I admit that I used to consider rest as a negative action because I associated it with taking a nap and well to be honest I am not a napper. I didn’t want to miss anything! So when I found myself in an extended season of rest, needless to say, I was very uncomfortable and rejected it because of my lack of understanding. I went to the Word and I asked the Holy Spirit to teach me about rest and why the Lord had me resting.
The Rest of God takes you into restoration, refreshment and refills you, which keeps you focused upon the things of the Lord. Rest is essential. Without it our bodies and mind will start to break down and collapse. We need rest in order function properly and rest allows us to maximize our day. However, rest from the biblical standpoint is different. We live in a time where the days seem to fly by and everything moves so quickly. We all have a million things pulling at us; family, friends, careers, goals, etc. We must master the gift of resting in the Lord. Rest releases so many beautiful and good things in our lives. It restores, refills, and refuels our lives. Rest even allows us to be redirected by the Lord if need be. Read Elijah’s story in 1st Kings and see the amazing testimony of rest. Elijah just won a major victory for the Lord and revealed the Sovereignty of God. Yet, right away, under persecution, he ran and wanted to die. Elijah laid down under a Juniper tree and went to sleep. God did not criticize or rebuke him. God met him where he was and sent ministering angels to feed him, to give him water, to protect him and let him rest. After a time of resting the, Lord supernaturally strengthens him for the journey ahead and because of this time of rest, he was able to preserve and continue to do what the Lord asked of him.
I've learned that rest is intimately intertwined with completion. Praise the Lord for growth and maturity. I have trusted the Godly people whom God has sent to me, that spoke into my life, which helped me apply biblical perspective to that situation or season. Yet, I am still learning to love rest. If you find yourself in a season of rest, welcome it! For the Word says in Philippians 1:6 “ I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return.]” Allow God to do whatever He needs to do in your life; it is always for our good.
God promises His children to rest if we seek Him. He is our endless source. In Him, we have all that we need.
I have learned that rest is living a surrendered life, in all seasons and every circumstance. It's a position and posture to be rooted in the Lord. Jesus was physically resting in the boat when the storm was raging all around. I love this image because it is a powerful example that even when the storm is around, Jesus was resting through it. This is an example we can apply to our own lives. Jesus is our greatest example. He was asleep and completely unbothered by His circumstances. We can rest through the storm and have faith that it will pass and we will be unharmed. Jesus was not even concerned as the disciples panicked! I have had nights where I couldn’t sleep and I just tossed and turned because I couldn’t quiet my thoughts. I allowed the stress of my situation to overtake me. Who can relate to restless nights? But I realized that I was letting the enemy speak louder than the Truth of God. I panicked through the storm. However, I am happy to say it is very rare that I cannot fall asleep! I have disciplined myself to be like Jesus in the boat. To trust the Lord and to give Him my burdens. To seek Him for a strategy on how to handle whatever situation I find myself in. To allow myself to rest in Him.
Receive the invitation of the Lord. Pause and pray out loud:
Jesus, I receive rest. I want to hand over my baggage and burdens I have been carrying over to You. I receive rest today. I surrender. I don’t want to do things my way anymore. I chose Your perfect way for my life. Thank you for the gift of rest.
In Jesus name, amen.
Now let's read Matthew 11:28-30 as an invitation from the Lord:
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your soul with salvation]. Take My yoke upon you and LEARN from Me [following Me as My disciples], for I am gentle and humble in heart, and You WILL FIND your souls. For My yoke is easy [to bear] and My burden is light.
That scripture is so precious because Jesus was addressing the people of Israel who were experiencing stress and burdens that were weighing them down. They were bound by legalism and all the rules of the Old Covenant. They needed Jesus. He is the source of freedom and liberty. Here Jesus was offering a new thing, a New Covenant, a new way of life. It was completely new and unfamiliar. We must TAKE what has been offered to us and once we do, we are guaranteed that we WILL FIND REST. The restoration power of rest is amazing. Psalm 23:2-3 is a great example of this: He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and quiet waters. He refreshes and restores my soul.
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation].
We must wait patiently and quietly for the Lord. We need to stay in a place of rest. Not moving even one step until He speaks. Then we will find strength. Rest refills and replenishing our strength. Sometimes on my busiest day, the Holy Spirit will prompt me to step aside and create with Him. This is just one example of resting with the Lord. I encourage you to get creative with your “rest.” We serve a creative God and resting does not only mean sleeping. Be obedient to the Holy Spirit, He knows best. He knows exactly what you need. I promise you will not be disappointed. True rest only comes through Jesus. Only Jesus can rest bring restoration, refreshment, refocus and refill you. He is the only way. Jesus knows that in this world we are faced with so many challenges and the enemy uses them to break us down. That is why this passage is so powerful because He has given us a key to victory.
Are you ready to rest? Let's look at these definitions:
Restoration: To return something to an earlier or original condition by repairing or cleaning it.
Refreshment: Gives you new strength and energy to continue to do what God has called you to do.
Refocus: Sometimes from the season prior we can miss a step or we just need clarity on how to proceed in the next season God has for us. Rest releases the peace of God so that we can focus.
Replenish: We constantly need to refill ourselves up again so that we can be overflowing with the oil and wine of the lord.
Resting in the Lord provides restoration, refreshment, refocus and replenishment.
Here's some resting scriptures to reflect on:
In peace [and with a tranquil heart] I will both lie down and sleep, For you alone, I Lord, make me dwell in safety and confident trust.
Psalm 62:1 -2
For God alone, my soul waits in silence; From Him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, My defense and my strong tower; I will not betaken or disheartened.
I lay down and slept [safely]; I awakened, for the Lord sustains me.
As you reflect on them, sit with the Lord in rest. You will receive what you need.
Here's my prayer for you:
Thank you Jesus for your goodness in my life. I praise Your holy name! I welcome the season
you have me in. Holy Spirit, I partner with You. Help me in every season; teach me and
equip me. I surrender my burdens to you as I lean into You. I welcome the rest that only You provide. I seek restoration, refreshment, refocus and refilling. I seek You, Jesus.
In Your precious name, amen.
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