Rest

lighthouse-581082_640Joshua 23:1: And it came to pass a long time after that the LORD had given rest unto Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua waxed old and stricken in age. (KJV)

God wants to give us rest. Jesus said that we should not worry about anything, but we should put our mind on the fact that God as a father cares for us (Matthew 6:24-34).

He said that we cannot achieve anything through worrying. We cannot add a little thing to our height. There is nothing that worrying does, except shift our focus from God and stop us from having faith in God. Worry is doubt and the bible says that he who doubts should not think that he will receive anything from God (James 1:5-8).

Therefore worrying harms us and because Jesus loves us he wants us to desist from it. Worry disconnect us from God, since faith is connection to God. He said we should come to him so that we can have rest for our soul.

The soul is descriptive of our humanity. And when rest is far from the soul, what we have is fear, worry, depression and even wrath (aggravated anger) which is a work of the flesh.

And the bible says that anger lies in the bosom of fools and the one who does not have control over his emotion is a fool, like a city without wall (Ecclesiastes 7:9). That means that the one who cannot control his emotion will be susceptible to all manner of influences. He would not be consistent, he can be easily controlled, made to do things he or she will regret.

Paul mentioned self-control as fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). God will not bother to supply us with it if it is not a real need.

We need self-control. We also need knowledge which the bible says will be the stability of our times (Isaiah 33:6). Another key to rest is spiritual maturity. Paul wrote that God gave the Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Evangelist for the equipping of the saints, so that we may attain to the full statue of the fullness of Christ, and no longer be tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:12-14).

It was the same Paul who said that we need to be careful about those who bring teaching in which our soul becomes unsettled. The writer of the book of Hebrews says it is good that the heart be established by grace not with meat which have not profit not those occupied with it (Hebrews 13:9). Being actively in pursuit of the knowledge of God will make you less susceptible to the deception of the devil.

When the devil makes you restless, it is to make you lose focus. When certain spies brought evil report of the land of Canna to the people of Israel in the wilderness, the people were disturbed and were pulled away from trust in God and they perished (Numbers 13-14). To trust God is therefore for our own good.

When Paul said that we should not worry about anything but with pray we should make our requests known to God, he was showing us another way to rest- prayer (Philippians 4:6).

Jesus told worrying Martha that if you believe you will see the glory of God, the opposite is also true, that if we will not believe we will not see the glory of God, but darkness (John 11:40). The children of Israel, instead of resting in the commitment of God to give them the Promised Land were shaken from their place of trust, they were blinded by the fear which rose up in them and they stopped seeing the lord going before them fighting for them. David said: I set the lord always before me, because he is at my right hand I shall not be shaken (Psalm 16:8).

When Adam and Eve were shaken from trust in the word of God they lost their rest (Genesis 3). As mentioned before, the bible says that wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of our times. When we reject the knowledge of God we are rejecting rest, we are moving from light to darkness and nearing a fall.

Rest captures what humanity needs.  When God made man, he gave him restful work, but after sin and they were chased from the Garden of Eden, it was to work the ground cursed for their sake. They started struggling with the ground which yields thorns and thistle, and they experienced the thorns of pain and futility. They had to sweat before they eat.

But the grace of Jesus Christ released to us is to take us back to our place of ease. Before Jesus came we labour under the burden of sin, sickness and satanic oppression.

Jesus however came with the anointing to set us free from every burden, to heal the broken heart, the open the blind eyes, to cause us to experience positive change and for us to enter into his rest.

The bible says that there remains a rest for the people of God, and those who believe do enter into that rest (Hebrews 4:9-10). They experience rest from their own works and are put on the works of Jesus, they eat the fruit of his labour and are refreshed.

While Adam and Eve ate they fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and they became restless, we eat the fruit of Jesus’ relationship with God the Father we enter into rest, as Jesus said we should come to him so that we can find rest for our soul.

We do not need to sweat it out to get to God, in the name of Jesus we access God, by the Spirit that he releases we have access to God (Ephesians 2:18).

His blood removes the limits that sin puts between us and God. The bible says that God’s ears are not heavy that he cannot hear us, nor his hand shortened that he cannot save, but sin has put a blockade between us and God (Isaiah 59:1).

And Jesus came with the solution for our sins. He came to save us from our sin (Matthew 1:21). Sin is contrary to the way God made man, therefore with sin, man becomes restless, he makes the wrong decision, takes the wrong turn and faces the bitter consequences.

Paul said that what he wants to do he does not do but what he does is what he does not want to do. He discovered that there is the willingness is in him to do right thing by God but the ability in him the programming in him is that of sin (Romans 7:22-8:1).

He cried out: who shall deliver me from this body of sin? Answer Jesus. Jesus is our gateway to rest from sin. It is because of his grace that we are no longer under the law but under grace, not just knowing what is right but enabled to do it, which is grace (Romans 6).

Jesus comes to us, to help us. He is our help. He was sent from heaven to be that for us. He opened the eyes of the blind both physically and spiritually (Luke 4:18). He comes with that level of spiritual power to break us from our bondages.

He is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the ending. He sees the end from the beginning and gives us his strength. He says: all power in heaven and on earth are with me and he sends us out to bring people into his rest, through an experience of him (Matthew 28:18-20).

Our work therefore on his behalf is not of struggle. We work in his power, we go with his unstoppable mandate the unstoppable mandate of the one who knows the end from the beginning; He says: my counsel will stand I will do all my will (Isaiah 46:10). We can rest in that assurance.

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