Real REST do you want it? Do you possess it? Does it evade you? Is it like a vapor, one moment you have it, the next moment it's gone?
In this day and age all seem burdened down with care and sorrow, perplexity and anxiety. Pastors and politicians, Christian leaders and sports icons, Church elders and worldly celebrities, most all are showing signs of being weary and heavy-laden. The common plea of so many is, "We need rest, and we're all worn thin from all of this. We are at the end of our ropes, with nothing left. Please, please, please we need REST!"
God promises to make a way for ALL to disentangle themselves from everything that disrupts, exasperates and destroys their lives. He promises, "I WILL GIVE YOU REST." What God promises He is able to deliver. The promise is sure when the conditions are met.
The world promises you rest as well, but it can only be found on a South Pacific Island, laying in a hammock, sipping an ice cold beverage. But that's not Real Rest. When you return home you are again faced with trials, pain, stress and the burden of sin. No, true rest isn't worldly escapism. It isn't found in going to Disney Land, on ocean cruises or going to exotic condos on the ocean or in the mountains.
God invites ALL to find REST in HIM! "In perfect acquiescence there is perfect rest."DA.332 The rest that Christ offers is dependent upon spiritual conditions. These conditions are those, which are available to absolutely everyone on planet Earth.
The 1st condition is that we must take Christ at His Word. He says, "Come to Me... and I will give you Rest." But we must come out before we can truly come in. Israel came out of Egypt but they didn't come into the Promised Land. No, they wandered for 40 years. They were holding onto the old ways and living a life of unbelief. Thus they couldn't come in. Is that us? What are our consciences saying this moment? Are they whispering, ever so silently, those areas in our personal lives we're holding onto??? Let's be honest now. Do we still have one arm around the world, while the other arm is around Calvary? Doesn't the Bible say with certainty that a, "Double minded man is unstable in all his ways."
What about how we view and treat those we disagree with? Is it possible to find REST in Jesus when we are treating those He loves with contempt and retribution? To, "Come unto Me" is to surrender all our known choices to His keeping and our entire lives to His ordering. Then refusing to be influenced by any voice other than God's and His Holy Word.
Is that you? Is that me? It can be! "In perfect acquiescence there IS perfect rest." Acquiescence is a BIG word. It means total and complete submission to the will of God, in all things. It means to rest in Him without opposition and discontentment. It means we bow ourselves to His Word and His Holy Spirit's guidance, daily. It means we consult with Him on everything. It means we don't step out ahead of God and produce an Ishmael because God's timing is different than ours. If we enter such a life of dependence in Him then, "My presence shall go with thee, and I WILL give thee REST." Exodus 33:14. His presence is His grace. He can and will empower you and me to live a life of REST in Him. Conditions met promises granted!
Secondly, God declares, "Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is STAYED on Thee: because he TRUSTETH in Thee." Isaiah 26:3. Our lives may seem a tangle; but as we daily and honestly commit ourselves to the wise Master-worker, He will work behind the scenes. As He does, we must then keep our mind, our daily plans, ideas and activities, as well as our thoughts, feelings and emotions firmly and definitely focused on Christ and His holy principles. Not in our own strength and willpower, but by daily cooperation with His continual grace. Truly, "It is the love of self that brings unrest." DA 331. Our ways of living must be swallowed up in a new focused life, "In Christ Jesus our Lord."
"For most this will be scary. Why? Because they (we) are AFRAID to TRUST themselves fully and completely to God. "They do not make a complete surrender to Him; for they shrink from the consequences that such a surrender may involve. Unless they do make this surrender, they cannot find peace."DA331
Third, "Learn of Me." That's what life is really all about. Learning God's way over my ways. Learning to, "Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." And "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Matthew 22:37-39 Now loving a lovable God is not all that hard for most of us. However, loving those who rankle us, now that takes a heap load of daily grace. That's why we are admonished to," YOKE" up with Christ. This divine connection allows us, by His grace, to reorder our lives, our thoughts and our emotions. "Take My yoke upon you and LEARN of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall FIND REST unto your souls." Matthew 11:29
There you have it! Come In ... Acquiesce ... Remain ... Focus ...Trust ... Learn of Me ... Yoke Up ... and you shall find REST!
Resting in Him,