THERE ARE THREE GREAT WORDS that describe the condition of the believer who is taking advantage of his privileges in Christ, rest, peace, and joy. These three words are the fruit of full-grown faith. John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.” This peace didn’t belong to the Jew under the first covenant. The only peace he knew would be national peace. But, with the New Creation, it is a peace of heart, a peace of mind, a peace in his physical body. Sickness is called disease, broken peace, broken rest, broken joy. “My peace I give unto you.” It is not the world’s peace. It is not the peace of mind, but it is the peace of the heart. It is a heart peace. Isaiah 26:3 is a prophecy of the church, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind (imagination) is stayed on thee because he trusteth in thee.” This was to come to man on what is called “in that day.”
You will find these words again a
nd again. Isaiah 27:2-6, “In that day: A vineyard of wine, sing ye unto it. I, Jehovah, am its keeper: I will water it every moment lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day. Wrath is not in me: Would that the briars and thorns were against me in battle! I would march upon them, I would burn them together. Or else let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me: yea, let him make peace with me.” That is a prophecy of the church. It is the vine of which the Father is the husbandman, of which we are the branches. And He waters it every day. He is its keeper. He keeps it night and day. Can’t you see a picture of peace? The heart has come to recognize its perfect safety. “Lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.” Then He says the strangest words, “Wrath is not in me.”
Why? All that wrath was poured out on Jesus. That wrath dealt with sin. Then the picture changes: “Would that the thorns and briers were against me in battle. I would march against them.” Then He says that He wishes that all the trials and the briers and thorns in your contacts with men were against Him. He would march upon them. He says, “I am sitting at the Father’s right hand. I am ever interceding for you, and I am your Strength and Wisdom to meet every problem. Now He says, “You take hold of My strength, and you drink in the Nature of My Spirit, and My Peace.” Some of you have been in doubts and difficulty. This is the promise for my heart life: “My peace I give unto you.” I breathed in the quietness and restfulness of my Lord. “Great peace have they who love thy law and nothing shall offend them” (Psalm 119:165).
John 16:33, “These things I speak unto you that in me ye may have peace.” The second word is joy. Joy is something that only believers have. The world may have happiness. They find that in their surroundings, their environment. But joy is a fruit of faith. It is a fruit that comes from the recreated spirit. But the fruit of this recreated spirit is love, joy, peace; not the fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is a product of the Holy Spirit who has recreated us, brought us into fellowship with Himself. John 16:24, “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be made full.” This is one of the miraculous things connected with the Name of Jesus. In your prayer life you have been fellow-shipping with the Father; you have been carrying out His precious will; you have been taking Jesus’ place.
You have seen your prayers answered. You have seen the mighty things of God wrought, and your heart is filled with joy that is unspeakable and full of glory. John 15:11 tells us here about fruit. “I am the vine, ye are the branches. . . . He that abideth in me and I in him, the same beareth much fruit. . . . If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatsoever ye will and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit.” And the eleventh verse, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” Whenever our joy seeps out and leaves us barren and empty, it proves that we are out of fellowship, out of contact with Him.
You remember that John the Baptist said in John 3:29, “He that hath the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom that standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice.” Then he says these words: “This my joy therefore is made full. He must increase, but I must decrease.” Jesus’ joy is made full in us; our joy is made full in Him. This is one of the sweetest, most beautiful things Jesus ever prayed for us. The believer should never allow anything to rob him of his joy.
The conquering power of the Church is not knowledge of the miraculous, but joy. A joyful congregation is an attractive congregation. A joyful believer is attractive.
Peter says in 1 Peter 1:8, “Whom having not seen ye love; on whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”
In Philippians 4:1, Paul says to them, “Wherefore, my brethren beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord.” In the fourth verse he states, “Rejoice in the Lord always: again I will say, Rejoice.” In 2 Corinthians 2:14, “Thanks be unto God, who always leadeth us in triumph in Christ.” It is that triumphant, joyful spirit that makes one an attractive evangelist. The somber, discouraged face is not a good advertisement for the New Creation. It is the triumphant, victorious spirit, filled with joy unspeakable and full of glory that is the evangel of grace. The third great word is rest; the rest of Redemption is the thing which every believer should know and enjoy.
Hebrews 4:1, “Let us fear therefore, lest haply, a promise being left of entering into his rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it.” Every believer should read this scripture over and ask himself, “Have I come short of this rest?” What kind of rest is it? It is not the rest of one who is climbing a hill with a heavy load, and then sits down for a moment and holds the load in his arms. It is the rest of one who has no burden, who has cast every burden upon the Lord. 1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your anxiety upon him because he careth for you.” Every burden has been put over on the Master. You have come to recognize in Jesus and in the Father your perfect strength, your perfect rest, the place where nothing can disturb you.
Philippians 4:6, “In nothing be anxious, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.”
In nothing be fearful or anxious. Every anxiety has been committed to Him. This is God’s formula for a life of victory. “But in everything by prayer and supplication. . . .” With prayer and thanksgiving you have let your requests be made known unto Him.
Then He says these mighty words, “And the peace of God that beggars description (that sense knowledge can’t understand) shall garrison as with a company of soldiers your thoughts in Christ Jesus.”
The rest of God has become your rest. The strange, beautiful quietness of Jesus seen in His earth walk has become yours. You are resting in Him. His quietness and peacefulness are yours. You can understand now the eleventh verse of this chapter: “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therein to be independent of circumstances” (Twentieth Century Translation). That is rest. That is entering into His rest. Hebrews 4:3, “For we who have believed do enter into that rest: Even as he hath said.” What does He mean? We have believed. We have come to know the Word that has described the position of the believer. We have become New Creations. The old things have passed away that disturbed us and kept us in bondage.
We have no fear of the Father any more. He loves us.
We love Him. We are living and walking in fellowship with Him. He called us into fellowship with His Son. The Son is in His rest. He has rested from His work that He wrought for us in our Redemption. We have entered into that rest without works.
We didn’t have to do anything, so we are resting now in His rest. We are quiet with His quietness. We are fellow-shipping Him. We have linked arms, as it were, with Him. He is our Protection. He is the Strength of our lives. Psalm 23:1-3 is a perfect illustration: “Jesus is my shepherd. I do not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.”
He makes me to lie down in the quiet place, in the shadow of that great Rock.
He leadeth me beside the waters of stillness. I have camped by the river of Life. I am drinking deeply of its quietness, of its peace, of its love.
You see, we are partakers of the Divine Nature. (2 Peter 1:4 and 1 John 5:13.) That Love Nature is the Eternal Life, the Nature of the Father; and the perfect love is perfect rest. It has cast out fear. Fear is the enemy of rest. 1 John 4:17, 18, “Here in is love made perfect with us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, even so are we in this world.” As He is before the Father, so are we. As He is in His rest, so are we. As He is the Vine, so are we the branches. We have been called into fellowship with Him. We are walking in the light with Him. We live in Love with Him.
So there is no fear in Love. Perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18.) We have been made perfect in this love life because He has taken us over, and that Love Nature is in our spirits. It has the rest of heaven in it.
You can see, mother, what this would mean to you in your family life. You become tired physically, and the children nag you until your spirit becomes restless and your voice is filled with irritation. You speak harshly. You are not in the place of rest. But you say, “How can one come into a place like that?” You remember that scripture in Isaiah, “Let him take hold of my strength.” We are to take advantage of the indwelling One. You see, you asked Him to come in and dwell in you. Now 1 John 4:4 is yours: “Ye are of God, my little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.” You always remember that you are of God, and you remember that you are an overcomer.
The irritations and vexations that come to you are nothing unless you are overwrought and are physically tired. You have allowed circumstances to get the ascendancy. Now the Great One inside is called upon and He rises in His grace and love to meet your problem. He heals your nerves that are ragged, and irons out your difficulty. He makes you a victor over the circumstance. You have learned now the secret. In the midst of want, or poverty, or in the midst of confusion or lack, you are a conqueror. Right there, you are full of rest and quietness. A man said to his wife who had lived for a long time in the realm of rest, “How did you do it?” A fearful thing had happened. One of the neighbor’s children had been accidentally injured, grievously, and she was binding up the wound. The mother was distracted; so, apparently, was everyone else.
They were waiting for the ambulance to come. She was as quiet and calm as though she were caring for her own baby just dropping into slumber. She replied, “I didn’t do it. `Greater is He that is in me.’ That Greater One in me gave me wisdom. Did you hear that the doctor said that I had saved the child’s life? I have never studied nursing, and I knew nothing about it, but `greater is He that is in me’ than the need that confronted me.” Can’t you see that if you give Him your life He will give you peace? You may have the Holy Spirit in you and never give Him His place.
The majority of people who have received the Holy Spirit, and have come in contact with my ministry, have never given Him a place in their lives. They have told me how great He was when He came in, but they have ignored Him and have tried to bear life’s burdens alone. They have acted as though He weren’t there. “You have overcome them, because greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.” He is greater than the world influences around you. The influence has broken upon you as a flood, but you stand as a rock and cannot be moved. Philippians 2:13 is becoming a living reality: “For it is God who worketh in you both to will and to work, for His good pleasure.”
It is God Who is at work within me, building into me the Jesus-quietness and the Jesus-rest, and the Jesus-sense of the Father’s Presence. He is willing and working His own good pleasure in me and through me. It is so important that we remember 1 John 5:11, “And the witness is this, that God gave unto us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath not the Son hath not life.” You are begotten into the realm of faith. You are born into the realm of love. You were born into the realm of God, into the supernatural, victorious realm. Your faith becomes a part of you. As you feed and live in the Word, and the Word lives in you, there comes into you an unconscious rest, and an unconscious quietness.