and honor you. That seriously is a really, really big deal. So, thank you. Okay. Anybody ready for a new series? Okay. We’re going to start a new series today called rest. And for the next few weeks, we’re just going to talk about rest. What is the rest look like? How do we live a lifestyle of rest.
You see, as followers of Jesus Christ, we should be the most restful people on the face of the earth. Anybody want to agree with that? We should be the most restful people on the face of the earth because we get to rest in the finished work of the cross of Jesus Christ. We get the abundant life that Jesus offers us. We get the peace that Jesus offers us. And yet, if we’re honest with ourselves, very few of us actually live a lifestyle from a place of rest. And so, that’s what we’re going to talk about for the next few weeks. And we’re going to talk about work, rest, and play. Okay? We’re going to start today by talking about work. Because I believe the reason we don’t know how to rest is because we don’t know what the bible actually has to say about work. And so, we need to transform our minds. We need to change our thinking. A different perspective about what the bible has to say about work, so we can learn to live a lifestyle of rest. So, if you got your bibles turn with me to Colossians Chapter 3. Colossians Chapter 3, it’s later in the New Testament there. And Paul is writing to the church at Colossae. And we’ll pick it up starting in Verse 22. Paul’s writing the slaves and this is incredibly applicable to you and I in regards to work, our jobs, our employments.
So, Verse 22, “Slaves,” or maybe we could use the better word employees. Anybody ever feel like a slave in their job? Amen, right. Slaves or employees, “Obey your earthly masters,” or your bosses, your supervisors, your managers, “In everything, and do it not only when their eyes on you to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you’re serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for is wrong, and there is no favoritism,” masters or bosses, supervisors, “Provide your slaves,” or your employees, “with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.” Okay. Three thoughts I want to share with you this morning about work. First thing is this we were creating to work. Okay?
We were created to work. What’s happening here in the church at Colossae is a whole bunch of slaves were getting saved. They were meeting Jesus. And as they met Jesus, they thought they were now free from having to work. They’re like, “I found freedom in Jesus Christ. I no longer have to work. I get set free from this job. Set free from my master or my boss.” And Paul’s writing to him and says, “Guys,” he says, “You have a misunderstanding of work. Just because you’re now a follower of Jesus Christ doesn’t mean you no longer have to work. In fact, it’s just the opposite.” He says, “You have a wrong perspective of work. And we’ve got to go back to the beginning to give you the right understanding.” And I think if we’re honest with ourselves, we often have a wrong view of work. I think a lot of us just thinking work is something you got to do, or it’s something you got to get through the week in order to get to the weekend, or just something to pay your bills, or for some of us run the other side of the coin, work is everything. It’s all consuming, all controlling. That’s a wrong view of work. And so, we got to change our perspective to see what the bible has to say. So, I want to give you a little bit of theology here this morning. Okay?
Get ready for some theology. You missed my theology for these last three weeks, didn’t you? I’m going to give you some theology. Okay. So, stay with me, and then, this will start making sense. You see in the bible, there’s really three chapters to the story of work. Okay. There’s three chapters to the story of work. The first chapter is just creation. If we go all the way back to the beginning, we know we were made in the image and likeness of God. And the first time the word work is used in the bible. It’s used in reference to God. It says, “God worked for six days and created all of creation. And then, on the seventh day he rested.” Well, if we were made in His image and His likeness, and He works, then, we were literally created to work. Like God, we were empowered with the privilege to build and create, and sustain, and redeem things. We were created to work. Listen to these verses, Genesis 1:28, right in the beginning, “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase the number, fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea, and the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves on the ground.'”
Genesis 2:15, “The Lord God, took the man and put them into the Garden of Eden to work it and to take care of it.” Right in the beginning of creation, God makes man and he gives him rulership and authority over creation. God creates everything, and then, he invites Adam and Eve. He invites mankind. He says, “Here, I’ve created my kingdom, and I’m going to allow you to rule and reign with me in my kingdom. You have authority.” And he put Adam in the garden to tend and steward the garden, to bring the garden to the fullness of his potential. And so, right in the beginning of the bible, we find out that work was created to be a joy. It was our purpose. It was a partnership with God. And like everything God created in the beginning, work was very good. Okay. That’s chapter one of the story of work in the bible. Unfortunately, there’s a chapter two. And you know what happens in chapter two, Adam and Eve sinned, right? They rebel and they resist God. They take the fruit. They decide to go on their own path, and there’s major consequences from that.
So, listen to the consequences. This is chapter two of the story of work. Genesis 3:17-19. God says, now, “Cursed it is the ground because of you. Through painful toil, you will eat it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow, you will eat your food until you return to the ground.” You see in chapter two work is now broken. But work becomes cursed what was meant to be a joy has now become a burden and everything changes. Work is broken, and creation literally starts to resist mankind. Creation starts to resist and rebel against man’s authority. The way man resisted and rebelled against God’s authority. And it says, “Thorns and thistles will now come.” Do you realize before the fall, before sin, there were no thorns and thistles. The creation didn’t fight back. It didn’t bite. It didn’t prick. It didn’t pinch. It just submitted to the rulership and the authority of man.
But because of the consequences of sin, through painful toil, God says, “Through hard work,” now, “With creation fighting back, you will work the ground for the rest of your life.” And we took our rulership and our authority, and we handed it over to Satan. And so, work became broken and it was cursed. And how many of you know that whatever Satan rules will always be cursed? You know that’s true? Whatever Satan rules will always be cursed, says he comes to steal, kill, and destroy. So, he’s ruling creation now. He’s ruling work, so, it becomes curse and thus enters in labor and striving, and toil, and stress. Work became broken. And you know exactly what that feels like, don’t you? I mean, if you’re a salesman, and right at the end of the sales deal, you’re about to close and everything looks great. And all of a sudden, right at the end, all these problems popped up to prevent the sales deal from closing. That’s creation, fighting back, resisting you, thorns and thistles. Or you’re a construction worker and you’re trying to put two pieces of material together and they refused to go together. How many do you yourself for home fixer-uppers? You know what I’m talking about, right?
They refused to go together. What’s the deal with that? It’s creation, fighting back, thorns and thistles. Or you’re a teacher in your classroom your students are rebelling against you. That’s creation, fighting back. Work became broken, painful, toil, and striving entered the world. And a lot of us think that chapter two is as far as it goes. And so, we hate our jobs, and we get angry, and we get frustrated with the daily routines that we live in. Because we spend our lives fighting thorns and thistles, and through painful toil, we think that it stops at chapter two. But listen, there’s a chapter three. You see, Jesus came to break that curse. He came to give you back your rulership and your authority. That’s chapter three. See, Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s workmanship, we are God’s work, created a new in Christ Jesus to do good works which he prepared in advance for you to do.” Bible literally says, “You are Gods work, created a new,” the word there, it actually means redeemed, restored, reconciled, refreshed.
You’ve been redeemed in Jesus Christ to do good works which he prepared in advance for you to do, which means Jesus came and he redeemed work. He made work very good again, like it was in Genesis Chapter 1, in the beginning of creation because he gave us back our rulership and our authority. And he invited us back into the posture where we now rule and reign again of the kingdom of God with him. You see, you’re not saved by good works. You’re saved for work that is good. You’re not saved by good works. You’re saved by grace through faith alone in Jesus. But you are saved for work that is good, to steward and tend your garden, to rule and reign with Jesus. But listen, if we’re honest with ourselves, a lot of us think that if we could just live on a lifetime vacation on the beaches of Maui everything will be amazing. Come on, be honest, right? All your problems will go away, a little umbrella, a little drink, right? The crashing waves. I mean, man, all our problems, if we can just do lifetime vacation on the beach, it would be amazing.
Can I tell you that would be the most unfulfilling life you could ever live. Literally be the most unfulfilling life you could ever live. Some of you are like, “I’ll take my chances. I’m good with that. I’ll take my chances. I’ll go figure it out for the rest of us if it works or not.” Listen, it’d be totally unfulfilling because you were created for the purpose of working with God. Stewarding and tending creation, for the good work, work that is good with Jesus Christ. You’re no longer just a laborer, you’re now a co-labor with Jesus Christ, the bible says. Which means you’re not just a servant, Jesus says you’re his friend. And he’s invited you into this place where you’re confident, and he tells you the secrets of the kingdom of God. And it’s your job and my job to now bring the kingdom of God wherever we go. That literally when you go to work tomorrow, your job is to bring heaven to earth. Only man has the authority to bring heaven to earth. And that’s what we’re called to do every single day.
You’re in the healthcare field, you’re not just going to do health care and just do your job. You’re there literally to bring the healing of heaven to work. If you’re a teacher, you’re not just going to teach students information, you’re there to bring the wisdom of heaven into that classroom. You’re a construction worker, you’re not just putting things together, you’re bringing the beauty and the purpose of heaven to that thing that you’re building. If you go to the office, you have an office job, you’re not just going to the office to push paper or to build widgets, you’re there to bring the joy and the peace of heaven to your office. You’re a stay at home mom, you’re not just raising kids, you’re bringing the love of heaven into your home. Your job is to bring heaven to earth, no matter what your garden may look like. And so, in a sense, your daily job is your daily ministry location. So, I think a lot of us we think the Lord’s work… that term I hate that term because it’s such a bad connotation with it. We think the Lord’s work is anybody who works on a church staff. Listen, the Lord’s work is wherever you are because you’re bringing heaven to earth.
And you should be the greatest employee your boss ever has because you’re the only person probably in your company that has the authority to bring heaven to earth. You have access to God’s wisdom and His love, and His peace, and His healing, and His mercy, and His grace, and His kindness. Every day when you show up to work, the atmosphere should change because the King in His Kingdom just arrived with you. Heaven just showed up to work, called to be a big Kingdom carrier. And by faith that’s what we’re called to do. Listen, Psalm 16:5-6 is this, “Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup. You have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places.” Listen, the bible says the boundary lines of your life have fallen in pleasant places. The parameters, the extent, the scope of your life, the parameters of your job, your garden that God has entrusted you to steward have fallen in pleasant places for you. And if we’re honest, a lot of us sitting in this room would say, “I hate my job.”
We think we’re overqualified for our job. We think our job is pointless and purposeless, and insignificant. It’s not what the bible says. The bible says, “The boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places for you.” And the amazing part about it is, is if you would just tend the boundary lines with which you’re in and bring heaven to earth, and steward and tend the garden God has entrusted you with, your boundary lines would grow. Because the bible says he was faithful with the little things will be entrusted with greater things. So, if you’re faithful to steward and tend your garden, no matter how insignificant you think it is, or how small. How could you think it’s insignificant anyways, if you’re a place there to bring heaven to earth? What’s insignificant about that? And if you steward and tend your boundary lines, God will expand it for you. And you know what I love about this verse, you know who writes it? David, whose job was to play the harp for King Saul while he was tormented by demons. And Saul would take spears and throw them at David to try to pin him against the wall. Listen, I’m just saying your boss saying worse than that. You think that verse ain’t true for you, if David could write it, nobody’s boss in here throwing spears at him. All right.
The boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places for you. We’re created to bring heaven to earth. And if you have this view or you’re bored with work, you hate your job, you have a wrong theology. You have a low theology because you think you’re making widgets, you’re not making widgets, you’re bringing heaven to earth, wherever you go. Okay? We are created to work. We got to change our perspective on that. Second thing is this, is that work is worship. Okay. Work is worship. Look at Verse 23. “Whatever you do,” whatever you do, whatever job you do, “Work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” You see these slaves in Colossae, they hated their bosses. They were unsaved bosses, and they didn’t feel like they needed to report to them, like they need to submit to them. They didn’t want to work for their boss. They hated their job. They hated their boss. And Paul’s write to them and say, “Guys,” he’s saying, “You’re not working for the master,” he says, “Instead, you’re working for the real master. You’re working for Jesus. And everything you do is glorifying God. Your work is literally worship.”
Can I give some of you some major freedom here this morning? You don’t actually work for your boss. Can I get an Amen? Some Amens are louder than others on that one, right? You don’t actually work for your boss. Stay at home moms, you don’t stay at home and raise your kids for your husband. If you’re involved in ministry, and there’s a ministry leader, you’re not doing the ministry for that leader, you’re doing it for Jesus. And you may submit to somebody on this earth, you may honor somebody on this earth, but it’s not about them. It’s about doing it for Jesus. And when you do it with excellence, passion, and joy, it will always glorify God. Listen, Romans 12:1. “Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. This is your spiritual act of worship.”
But listen, we gathered together on a morning like this, and we worship God in the assembly, the corporate gathering of the church. And a lot of us were learning how to worship God in here. We’re learning how to raise our voices and our hands. But this isn’t the extent of worship, worship is supposed to be a lifestyle. And it says everything you do is worship. This is your spiritual act of worship to God. Work is worship. And if you do it with excellence, passion, and joy, you’re always glorifying God. But listen, do you realize you could have a job where your boss comes in and tells you, “Hey, see all those bricks right there, I want you to take all those bricks and stack them up and make a wall.” You say, “Okay.” You take those bricks, and you stack them all up. A couple hours later, he comes back in and says, “Hey, great job. Now, here’s what I need you to do. I need you to tear that wall back down and push them back over there.” You look at him and you say, “What? You just told me to build this.” “I know. But I want you to tear back. He said, “Okay. This guy’s kind of crazy.” And you take all the things, you put it back down. A few hours later, he comes back in again and says, “Hey, I want you to take all these breaks. And I want you to stack them back into a wall.” And you’re like, want to pull your hair out. You’re like, “This is crazy. You sit there and you build that wall back up.” Do you realize you could do that every single day for the rest of your life?
And if you did it with excellence, passion, and joy, it would be worship to Jesus Christ. Because it’s not about what you do, it’s about how you do it. We think it’s about what we do. No, no, no. The bible says it’s about how you do it, and who you’re doing it for. You could stack a wall and tear it down a 1,000 times over if you’re doing it for Jesus because his work is worship. And it’s so important to catch that revelation because if you don’t catch that revelation, some crazy things start to happen in your life. I mean, listen, did you ever wonder how Jesus never got bitter on this earth? Do you ever wonder like why did he never snap at the disciples? Like I would have snapped I think the disciples. He never got angry, never wanted to quit. The Pharisees wanted to kill him. The crowd was always doubting him. The disciples were constantly messing things up. And Jesus never got bitter or angry, or wanting to quit.
Here’s why. Because I think Jesus knew he wasn’t working for them. He was working for the Father. And so, he knew every morning when he got up, he wouldn’t do it for anybody else. He was doing it for the Father. And so, it was worship. Do you realize if you never catch that revelation, no matter how good your boss is, at some point in time, you will find yourself getting bitter, offended, feeling undervalued, feeling unappreciated, you’ll want to quit and give up because you’re thinking you’re doing it for them, instead of doing it for Jesus. But when you understand you’re doing it for Jesus, you will never get bitter because it’s really hard to get bitter when you’re worshiping God. It’s really hard to feel undervalued, when you’re valuing Jesus. Okay? Work is worship. Are you with me on that? And you can’t reverse it. You can’t worship your work. And I tell you what, as a very fine line that’s very easy to cross over for all of us, including me. We were never meant to be consumed or controlled by our work, we were meant to use it to glorify God.
And when you cross over that line, you’re starting to take the very thing that was meant to glorify God, and you’re starting to create it as an idol. And it’s really simple. I was going to skip over this last night, but I want to share it again for you this morning. Here’s how I think you know you’re starting to worship your work is when you find identity and significance in your work, you’re probably starting to worship it. Whenever you meet somebody you introduce yourself by, “Here’s my job title. Here’s what I do. Here’s my accomplishments, here’s how much more.” You find identity and significance in your work, you’re probably starting to worship it. When your joy level is determined by what’s happening at the office, probably starting to worship your work. If when things are going really well, you’re joyful at home. Things are going really bad, you’re miserable at home, you’re probably starting to worship your work. When you stop caring about the things you care about. When you stop caring about the things you care about, like your family and your priorities, and your values, and your health, you’ve probably started to worship work. And when you care more about what’s happening at your job than you care about what’s happening in your relationship with Jesus. You’ve started to worship your work.
And we were never meant to worship our work. Our work is meant to be worship. And sometimes it’s really hard to see that in ourselves. Sometimes we need to ask other people. So, my encouragement to you when you go home is, on your drive home, ask whoever you came with say, “Hey, do you think my work is worship to God, or do you think I’m starting to worship my work? Okay? Work is worship. You’re with me on that. Okay. You got one more in you? Okay. Let’s see, I haven’t talked in a while I’m excited to share some stuff with you. And the last thing is this, and here’s the heart of this whole message. We need to learn to work from a heart that is at rest. We need to learn to work from a heart that’s at rest. JOHN 5:17, Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” Do you realize when Jesus was on this earth, He worked really hard. He was incredibly successful. He was incredibly effective. But Jesus worked totally differently than you and I do.
He was never stressed. He was never in a hurry. Read the Gospels, never, you will never find Jesus in a hurry. He was never worried. He was never fearful. He was never overwhelmed. Jesus never strived nor strained for anything. He worked from a heart that was at rest. And all you need to do is go through the gospel stories and look at the stories, and watch how he worked. Mark Chapter 1, Jesus goes off early in the morning to pray, spending time with God, and the disciples come running to him and they’re like, “Jesus,” they’re like, “Everybody’s looking for you, man.” That’s the exact words, “Everybody’s looking for you. The crowds here, they’re ready for a miracle. They’re ready for some healing. They’re ready for some teaching. Come on Jesus, come do some power encounter. I mean, everybody’s looking for you.” And Jesus look, said to the disciples he says, “That’s great, guys. Pick up your stuff because we’re leaving this town to go preach the gospel at the next town.” And you can imagine the disciple’s faces like, “What? But they’re all looking for you. They need you now Jesus.” Jesus is like, “I know. Just pick up your stuff. Come on, we’re going to get going.”
You all know what that feels like, right? Thousand phone calls, text messages, e-mails, Facebooks, or you got every kid calling on you. Everyone’s looking for you, Jesus heart said, “Rest.” Or the story of Lazarus, his friend who’s dying, and they come and they run to Jesus. And they say, “Hey, Jesus, Lazarus is dying, and you’re the only one on the face of the earth who can keep him from dying. Please, come heal him from his sickness, Jesus. You need to come now. You’re the only one Jesus.” And Jesus looks back at him and says, “Yeah. Let him know I’ll be there.” And, and Jesus turns and he goes right back to teaching. And the Bible says he stayed there two more days. Two more days, he just waited. And then, he shows up, Lazarus is now dead. And he raises Lazarus from the dead. You know what that feels like? You’re the only one that can do something. And we go into stress and panic mode, not Jesus, heart at rest. Or in John 6, when he’s teaching and the disciples, not the crowd, the disciples say, “This is hard teaching, who can understand it?” And it says horde of his disciples, started to leave him. They’re bailing out. It looks like Jesus’ ministry, his work, his significance is totally falling apart.
And Jesus looks at the 12 and very calmly says, “Do you want to go with them also? Because I’m not going to convince you to stay, if you want to go, you can go.” Listen, if that was happening to me, and half of my team has disappeared, I’d be like, “Guys, please, please stay. I promise I’ll make it easier to follow. I’ll stop teaching so much. We’ll take more time off. I mean, what do you need? Let’s negotiate here. Don’t leave me.” Not Jesus. He says, “You want to go? That’s okay, you can go too.” See he worked from his heart that was at rest. And I would define to you that a heart that is at rest is a heart that believes that the Father will provide, protect, and promote the heart that’s at rest. Who believe the Father will provide, protect and promote. Jesus knew his Father would provide. Fact, he says, “Why do you worry about what you’re going to eat or drink, or what you’re going to wear?” That’s what the people of this world do. He says, “Don’t you know the Father in heaven will give you everything you need?
Jesus knew the father would protect him. He was never afraid of the crowds, or Satan, or the Pharisees who always wanted to kill him. He just rested in the shadow of the Almighty. He knew his Father would protect him. And Jesus knew the father would promote him. Thirty years as a carpenter, you want to talk about feeling overqualified for your garden for the boundary lines that have fallen in pleasant places for you. Thirty years, the Son of God worked as a carpenter for 30 years, and for 30 years, he brought heaven to earth in the construction industry, and just tended and steward his garden, never promoted himself. In fact, the first time he’s invited to do a miracle, he’s 30 years old. And Mary says, “Jesus, come and do a miracle.” And he steps back. He says, “Woman, my time has not yet come.” Listen, if I was the Son of God, tending as a carpenter for 30 years, when somebody asked me for a miracle, I’d be like, “Yeah. All right. This is what I’ve been waiting for. This is why I came. Everybody step back. You’re about to see some water turn to wine baby. Let’s go.”
All right. Jesus steps away from it. “My time has not yet come. My Father will promote me when he knows I’m ready.” That’s a heart that’s at rest. And Jesus did more in three years with a heart that’s at rest than most of us do in a lifetime with a heart that’s striving. So, the question to ask yourself is, are you living with a heart that’s at rest? Working with the heart that’s at rest? Do you believe the Father will provide all your needs exactly when you need it? Some of you walked in here today, “Yeah, major needs.” Do you believe he’ll provide for you when you need it? Do you believe your Father will protect you from that boss, that co-worker, your reputation, that you can take your hands off the things you’re working on because he’s going to protect it and keep it going? And do you believe the Father will promote you, that he will raise you up and expand your garden when you’re ready, and not a moment too soon because he doesn’t want you to get hurt. That’s a heart that’s at rest. You see, I think we think the opposite of rest is work. That’s why we think a lifetime vacation on the beaches of Maui would be amazing. We think that’s the opposite, but it’s not.
The opposite of rest is striving, trying to prove and validate yourself to the people around you, to God, to yourself. That’s how most of us live our lives. And you realize Satan was constantly trying to pull Jesus’ heart out of a place of rest into a place of striving. Are you with me still? Okay. Stay with me on this because I’m bringing it all here. Okay. Satan comes to Jesus in Matthew Chapter 4. And he comes to tempt him. You remember the story? And he says, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” If you are the Son of God, tell the stones to become bread. In other words, Satan shows up and he looks at Jesus and he says, “Hey, Jesus, if you’re significant, let’s see it. Hey, Jesus, if you really think you are something special, come on, do something right now. Hey, Jesus, you really think you can change the whole world? Then, prove it, do something, validate yourself. Let’s see it right here and right now.”
He’s trying to tempt Jesus. Pull his heart out of a place of rest. And in my mind, this is what I see Jesus doing. You can read the story. I think he just kind of looks at Satan, will have a little smile on his face, shakes his head looks at Satan says, “Satan, I don’t have to prove anything to you. I know who I am. I know where I’ve come from. I know where I’m going. I know I’m significant. And I know where my significance comes from. And oh, by the way, Satan, I’m not just the Son of God. I’m the beloved Son of God. I forgot that word. I thought I would just remind you, so you’d understand the full nature of who I am.” And he refuses to allow his heart to move into a place of striving. Do you realize Satan comes to you and me, and he tempts us with that same question? If you think you’re significant, prove it. If you think you’re something, let’s see it. You think you’re special? Come on, show us. Make more money, work harder, try better, get a better job title, have more possessions than your friends, get some award some tasks. You think you’re something? Prove it, that’s great. Come on, show us, prove it.
And a lot of us spend our lives trying to answer that question. So, we strive and we strain. We have these prideful agendas and these selfish ambitions. We labor and toil, we go back to the chapter two of the work and we fight with thorns and thistles, and all this stuff because we’re trying to build our kingdom instead of His kingdom. And we live in this place where our heart is striving and stressed out all the time. Instead of living at the heart that’s at rest that Jesus invites us to. And that’s a miserable way to live. And I can say that because that’s how I’ve lived most of my life. Listen, about two years ago in my life, the Holy Spirit kind of unearth in me this ungodly belief that I’d held… ungodly means it doesn’t align with scripture with God, that held for a long time. And it was this, that nobody loves me for me. They love me for what I can do. I don’t know where it came from. I don’t know why I believe that. I didn’t even realize I believed it. It was so deep inside of me. But it literally shaped every single aspect of my life.
I spent my life working through that lens. Because I thought if you don’t love me for me, that’s fine, but you’ll love me for what I can do, then, I’ll just do. I’ll work really hard. I’ll get an achievement. I’ll get an award. I’ll get a better job. I’ll be the captain of the team. I’ll make that team. I’ll do this task. I’ll do this accomplishment. I just do all this stuff and then, you’ll love me. Well, let me tell you what, that’s a heart that’s working from a posture of striving, trying to prove, and validate ourselves to God, to the people around us, and to ourselves. And I live most of my life striving. That’s why we don’t have a place of rest. That’s why I didn’t have a place of rest. It was exhausting. And then, the Holy Spirit unearth that in my life and starts working that out in my heart, walking me through this place of healing. And now, I can stand up here today to tell you that the Holy Spirit’s been changing my mind. Be transformed by the renewing of your minds to believe that God doesn’t love me for what I can do. He loves me for who I am. And he loves me because I’m His son.
And so like Jesus, I have nothing to prove. I don’t work for approval, I work from approval. Fact, the bible says, “I’m not seated at the right hand of the Father.” With Jesus Christ seated a place of rest, nothing to prove, nothing to earn, nothing to gain. He’s my father, I’m His son. That’s where my significance comes from. I get to rest in the finished work of the cross of Jesus Christ. That is a heart that is at rest. My Father will provide, protect, and promote me. And what I want you to hear this morning is that you’re not significant because of what you do. Your significant because of who you are. And in Jesus, you are His loved son, or daughter. That’s where your significance comes from. 1 John 3:1 says, “How greatest the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God. And that’s what we are.” How great, how overwhelming is God’s love, that you should be called a son, or a daughter. And when you start to believe and understand that that verse is true, you would be amazed at how fast your heart comes to a place of rest.
Because you know you have nothing left to prove. You know that you’re building his kingdom, not your kingdom. That you’re there to steward and tend his garden that he’s entrusted you with. That your work is worshiping Him, you’re not worshiping you. It changes everything. See, children don’t have to prove or validate themselves to their father, they just live in freedom. Orphans, an orphan spirit spends his or her life striving to prove and validate themselves that they are worthy that they are significant, that they are something. What would it be like if tomorrow morning, when you woke up to go to work, you just said to yourself, “Hey, I’m the beloved, beloved son or daughter of my Father. And today, I’m going to build His kingdom. Today, I’m going to take his heaven to my earth, and I’m going to build my Father’s kingdom, at the bank, at the school, at the office, at the construction site, at the job site.”
“Wherever I go, I’m walking with my Father, because I’m not working for significance anymore. I’m not working because I am significant.” You’re not significant because of what you do. The source of your significance is found in the Father’s love. You will never have a heart that’s at rest until you believe that and receive that, and allow that to start shaping. So, you close your eyes with me. And let me just ask you a simple question. What’s the Holy Spirit whispering to you this morning? What’s he speaking to you? What’s he saying to you? Some of you my guess would be that, maybe for the first time you’re starting to feel like you can live and do work that is good.
That you can steward and tend the garden that he’s placed you there to bring heaven to earth. And it’s time to change your perspective that you’re not just doing widgets or doing a job, you can’t stand. You’re literally there to bring heaven to earth. Some of you, maybe you’ve tipped and crossed over, and you’ve started to worship your work and the Holy Spirit’s trying to invite you back. Or some of you have just barely got through your job every single day. But you’re starting to see man, this is worship, this is how I worship Jesus. And for all of us, I hope that we can get to this place where we stop striving. And we say, “I can rest in the finish work of the cross of Jesus Christ. I have nothing left to prove.” Do you know how freeing that statement is? You have nothing left to prove when you’re in Jesus. And if you’ve never put your faith or your trust in Jesus, it’s as simple as saying, “Jesus, I invite you in my life. I rest in the finished work of the cross.”
I give you all my sin and my shame, and my baggage, and my guilt. I asked for your forgiveness. I repent. And I say I want the fullness of everything you offer me. Come be the Lord of my life. I want to walk with you.” And your heart can be at rest. Because you have a Father that will provide, protect, and promote you. What’s the spirit want to say to you? He’s inviting you into a place of rest. Will you walk with him there? So, Lord Jesus, we thank you that because of you, we’ve been adopted in the Family of God and can live in the Father’s love. Make that true in our lives. If you’re here and you need prayer for anything, maybe you need prayer for your job, for the revelation on this, for healing in your body, come up here. We’re going to have people here to pray for you. We want to pray for you and help you any way we can.
If you’re new to Valley Creek Church, I’d love to invite you to guest central, I’ll be in there with some of our leaders. We just want to meet you and introduce ourselves to you. But I pray you go rejoicing this week, resting in the Father’s love in his approval. I love you. It’s great to be back. Blessings.