Resting in the works of Christ

jesus-558429_640Isaiah 14:3: When the LORD has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, (ESV)

The plan of God is that we all enter into rest. He made man to enjoy rest. Even his work in the Garden of Eden was to be marked by rest but when he sinned his portion was changed. He moved from rest to distress as it was declared that in the sweat of man’s brow shall he eat (Genesis 3).

Before the fall of man his main focus was pleasing God, living for him and maximising his divine possibilities. But afterwards his life was reduced to that of an animal which is about eating. Man becomes limited in scope, in vision, he was subjugated.

The place of rest is the place of control, but because of sin, the devil began to rule over man with the power of death, being the judgment over sin (Hebrews 2:14). And God said man was going to return to the dust, after a toilsome life.

However, in Jesus God pressed reset in his relationship with Man, and he came back into his favour.

The first step was to stop Man from stressing himself out, from working so hard, sweating it out, to come into favour with God.

The blood of Jesus qualifies us to come to the presence of God from where Adam and Eve were chased in the first few chapters of the bible. The bible says: we can now draw near to the throne of Grace to find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16). A man who received help from God without cost is at rest.

Man’s restlessness in seeking the favour of God manifests in his setting up different gods for himself, and creating layers of rituals for their worship, in an attempt to connect with what was lost in the real connection with God, which he was not made to live without.

Jesus told a woman: the time is now when those who worship God will worship him in spirit and in truth, and by journeying to a mountain or Jerusalem (John 4:19-24); that speaks the restful worship of God, the stress is out of it. It is stressful to worship without the assurance of divine response. But Jesus opens the gate for us to worship God truly.

Only in Jesus can we really be sure that our sins are forgiven, and we get a new heart for a brand new start with the past buried and forgotten (Ezekiel 36:26). We do not have to start over really, that our history is wiped off and replaced with the history of Jesus and therefore God can legitimately pour on us his blessing, favour and grace and glory.

We rest from our own works and get the benefits of the work of Jesus on the cross. That is why the bible says he was bruised for our transgression, we have no more payment to make for our sin; by his stripes we were healed (Isaiah 53), that repercussion of sin is removed from us and we have, shining on us, the beaming smile of God, as light filling us with the divine pleasure.

What you focus one either gives you rest or distress. Jesus said that the heart of men will begin to fail them because they will be looking at those things that are coming upon the earth (Luke 21:26).

Those who wait upon the Lord (which is another focus) the bible says, will renew their strength (Isaiah 40:28-31); that means they will live as if not expending any energy whatsoever, they will always be refreshed as we connect with the endless reservoir of God from where the divine initiative and ability continue to flow to us.

Paul said it this way that: God has through us spread the fragrance of the knowledge of God (2Corinthians 2:14); God is the one doing the work, we are just channels. He said that we have this treasure in earthen vessels so that the Excellency of the power will be of him and not of us (2Corinthians 4:7). So we work in rest; he works in us in connection with the Holy Spirit.

John said that Jesus was full of grace and truth (John 1:14-17). That is the key to our rest, as we are the infusion of the grace of God and line up with his truth, on the street paved by his grease.

When we are at rest, we can think straight, our mind uncluttered by fear worry and depression (2Timothy 1:6-7). Rest shows we are trusting in God and the bible says that those who trust in God will be like Mount Zion that can never be moved (Psalm 125:1); rather than being moved you will move things. Jesus said that if we have faith as small as the mustard seed we will say to a mountain be uprooted and be thrown into the sea and it shall obey us (Matthew 21:18-22). Faith is rest, trust in God.

Those words of Jesus show that the divine ability is activated when we stand in faith. When the disciples were not able to cast our a demon from someone who was brought to them for the purpose of deliverance, Jesus said it was because of their lack of faith; without faith, it is all effort and no result, they sweated in the process of setting the captive free (Matthew 17:15-20).

Being at rest means we are working with the Holy Spirit. Things were smooth in the ministry of Jesus because he was working with the Holy Spirit. He said the Spirit of the Lord is on him because he has anointed him, to do things for people (Luke 4:18-19). The anointing is the oil that reduced friction, overcomes our internal and external opposition to the flow of the divine will and power; that is the right path the right choice, the route to victory.

Following the word of God is also the path of rest. When Paul was persecuting the church, Jesus told him in an encounter with him on the way to Damascus that “you are kicking against the pricks (Acts 9:1-7).” Any attempt to move against the will of God is to injure ourselves, the move against the flow of divine energy is to deplete your own energy, lose your own ability; become entrapped by the antics of the devil who is the prime enemy of all things God including the will of God.

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