Friday, July 28, 2006

Rest


"Be still and know that He is God. Be still and know that He is holy. Be still, oh restless soul of mine. Bow before the Prince of peace. Let the noise and clammer cease. Be still."

For those of you who spoke with me this week, the topic of this blog should be anything but surprising. Recently, God's been pressing on my heart to rest in His arms. But what does that practically look like in today's day and age? I mean we move all the time, we have noise every where, we talk all the time. It is absolutely constant. So how do I rest in Him? I want to break it down into the three areas we are to love God with-mind, heart and soul/strength. God calls us to "come to Him" when we are weary and burdened and He will give us rest (Matthew 11:28-30). So we come to Him through loving Him. What is loving Him? Obeying Him (check out 1 John 5). Why do we obey Him? Because He is God. His commands are not burdensome (1 John 5 again), but His yoke is light (Matthew 11 again). He, in His very nature is love and when we serve Him, we receive this gift of faithfulness, patience, peace, kindness, forgiveness, hope etc (1 Corinthians 13). Ok, so on with how to rest...

Quickly, before battling unrest, we must understand who we are fighting. Not what, but who. We are fighting Satan. Every single thing that pulls us from trusting the Lord is simply from the devil and his servants. Thus, we enter into battle to claim our mind, heart and soul/strength, we must do so through the ONLY way it is possible: by the name of Jesus.

I find my place of most unrest is my mind. My thoughts go on and on and on. I envy the people who are able to "mentally shut down". In Phillipians (Dad, you'll love this), Paul reminds the people to "not be anxious about anything" but we are to present our requests to God. So maybe a resting of the mind means claiming your thoughts in the name of Jesus. Many nights I fall asleep burdened with a worry or reminder of my past. It gets difficult sometimes to focus and not dwell or "sit" in my thoughts, but I must fight for the sake of honoring Christ. I don't think I can count the number of times I've gone to sleep saying His precious name over and over and over again. For where He is, sin and the father of it cannot be. Praise be to God.

How about the heart? I want my heart to belong to Jesus. While in Mexico last year, I did a skit with a friend called "Hearts". Its a mime depicting the giving away of a girl's heart to a guy. Over and over she begs him to give it to her, and the first couple times, he refuses, knowing his heart belongs to Christ. However, she eventually convinces him to do so. She is reckless and careless with his heart, stomping on it, tossing it up in the air...and finally letting it fall to the ground...it shatters. She laughs and walks away. The redeeming aspect of the skit is the guy lifts up his broken and rotten heart (he demonstrates this by sniffing it and being disgusted by the smell) and God receives it, heals it and allows the man to continue to use it as a blessing for others. How true is this real life?

The Bible says to guard our heart for it is the wellspring of life. No, don't keep it from people, let it be seen, but take care of it-rather, let Him have it. How? In the context of scripture, guarding our hearts means to obey God! Here we go again! How do we love Him? We obey! Why do we obey? We have faith? Why do we have faith? We trust! Why do we trust? Because He is faithful throughout the ages. No man, woman, or _____ to whom or which you can give your heart away can offer that. Keep that in the back of your head.

Finally our soul and our strength. This is the one part I find easiest to rest, but hardest to get to! My heart and head are SO loud sometimes, I barely hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit in my soul. You see...the soul, our souls have been saved! They are claimed by Jesus and filled with the Holy Spirit when we ask to receive Him. A wise man relayed a quote to me saying, "Don't think with your head, don't think with your heart, but think with your gut." The gut is God, the Holy Spirit and His presence in our lives. And God brings peace and rest (He leads us beside still waters...restoring our souls!). When we accept Christ-His name is inscribed on our souls. I can't remember off the top of my head, but there is this passage that talks about looking for God in the whirlwind and the fire, but finding Him speaking in a still, small voice. I consider the whirlwind the mind, and the fire: the heart. God CAN and does speak through both mind and heart, but I think He whispers His love to our souls...the empowering of both mind and heart. So how do I rest in my soul? Listen to Him, contemplate His word and sing His praises.

Something He's been saying to me:

"Be still my little one and know that I will never leave. Find rest here between my unfailing arms of hope. I know the plans, I have it all, right here and it is good. Trust, my love, wait a while and let me sing to you. Be still."

Close your eyes, breathe in, and love Him.

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