Entering Into A Season of Rest
There is always a time, around the holidays, when it seems that we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season. It seems inevitable that through this stress we lose our sense of peace and calm. Even though we hear people say that Jesus is the reason for the season, the reality of that feels far from our situations.
For the last six months or so I have been on a journey; learning about God’s rest and how to enter in to this state of being. The idea of rest is everywhere. We search for the best mattresses and watch commercials where people search high and low for a comfortable and restful night’s sleep. The concept of rest is ideally put above almost anything else.
Rest Is A Gift
Rest is not something to be earned. In the scriptures, Jesus said that He will GIVE us rest. With that being said, we often find ourselves laboring in order to rest. What does this look like? For me to enter into rest means that I must cast off any anxiety, any fear, or anything that will take me away from the knowledge and presence of God as the Lord of my life. I remember when I first heard this concept. It was a little confusing to me as I looked at labor as job or work related. As a result, I would equate rest with something that was earned (just like earning vacation time at work). However, rest is something you will enter into, and something that is given to you. The only action that is required is that we ENTER into it.
When reading the 23rd Psalm, we see how David entered into rest with His Heavenly Father. David was able to tap into rest as he had a revelation of this concept. Let’s look at the following verses:
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quite waters.
3 He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
When we allow the Lord to be our shepherd it means that we allow Him to lead and guide us. This means that we do not have to have anxiety about what is to come because we are guided and led by the One who cares for our every need.
We have been invited to come and lie down in green pastures. Taking the invitation means that we are fed and cared for by the Good Shepherd; God sees to it that we are lead strategically by His hand to a place of peace and tranquility. This is participation in God’s Divine economy. Such a divine economy means that we tap into His grace, even when chaos is swirling around us and we cannot figure out why. It gives us the certainty that we will be led to green pastures and beside still waters.
The result is that He will restore our souls. He will nourish and redeem that which has been shaken or questioned. According to Dictionary.com to restore means to bring back to a state of soundness, health, or vigor; to put back to a former position, rank or to reproduce or reconstruct in the original state. When I read this definition, I thought of Adam and his place in the garden of Eden. Adam was in a constant place of rest when he was in the garden. He was in constant communion with God and God was in communion with him. Unfortunately, when the fall of man happened, we lost our original state of rest, and entered into toil and turmoil. But Jesus, and His sacrifice on the cross, opened the door for us to enter a place of rest and oneness with God again.
We begin to operate in Divine Order when we enter His rest. When we cast all or our cares upon The Lord, He in turn will lead us beside still waters. To operate in divine order is to give Him lordship over our lives. What that looks like for me is to not be consumed with worry over money, over what will happen tomorrow or the next day.
To give Him Lordship means that I lay everything down at the cross and then I pick up joy and gladness in its place. Sometimes, I have to do a physical activity to demonstrate this truth in my life. I sometimes will sit down in a chair and take a deep breath. It reminds me of the scripture that states that we are seated with Him in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). That verse doesn’t say that we pace around the room wringing our hands in heavenly places, it states that we are SEATED with HIM in heavenly places. This is what brings the divine order into our lives which then allows us to see the bigger picture. The picture from the eagle’s eye view; the view from above the fray.
Rest Will Always Bring Dominion Over Chaos
In Matthew 11, Jesus says “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. In the rest of this passage, Jesus describes the yoke that is waiting for us. Instead of a yoke of heaviness and burdens, we take upon ourselves His yoke and Jesus states that “you will find rest for your SOULS”. This takes me back to how God will restore our souls as we allow Him to led us besides still waters and green pastures.
Recently I had a situation where there was chaos in my life that tried to shake my peace. Through practice and being intentional, I did not find myself being taken under by the chaos, instead I was able to speak to chaos and the “storm” disappeared. This is a lesson that I have learned by reading about how Jesus could sleep during the storm on the sea. While the chaos of the storm raged on, and the others feared the waves of the sea, Jesus spoke to the storm and the chaos ended (Matthew 8:24).
The Process Continues
As we learn how to labor into His rest, we realize that this is a process that we must engage and practice often. This isn’t something that we will do only when it’s convenient. It is something that we must do on a regular basis. It is out of rest that we allow the refining process to do its full work. This is the refining process that shows me how the wounds of my heart have been filled with gold.