Friday, October 24, 2014

Replaced Fear for REST

I have been wrestling with the idea of REST. This world is going through so much right now and even in my small world there is major change. My life has been uprooted, moved, and plopped down in the city. I know that God wants us here outside of Philly, but I have no idea what He has planned. So through this whole transition I experienced these anxieties. I feared death, loss, damage, disaster, you name it. When in conversations with groups of people talking about ISIS or Ebola, there has been talk of Christ's coming. It all has become very real to me, making me feel this vulnerable fear.

The unknown is kind of hard to deal with on my own. I like predictability and routine, despite the idea that I think I would like spontaneous moments. Human, really is all I am. REST. The idea of just relaxing sounds so good doesn't it? While I was dealing with this fear deep in my bones, I realized that I didn't have the relationship I thought I had with Christ. I remembered that if I had Him close by my side, I would not fear death, pain, or disaster. I would also be able to face what the future has to hold for this world. With Christ so deep inside of my heart, I would be unwavering and deemed a child in His court, even if it meant giving up my life.

I wanted a definition and a feeling for what I was trying to search out. Thankfully I have been studying the book of Hebrews, which convienently talks about REST in chapters 3 and 4. While reading I noticed the vague concept linked with Sabbath so I did a little more digging. I wanted to understand the contradiction that seemed to be occuring with other biblical texts about the seventh day being the Sabbath of God. Inadvertantly I found what God had to say about REST. That undeniable REST. 

The author pointed out that Israel initially failed at obtaining a literal rest. They gave up Canaan, flowing with milk and honey, for their rebellion. Even after that first generation past, the next failed, under the direction of Joshua, at gaining spiritual rest even when they reached Canaan. A third time God invited Israel into His rest in the days of David, but their hearts were SO hard. Also the author pointed out that God Himself had a literal rest from all He had done at the end of the creation week. After these points had been made regarding the importance of rest, I realized that God is still pleading with me (and you) to enter His rest.

This time, today, He wants to give more than literal rest. He wants to give us a spiritual rest from the sins we are under. He wants us to stop working so hard at obtaining righteousness on our own. He wants us to come BOLDLY before His throne of grace. Those callouses need to come off. We need to spend all of our energies on finding that rest. We need to make it our ambition and lifestyle. So how do we obtain this rest? 

When it says to come boldly before the throne of grace, that means we need to come into the presence of God. We have to take the time to know Him, deeply. We have to walk through out the day thinking and breathing what He has to say. Our minds need to be open to His words. I just discovered this and want to know what it can do for my life. Why would God set one day a week aside for rest or why would Jesus say that His yoke is easy and His burden is light? God knows that we cannot handle this world on our own. We can't even handle ourselves! In what way has His REST changed your life?

Here is a song that made me think of this discovery, by Mercy Me:

1 comment:

Anita Murray said...

Aren't you glad that Jesus' goal on earth was to help us find rest for our souls. Jesus is a great teacher. He is great at what he does.