The Land of Promise into which Joshua brought Israel was the type of the better inheritance into which Jesus is bringing His bride; His willing people. It is a rest of reality, victory, and peace. It is the same promise God gave Israel:
Isa 26:3 3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. NIV
The Holy Spirit used Matthew and Paul to call us into that same rest:
Matt 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest [anapauo; to give intermission from labor, to refresh]. NIV
Phil 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. NIV
There are two classes of Christians. Those who, like believing Israel that followed Joshua, are standing as victors in the Promised Land (Jesus’ rest), or those, just like unbelieving Israel, turn away at their Jordan River and continue to wander in the wilderness. They doubt, walk in fear of the unknown, and in their disobedience are in jeopardy of failing just like Israel. They refuse to heed Paul’s challenge:
Heb 4:11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest [katapausis; cease, stop, put to rest], so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. NIV
Yes, we do have to labor for rest, to struggle to gain the victory of peace; to fully surrender.
A perfect picture of entering into Jesus’ rest is painted in a dream that John Bunyan (The Pilgrim’s Progress) had when his soul was struggling to enter into the better life. He saw a company of very happy women that were dwelling in a region of celestial light. The expression on their faces reflected true blessedness. But Bunyan was not among them. There was a great wall that rose up between them, shutting him out in the cold darkness. He wept as he tried to find some entrance into the wall until at last he discovered a secret passage under the wall. But it was so narrow that he could not get through with all of his belongings. It was at that moment that he heard their voices calling him and telling him that if he was willing to part with all, he, too, could pass within the narrow gate and enter in.
After a long painful struggle he was able to leave behind all the things in his life that were impeding his progress and he slowly passed through the narrow passage and awoke to find himself in the Land of Light,. So it is for the bride of Christ.
Heb 4:11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. NIV
God has been leading every member of His bride right up that wall (your personal Jordan River) every day of your life as a Christian. But there is some decisive act, some major surrender or some great letting go that is facing you that is keeping you from passing over to the other side today.
Heb 4:7 … “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” NIV
We need to respond and go forward, stepping into the Jordan (dying to self; shedding all of our personal baggage) and do His will. We need to step out in obedience to His calling; step out trust Him to carry you forward in victory.
Heb 4:1 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. NIV