“So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.” (Hebrews 4:9-10)
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph. 2:8,9).
I mentioned more than once over the years how I struggled with fear, doubt, etc. This experience led to my continually striving to “prove” myself to God. I figured that witnessing for Him would earn His pleasure. Later, as a missionary, I thought that maybe NOW I was doing enough. The feelings continued though. I did not feel accepted though I spent time in pastoral ministry and continually told others about Him! The reason I had no peace was due to the fact that I kept trying to earn something I already had.
John 3:16 says if we believe in Him, we will have eternal life. We are accepted!
I do not have to strive. In fact, by striving to earn a gift God already gave, I am making a mockery of His gift! All I have to do is receive it and rest!
I don’t have to perform like a trained circus animal to earn His love, His mercy and His forgiveness. I already have it.
I need to enter that rest.
Instead of working to earn His pleasure, I need to live in relationship with Him. When I worship Him, spending time growing in my relationship, then I will learn His heart and thoughts. Out of that, work will naturally flow.