Learn how to rest.

christmas 2015

Ronnie Mac is resting in Great-Grandpa Mac’s arms, to the delight of his Great-Grandpa.

A very close friend is strongly job oriented. She had a deadline for a major project at work; plus a deadline for making costumes for a performance- as a favor for a family member; as well as a GOD prompted volunteer side project that turned out to be a huge undertaking. I thought of her with all her deadlines- so text her to see how it was all coming. She text right back: “Well, other plans took over…spent time in the hospital on Tuesday with heart issues. They finally put me out and rebooted my heart with electric shock to get it in rhythm again. Sooo, trying to take it easy, as they told me to do, while also trying to get caught up.”

The stress caused by her non-stop efforts to achieve her plans, could have taken her life. But, GOD was merciful to us- who need her! Yet, look what it took to get my friend to rest. As she said, “other plans (GOD’s plans) took over.”

GOD does have specific detailed plans for each and every believer in JESUS CHRIST (Ephesians 2:10). HE also has general plans for all believers. Plans like conforming us to the image of JESUS CHRIST- our LORD- to the purpose that JESUS would be the first of many brothers and sisters (Romans 8:29).

We think that JESUS -GOD the SON- came to earth in a human body to pay for our sins on the cross, so that we could be forgiven and come to GOD. HE did. But another aspect of HIS coming to earth as a human, was to show us what GOD is really like. JESUS is the radiance of GOD’s glory and the exact representation of GOD’s being (Hebrews 1:3).

JESUS shows us the nature and character of GOD. That is needed for we cannot look upon GOD our FATHER in heaven (Exodus 33:19-20). The moon has no light of its own, but, it reflects the light of the sun to shine light on earth. In the same manner, GOD has called us to reflect HIS light and reveal HIM to those around us (Matthew 5:14).

The moon does nothing but stand in the light of the sun to receive the light, it in turn reflects to give us light. So as we spend time with GOD-in HIS Word and prayer, we begin to see glimpses of GOD as HE really is. We absorb HIS light, that in turn reflects or flows through us to those who we come in contact with (2 Corinthians 3:18, 4:6-7). Now this is necessary, for although none can look directly at the sun without being blinded, they can look at and even stare at the moon.   Unbelievers cannot understand GOD’s beauty or wonderful nature- for the natural man cannot see it (1 Corinthians 2:14).   But they can look at us. When we allow the HOLY SPIRIT to lead us and HIS fruit flows through us to others, they can be drawn to HIM. (John 7:38-39).

The moon is called, GOD’s faithful witness in the sky (Psalm 89:37). We are called to be GOD’s faithful witnesses on earth.

Let us look a little more closely on how we can reflect/witness of the light of GOD-HIS glory- in practical ways.

While on earth JESUS said and did nothing on HIS own. HE did only what GOD the FATHER showed HIM. The doctrine HE taught was the FATHER’s (John 7:16-18). The HOLY SPIRIT, also, does and says only what HE hears (John 16:13,14). Therefore, to reflect the light of GOD, we too must only do and say what GOD tells us.

For instance, a friend told me, “I keep praying for GOD to give me light so I will understand and know what I should do when I am angry.” I replied, “GOD does not promise to give you understanding, HE promises to direct the way you should go.”

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge HIM (ask HIM what to do) and HE will direct your steps. Be not wise in your own eyes (thinking you know the best way to go)..(Proverbs 3:5-7).

I went on to say, “GOD in HIS word has already given you the light you are seeking. Now it is up to you to walk in that light.” You know GOD says, “put away anger” (Colossians 3:8). Therefore, when you become angry, say aloud, “GOD says for me to put anger away,” then, push it away from you. As you submit to GOD in an area, you are empowered to simply obey, and the devil with his temptation- will flee from you (James 4:7).

The key lies in believing GOD’s way will work. It works, not because we understand how, but, because GOD knows what HE is doing.   Whenever we disobey GOD, it is because we don’t believe HIS way will work. The truth of the matter is, at those times when we disobey GOD- it is because we believe we know better than GOD does in how a situation should be handled.   We are leaning on our own understanding and are wise in our own eyes.

As Hebrews 4 begins, GOD is calling believers into HIS rest. Let me define what that means and how it happens.

A promise remains (for us) to enter GOD’s rest. A rest HE offered the OT Jews. Both the OT Jews and we have had the gospel preached to us. It didn’t profit the Jews, because they didn’t believe. This specifically is speaking of when GOD told them to enter the Promise land the first time. They focused on the giants of the land (problems that they faced), not on their ALMIGHTY GOD. They didn’t believe, or at least did not consider, that GOD could help them against the giants. Therefore, they refused to do what HE said. They disobeyed because they didn’t believe. Just as we disobey when we don’t believe, but have our eyes focused on the problems instead of the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY.

GOD said that HIS work was done before the beginning of the world (Hebrews 4:3) and that HE knew everything HE would ever do before it all began (Acts 15:18 NKJ). On the seventh day of creation, GOD rested (stopped working). That rest is called the Sabbath. For the OT believers it was a day to rest and celebrate GOD. For us, who live under the new covenant, GOD calls us to rest from our own work. (Hebrews 4:10). Our rest, our Sabbath, is a moment by moment dependence on GOD. It is our believing GOD knows what HE is doing, which produces in us an obedience to HIS instructions.

In another place, we are told that we are to offer our bodies as living sacrifices and that to do so is an act of worship that will produce a transformation of our thinking; to the intended end that we can know what GOD wants and be able to do it (Romans 12:1-2). We are urged to die (to self) daily (I Corinthians 15:31).

I think Isaiah 58:13 NKJ defines our rest clearly.

Turn away from doing your own thing, instead, delight in resting in and honoring GOD.

Don ‘t do things your own ways.

Don ‘t go looking and find your own pleasures.

Don’t use your own ideas as your basis of action and don’t speak your own words

But, first check out everything with the LORD. If you will do this, GOD promises to give you great delight and a tremendous inheritance (Isaiah 58:14).

Remember my friend who was forced to rest? How much better to choose to enter into GOD’s rest and snuggle in the secure arms of GOD– to HIS great delight; like my great-grandson Ronnie Mac snuggled deep in his Great- grandpa’s arms. To the great delight of Great grandpa Mac.

Looking unto JESUS-the Author and Perfector of my faith.

Hugs

Sharon

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