For over ten years, I’ve been fascinated about what it means to live in the rest of God. Growing up, the subject was mentioned in church, but how to actually process this rest seemed so foreign.
In fact, the rest of God is actually one of the most counter cultural precepts in Scripture. It goes against the grain of just about everything you see in the world. It’s also a reality that seems to elude so many, including Christians. We all want to experience the rest of God, but why does it seem so far away?
For most people, the topic of rest means taking a break or going on vacation. We equate rest as an act of disconnecting from our crazy life; only to find ourselves right back in the chaotic grind we always live in.
Is that what the rest of God really is? Is it just a break here and there while we endure the life we live? Or is the rest of God a reality we can carry every single day that overrides the storms that come our way?
Two Ditches that Keep us from Rest
Through my personal research and journey, I have found two ditches we fall into everyday that keep us from the rest of God. They also prevents our eyes from understanding what divine rest looks like.
1. Busy, Non-Stop Driven Lives
I know first hand that if I want to live in divine rest, I cannot merge it with a non-stop, busy and hyper driven life. That kind of living might make someone a good amount of money, but it won’t provide the space to process the rest of God and live in a Kingdom rhythm.
Modern culture thrives off of its non-stop endless striving. Their actions reveal what they really believe–the pressure is 100% on their shoulders. We may offer lip services to giving God glory, but the weight and pressure is still there. There is no margin and most of all, there is little room for trust for His supernatural ability to manifest.
The end result for the hyper driven person is not rest, but burnout.
2. Passivity and Denial
Then there are those who claim they are in God’s rest, but are neck deep in passivity and denial. Their inactivity shows they don’t deal with problems and always take the passive approach in situations.
Spiritually and emotionally passive people always love to claim they are “waiting on the Lord” when in reality, God is waiting on them to take action. Faith has to have action in order for it to be faith. In fact, true waiting on the Lord is a very active and highly engaging state of the heart.
The end result for the spiritually passive is little change, status quo and eventual dryness.
Back and Forth
Truth is, most people toggle between these two ditches. We bounce back and forth, constantly needing to make corrections. We often start out hyper driven, until it leads to burnout. In the anger, frustration and exhaustion, we take a back seat; an almost passive aggressive approach to life.
Then once the passive life wears off, we jump back into hyperdrive, because it’s all we know. Instead of making adjustments and living in rest daily, we keep landing into ditches.
It doesn’t help that most people around us are living in those ditches too.
A Location in Our Hearts
In the Old Testament, the promise of rest was shown as a location, a geographic destination to heads towards. In the New Covenant, the destination is still available, but it is a place within our hearts.
There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. Hebrews 4:9 (NKJV)
The only way we are going to experience rest is that we have value for it. We have to be willing to let go of ways that keep our hearts out of rest and prevent us from entering into what the rest of God provides. We have to be willing to face our hearts and let God do a renovation.
Getting a Picture of God’s Rest
I didn’t know what rest looked like, mainly because I did not see it in people around me. Rest either looked like denial and passivity, or I witnessed people avoiding rest with non-stop living.
So I had to start over and get a fresh lens of what’s available.
- The rest of God is an abode, a place of dwelling, that positions us with an empowered perspective.
- Rest is a posture of the heart, one that is fully engaged in life, yet empowered by a confidence in God’s ability.
- The level of rest in my heart often has to do with the perspective I come into agreement with. What I focus on and the story I attached to it fuels the level of rest I can step into.
- How much power I give my circumstances often influences the level of rest I experience.
- Like a muscle that needs exercise, divine rest is something I must engage and exercise daily and hourly. During the storms of life, I hang onto it like an anchor, minute by minute.
- In rest, I hear the voice of God more clearly and I have space to be refreshed by my Father’s perspective.
- Divine rest is one of the greatest spiritual force fields against the onslaught of fear, oppression and stress.
What is the Rest of God?
Rest is an internal reality, where we come into agreement with God’s power and involvement in our lives.
When in rest, we are not sluggish or weary, we actually gain energy.
The greatest manifestation of those living in the rest of God is confidence.
There is a high level of trust in the rest of God, but it’s based on a hope…hope constructed on God’s truth.
Once you get familiar with the power of rest, you can return to it.
The rest of God increases our decision making ability.
Rest is not driven, nor is it passive. It is very active, yet there is a flow to it.
The good news, rest is available for you.
Question: What keeps you from entering the rest of God?
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