“In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15
In Hebrews 3 and 4, God speaks of His children “laboring” to enter into His rest. He uses as His example of “unrest” the children of Israel who, because of unbelief (in spite of having seen the Red Sea part) could not enter into the rest God had promised them.
True rest is associated with faith, with abandoning yourself to God–never with trying harder, doing more, or “fixing” things yourself.
There is a difference between “peace” and “rest.” For example, after the First World War, there was thirty years of “peace.” The enemy had been defeated and a peace treaty signed and the fighting stopped, but the problems that had started the war in the first place remained unsolved.
The opposing forces stopped fighting for thirty years and there was “peace,” but because there was no “rest,” fighting started again. So it is with us. Until we face the cause of our lack of rest and deal with it, we may not be hearing the sound of gunfire, so to speak, but we will not be at ease.
Here are the steps to “entering into rest.”
Cast yourself on God.
This is a conscious act of your will to commit yourself without reservation to God and to say, like Job, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him.” [Job 13:15]
- This is not an effort on your part to do more for God or to work to prove yourself worthy of His help.
- This is not a questioning of Him or of yourself to try to “figure out” what went wrong and why.
- This is not a “sentimental, ” half-hearted resignation to “what must be.”
This is a deliberate turning to Him, taking His yoke [Matthew 11:28-30] and trusting Him despite all obstacles or interference from outside sources.
This is committing yourself “for the long haul,” determining that no matter what God brings into your life, you will trust Him without reservation. Oswald Chambers calls this “abandoning” yourself to God.
Stay near the cross.
In order to learn how to trust God with your life, first consider you have trusted him with the salvation of your soul. When all else fails, and even when things are going well, go back to the cross. Remember that it was there that God settled the eternal destiny of your soul once for all.
Have a difficult person you can’t “deal with”? Have some treasured possession you can’t give up? Have a “besetting sin” you can’t conquer? Take it to the cross. Kneel at the foot of the cross (in your mind’s eye) and yield that problem to God. You’ll get the perspective you need.
I take, O cross, they shadow for my abiding place;
I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of His face;
Content to let the world go by, to know no gain nor loss,
My sinful self my only stain, my glory all the cross.
Look “beyond the wind.”
Recognize that the circumstances God brings into your life are of His making and not the cruelty of your “enemies” or “chance happenings.” Job 1:12-22. Job did not blame the Sabeans or the Chaldeans or the fire or the wind. He–as one author said–“looked beyond the wind to see the hand of God.”
Faith is not intelligent understanding, faith is deliberate commitment to a Person when I see no way. Oswald Chambers
Too often we have faith in ‘faith.’ It’s not up to you to work up enough courage to prove to God that you believe Him. “If you can figure it out, it isn’t faith.”
Protect your mind.
Negative thinking–Don’t panic. “There’s a simple (not necessarily painless) solution to every problem if you remain calm.”
Psalm 42:11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance and my God.
Excessive interference–Stop talking and start listening–listening to God and a few trusted advisors and friends. Turn off the screens that are riveting your attention. How can God speak to you if you cannot hear Him?
Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I am God.
When the darkness of dismay comes, endure until it is over, because out of it will come that following of Jesus which is an unspeakable joy. Oswald Chambers
Stop fighting God’s purpose and allow yourself to be “crumpled into the purpose of God.”
“Yielding to Jesus will break every form of slavery in any human life.” Oswald Chambers