Week of December 8
"But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster." ~I Kings 5:4
There comes a time when God puts our enemies under our feet. Indeed, He gives us a period of rest so that we may concentrate on the work He has set before us. God's gift of divine rest offers us freedom, peace and protection. And it is ours through salvation and obedience in Jesus Christ.
There is complete trust available in God's divine rest. So much so that Deuteronomy 25:19 tells us to forget about the enemies who attacked us when we were weary and worn out.
David declared in Psalm 62, "My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him" (vs. 1). "Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him" (vs. 5).
Sometimes, we must take authority over our frantic souls and command them to rest, to come in alignment with the living word of God. Little wonder the word "rest" appears 275 times in the Bible. Consider its many definitions:
Rest is a period of refreshing, a freedom from exertion and anxiety, a stopping place for shelter. To rest means to restore energy, to be supported against something (like the shelter of the Most High), to depend upon someone (like Jesus) for action or as a burden or responsibility, to rely on something (like the Holy Spirit) for proof or explanation, to conclude the presentation of evidence in a case (as in it is finished!).
Divine rest comes after a fulfillment of a promise, or completion, as in the case of King Solomon (I Kings 5:4) and as in the case of the Israelites taking dominion over the Promised Land (Joshua 1:13-15). It allows for restoration, a new beginning. It ushers in God's glory (Is. 11:10), and it is rewarded to those who are righteous in the Lord and see the journey through.
In Jesus, we can rest secure from all that burdens or threatens us. Indeed, He is our way and our truth. He is our friend. And He assures us that His unfailing love rests upon us, as we put our hope in Him (Psalm 33:22), just as The Father assured Moses that His presence will go with him, and He would give him rest as he journeyed forth in obedience (Exodus 33:14).
If we are prone to over work, the Lord may have to make us lie down and rest like the sheep in the fields (Psalm 23). There was a season one year where the Lord spoke Psalm 23 to me repeatedly through various resources. I finally got the message.
Sometimes it's easy to forget that the Lord and His angels work on our behalf to position and align us, others and circumstances for His perfect timing, His perfect will. What we think we should be doing is not always God's agenda. He has taught me to lay down false responsibilities by praying every day, "Lord, I surrender my agenda to You. Have your way in my day."
Jesus said, "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:28-29).
If you are in need of divine rest, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you any unconfessed sins, and confess them. Then declare Psalm 91:1-2 over yourself, "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the almighty" and Isaiah 32:18, "My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest."
May God's unfailing love rest upon you, and may you enter into His resting place safe, secure and highly favored until you journey home to have eternal rest with Jesus.
Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work, a marketplace outreach purposed to share God's greatest power source - the love of Christ.