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Scripture Says You Are Called to Rest in God.
Friends, some days as I write and type and search the scriptures, I wish so much that I could chat with you in person, talk to you about how good our God is, and marvel at His eternal love (Psalm 136) with you.
This is one of those days. I feel God pressing “rest ” on my heart so completely and I long to encourage you in this word from God. I long to say to you (and to myself) don’t just let “rest in Him” be a part of your Christian-ese vocabulary.
Make it a verb of your life. Rest in God. Rest in your Savior.
For many of us women, busyness is the main villain in our lives. For others, a lack of real trust in God’s decrees that we can rest in Him is a big obstacle. I want to tackle this a bit today by showing you some beautiful scriptures that teach us, call us, to rest in the King’s arms.
Hold on friends, because these Bible verses are precious. Read them slowly and absorb the goodness of God. Let’s learn together to “trust in Him at all times…[to] pour out [our] hearts before Him. God is our refuge!” (Psalm 62:8)
“Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him for He shields him all day long. And the one the Lord loves, rests between his shoulders.”
Deuteronomy 33:12 (NIV)
I love how the New Century Version translation puts this verse, “The Lord’s loved ones will lie down in safety, because He protects them all day long. The ones He loves will rest with Him.” (Deut. 33:12 NCV)
Isn’t that gorgeous? Here the scripture shows us what “rest” can look like, literally, lying down. Let me ask you this; Have you ever gone to bed frustrated? Have you ever gone to bed worried? I know I have. I’m raising my hand for both of those questions.
Now let me ask you this; Have you ever gone to bed with a thankful prayer on your lips, “God, thank you that I can rest secure in you because you protect me and my family. Thank you that You promise to be my refuge, my place of safety!” What a difference that would make in our lives!
Not just rest “in Him”, but with Him!
“Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done.”
Genesis 2:3 (NIV)
God’s very first call to rest begins in Genesis chapter two when He establishes the Sabbath. To this day, God desires us to “keep the Sabbath,” because on it we find “rest in Him,” but also “rest with Him.”
This verse is unique because it’s a part of the Creation story. It’s surrounded by the retelling of God’s creation where we are told, quite clearly, that we are made in God’s image. (Genesis 1:27) Could it be that rest in God is so important for us that God decided to example it in the very next chapter? We are made in His image, called to be like Him. Called to rest, like Him…
Allowing our physical bodies to rest restores us, and it is necessary to our health, but resting our souls in the presence of our Creator is the ultimate refreshment for our spirit. (Read more on the call to Sabbath rest in Exodus chapters 16, 20 and 31.)
“Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him. Fret not yourself because of him who prosper in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.”
Psalm 37:7 (AMP)
I love this verse, but I think many of us have a hard time applying it. I’ve struggled with insomnia for years, for one main reason; I think about things. I think, and I think, and I think all night long. I can’t turn off my mind. I can’t “be still” in my thoughts. This same problem has cropped up over and over again in my prayer life, my busy mind gets in the way of my conversations with God, and it certainly interferes when I attempt to rest with God. But God calls us to be still, to rest with Him.
Did you know that it’s completely okay to pray, simply, “God, will you help me to learn to be still? I want to rest with You, but I need Your help.” Say it as often as needed until you begin to see God developing you in this way.
“Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him.”
Psalm 62:5 (HCSB)
The Psalms are full of similar statements, but this one points out a benefit of resting in God that we haven’t seen before. Resting in God’s presence is HOW we apply His hope to our lives. For many christians statements like “you’ve got to hope in the Lord,” or “the Lord gives us hope,” are common, BUT many of us say these words and still feel hopeless about parts of our lives. Maybe His hope would become more real to us, if we truly rested in Him….? That’s quite a big thought. Let it sink in….
“Lord, it is nothing for you to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; Help us O Lord our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name, we go against the multitude.”
2 Chronicles 14:11 (NKJV)
WOW! This is King Asa talking and he is crying out to the Lord for help. Do you hear the confidence in this verse? the faith? It’s there! King Asa is conversing with God in an under pressure situation, and he is shouting “God, it’s small potatoes for you! You’ve got this. The entire nation of Israel rests on You, waiting, expectantly because though we go up against MANY, we go in Your name!”
Whew, that’s powerful! He goes on to say, “O Lord, You are our God, do not let man prevail against You!” He is claiming the victory for God, because King Asa trusts that God takes it personally when someone picks on one of His children. Do you see how valuable that is to us? How it speaks of God’s goodness? (This verse also reminds us that resting in God is a spiritual preparation step that is crucial to our victories!)
“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation. In quietness and trust is your strength. But you would have none of it.”
We read sentences like this throughout the Old Testament as we watch ancient Israel ignore God, refuse to repent, and certainly avoid resting in Him, and we think, “AGH! Israel! Get it together! What is wrong with you!” (Or at least, I think this.)
But then I read Isaiah’s prophecies, and I’m quieted and convicted. Just like Israel, God offers me rest, strength, and victory, but how often do I walk away from the opportunity to rest in my Savior’s presence? Too often. This verse clearly tells us that God calls us to repentance and rest. Let’s resolve not to have “Israel hearts,” but to seek and accept rest in God.
Did any of those rest-focused verses stand out to you?
Are you seeing a need in your life to rest in God?
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