This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it. Isaiah 30:15
I have noticed over the years that we human-beings tend to be off-balance – leaning too far on one side or the other – always. Unless we intentionally [intently] look at our hearts in the mirror of God’s word and see the reality – as much as our veiled eyes are able – to grasp what the Holy Spirit reveals.
In the passage above, we see salvation is both repentance and rest. I would say that I naturally lean toward repentance. I feel the weight of my sin quite heavily, and the rest never comes easy.
Others rest well in the grace of God, but miss that there might be something that needs to be looked at more closely.
I’m not saying I never lean into rest too much in some area, but I am more likely to bear the weight of my sin when I don’t have to.
During my season of depression, panic, and anxiety, knowing that fear was a sin, because it’s written in the Bible like 365 times, God says, “Do not fear.” – and also knowing that it is faith that pleases Him, I couldn’t receive – for the longest time, His grace.
I repented a thousand times a day, but couldn’t come into His rest.
And then I read that passage in Hebrews 3:11 and felt I’d sunk my ark for sure. It was terrifying. I’m sure the devil was flashing filthy pointy teeth in some form of an evil smile.
I was grossly off balance in my biblical understanding, both of salvation and physiological responses of the body to stress.
Although it was true, in my unbelief I’d been digging my own cisterns that cannot hold water. And yes, I thought the keeping my salvation was somehow partly up to me. Now I know the Lord let the enemy bully me to the bottom of the dark hole, so that when my own righteousness failed completely, I’d raise my arms and let Him lift me from the pit of accusation.
“They” call it, “Coming to the end of yourself.” And I’m telling you, it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Then I learned about rest. I learned in my heart what I knew in my head. I learned that His grace is sufficient for me. I found out the simplicity of confession; that if I confessed my sin, He would always be faithful and just to forgive my sin and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. And I learned that by His blood; by His stripes, I am healed. And that His mercies are new every morning, great is His faithfulness.
Today, when I sin, I feel the weight of it heavy, and sometimes it is for a few days that I have to remind myself of those truths of the new every morning mercies. And the rest that Jesus offers is gloriously peaceful.
Which side do you lean toward? Repentance or Rest?
See: 1 John 1:9; Lamentations 3:22-23; Isaiah 53:5; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Romans 8:38-39; Jeremiah 2:13