What Resting in God Isn’t

Posted in faith

Lord, thou hast made us for thyself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee. Saint Augustine

I am learning (slowly and clumsily) real soul rest in God. Rest – by grace through faith putting expectations and doubts and desires into His hands. Rest – connecting to Jesus as my source of joy, peace, and contentment in the mundane and mighty. Then, there are ways I think my soul is resting when it actually isn’t, so I flesh those out here.

Resting in God is not mustering up right answers we think we need.

Resting in God is not copying someone else’s personality or passions because they seem “better.”

Resting in God is not striving for acceptance from the world. 

Resting in God is not keeping busy to escape the loneliness, insecurity, or fear.

Resting in God is not fighting for a position of worthiness.

Resting in God is not anxiously living to be everything for everybody.

Resting in God is not working to constantly prove ourselves.

Resting in God is not tackling life alone.

Resting in God is not blindly walking through the day restless or overwhelmed.

The Christian life is a life of day-by-day, hour-by-hour trust in the promises of God to help us and guide us and take care of us and forgive us and bring us into a future of holiness and joy that will satisfy our hearts infinitely more than if we forsake him and put our trust in ourselves or in the promises of this world. And that day-by-day, hour-by-hour trust in God’s promises is not automatic. It is the result of daily diligence and it’s the result of proper fear (and awe of God). John Piper, italics added by me

To rest in God is to embrace His unfailing love for you.

To rest in God is to believe His words about you.

To rest in God is to trust that when life seems uncertain, it’s steady in His hands.

To rest in God is to find joy in His presence in the mundane and the mighty.

To rest in God is to know genuine peace in times of stress and worry.

To rest in God is to be upheld by His sufficient grace and power.

To rest in God is to position yourself beloved in His family.

To rest in God is to choose confidence in Him over the weakness in yourself.

To rest in God is to experience His fullness.

To rest in God is to cultivate listening ears to His voice.

To rest in God is to worship Him wholeheartedly, and be inspired.

To rest in God is to fear Him and live in awe of Him.

As we seek to be the church in this world, let us not seek to pursue abiding satisfaction and spiritual purpose by gazing inward or by probing the cauldron of mixed motives and fickle emotions that lie within the recesses of our hearts. Instead, let us simply remember what our hearts were created and redeemed for: to look outward in faith and to rest in the finished work of the One who loved us and gave Himself for us (Gal. 2:20). Scott Anderson

What does it mean for you to rest your soul in God?



We leave for Utah in a week!

(Photo of Bryce Canyon by Laura Agustí on Unsplash)

Summer 2018 Reads + Reviews

Posted in books

The written word has always been a treasure to me. I am mentored by men and women long in Heaven and rejuvenated in my faith by living followers of Christ. I enjoy both turning tangible pages and reading multiple books at a time on my Kindle. And while it took a little adjusting, I hardly take a drive over 20 minutes or fold a basket of laundry without listening to a book.

This summer I covered a lot of ground, and for my personal enjoyment and for other bookworms out there, I share with you what I’ve read. They aren’t in any major order, some fall in the spiritual growth category, others personal interest.

Here’s my system of review:

  • 5 = I loved the book and enthusiastically recommend it.
  • 4 = I liked it, but not necessarily doing cartwheels over it.
  • 3 = Eh. It was okay.
  • 2 = I’m reluctant to pass it along.
  • 1 = Don’t bother.

The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael, by Elisabeth Elliot: 4.5 stars. A glimpse into one brave and devoted missionary life, this book is a compilation of historical details and the faithfulness of God. A truth I absorbed while reading this book is that if God calls you to a particular ministry or mission or task for His name and kingdom, He goes before you, and He will provide and be everything you need.

[Amy Carmichael’s] great longing was to have a “single eye” for the glory of God. Whatever might blur the vision God had give her of His work, whatever could distract or deceive or tempt other to seek anything but the Lord Jesus Himself she tried to eliminate.

In His Image, by Jen Wilkin: 5 stars. Jen Wilkin’s desire to unearth a high and lifted up vision of God in the hearts of believers has had a deep impact of me. After having read her first book of similar title, None Like Him, twice, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. This book is her approach to answer humanity’s deeply rooted need to know God’s will with a charge to become a person who images Jesus in their daily life. She tackles big theological aspects of God in a way that quickly sticks to your soul. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

Everything we say or do will either illuminate or obscure the character of God. Sanctification is the process of joyfully growing luminous.

The Mark of the King, by Jocelyn Green: 4.5 stars. I have always enjoyed historical fiction, and this story did not disappoint. It took a few chapters to engage with the story, but halfway through, with my curiosity piqued, it was difficult to stop. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, but I probably won’t read it again.

Talk to the Lord, Julianne. Even if you’re mad as hornets. If you keep it all bottled up, you’ll only end up with a belly full of bee stings.

Rejoicing in Christ, by Michael Reeves: 5 stars. Before this one, I read Michael’s book on the Trinity, and greatly enjoyed it. Personally, Michael deepened my understanding of Jesus, cultivating an even sweeter love for him. It really is as the title says, a delightful feasting on the cornerstone and center of our salvation, marveling at the person of Jesus in relation to the Father, Spirit, creation, salvation, and more.

Jesus Christ, God’s perfect Son, is the Beloved of the Father, the Song of the angels, the Logic of creation, the great Mystery of godliness, the bottomless Spring of life, comfort and joy. We were made to find our satisfaction, our heart’s rest, in him.

Identity Theft, edited by Melissa Kruger: 5 stars. I picked up this book because I’m an ‘identity-in-Christ’ junkie, but I was surprised how much I gleaned. In this book, a variety of God-fearing, people-loving women each write a chapter, for the purpose of the book’s tagline “reclaiming the truth of who we are in Christ.”

Satan shows us our sin so we might despair. He wants to steal, kill, and destroy. God shows us our sin to lead us to Jesus. He wants to give us life, and life to the full. We may struggle with sin, but it’s no longer our identity if we’re in Christ. Melissa Kruger

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four questions that help activate faith in my life

Posted in faith

It was one weighty situation after another, and I felt paralyzed by the need to think, feel, and decide wisely. Choices of when to speak and when to be quiet, how to wade unfamiliar relational waters, and how to listen to God were all on full blast. I was in knots for days, and it dawned on me, how does my faith help me here?

The Self-Reliant Fixer and the Trusting-Surrenderer in me were wrestling, and I was weary. Where was my faith? It was in my feelings and whether they could be trusted. It was in my ability to solve problems, to be a good advice-giver. It was in the pressure-inducing lie of ‘choose well or it’ll be your fault.’

I was at a crossroad: continue wrestling anxiously with myself or allow God’s truth to clear-cut a new path of being. By His grace, I confidently chose the latter, and living by faith became less of an abstract Biblical idea and more of a tangible framework for the storm hidden under the surface. I’m learning faith is surrendering my way to deepen my capacity to know and pursue God’s way.

Here are four questions that have helped energize my faith:

  1. Who is being exalted here?

Me? or God? Living by faith in God decreases pride and self-reliance… why? Because we can’t help but be humbled in light of our perfect Savior. Like Abraham, who “with respect to the promise of God, did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God” (Romans 4:20). My thoughts do more harm than good when not illuminated by faith, because faith glorifies God, not self, as sufficient. One of the most gracious things the Lord continually reminds me of is I am the creature and He is the Creator. We live by faith and not sight when we choose to find God in the midst of pain, uncertainty, or weakness, and exalt Him.

  1. What does the Bible say about this situation or my emotions?

Living by faith is a daily submission to the authority of Scripture and treasuring the truth of God. By applying His promises to our circumstances, we open ourselves up to flourish in both mundane and marvelous moments. Faith is allowing Scripture to inform our decisions and attitudes, conforming us to the image of Christ. We live by faith and not sight when we trust Scripture over what we see and feel.

  1. Is the gospel instructing my self-examination? 

In #1, I am reminded to submit to God in low humility and exalt Him. But my faith also states my position in Christ before God. Excessive self-demotion is contrary to the gospel that invites me into life with God. Living by faith in God promotes confidence and acceptance even when we fail… why? Because your failure can’t disqualify Christ, and you are in Christ. Focusing on ourselves too much is like quicksand. Allow the truth of Scripture to not only pull you out, but also to be the light that helps you see more clearly. Maybe you’ve heard these words by Robert Murray M’Cheyne: “For every look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ.” We live by faith and not sight when we see ourselves accurately: near God, raised and seated with Christ, walking with His Spirit on earth to declare praises of Him. (For more on how God sees you, click here.)

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