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rest

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)

The [Work] Of Stillness

Posted in faith

The Work Of Stillness | heartnatured

“This is the ‘work’ of stillness; we must put forth the effort to live in ways that counter the movement and activity of the world we live in.” Gary Taylor

How often is that the battle? Flesh versus Spirit, world-thinking versus Kingdom-thinking. It’s every minute, every day. The draw of future-anxieties, the weight of past mistakes, the present burden of insecurity, pride, materialism, busyness, performance.

I’m reading C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters, and one of the letters is about time.

He [God] would therefore have them continually concerned either with eternity (which means being concerned with Him) or with the Present — either meditating on their eternal union with, or separation from, Himself or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present pleasure.

I think the work of stillness is also work of residing in the present. The world we live in will pressure us to plan and worry and fear the unknown, but the future is full of that which is not reality.

His [God’s] ideal is a man who, having worked all day for the good of posterity (if that is his vocation), washes his mind of the whole subject, commits the issue to Heaven, and returns at once to the patience or gratitude demanded by the moment that is passing over him.

Performance, future-worrying – resulting in frenzy, burn-out, insecurity. Stillness – making space for being. Being present – being present in Christ.

“Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.” Psalm 62:1

The world says you are what you do, God’s Word says you are Whose you are. Our doing ultimately flows from our being, therefore I think the ‘work of stillness’ is also about prioritizing the being over the doing.

The world defines us in terms of production, whereas God defines us in terms of intimacy. Activity is not the same as intimacy: the work of stillness. I am convicted of this so often.

So I’ve been thinking: how can I make stillness a habit? I wanted something practical…

Look Up and Exhale — Step out into the sunshine, look up at the sky. Inhale and exhale deep. Think about the eternal and step outside of time to remember how He’s made you for eternity.

Look In and Surrender — See the hurry and weary and worry. Look in and let go. Surrender to Him. Cast your cares on the One who cares deeply for you.

Look Down and Thank — Bow in prayer, for a long moment. Pray thanks for His abiding presence. Pray praise to the One who is always with you, who lifts burdens from your shoulders. Feel His arms carrying you. Feel His heart that loves you.

How do you practice stillness?