HOW CAN I KNOW SPIRITUAL REST?
Return to your rest, O my soul, For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you. Psalm 116:7
One half of all Americans suffer from poor sleep. There is much to obsess over with my eyes on this world. Pressures on our children, financial instability on the horizon, political pressures that will only increase against God’s children, deception and division in our churches, poor health that is exacerbated by life in a toxic world. Just reading this list reinforces the lie that worry is inescapable and peace is unattainable.
God promises each of His children spiritual rest. Not too many years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what it meant. While I had moments of it on a good day, I had no idea how it could be sustained. Rest can’t be dependent upon circumstances because God wouldn’t have promised it to people who live in a cursed world. Rest must mean something else.
Today, you and I can find true calm by remembering three things.
1. God’s pattern ~ I don’t have to figure out what to do. Jesus came to live here so that I would have His footsteps to follow. When I am falsely accused, I remember His response. When I am weary, I remember how He withdrew to restore. When I am trapped by others’ arguments, I remember how He artfully answered their questions with another question. When I am persecuted, I remember to pray for my enemies. He laid out the perfect pattern and I can rest in the certainty of His instruction. He is not so cruel as to leave me to figure it out.
2. God’s promises ~ I don’t have to fear lack of provision. He has promised me everything I need and because He is perfect and trustworthy, I know He won’t go back on His Word. I will have what I need, when I need it. I have the joy of discovering each promise and daring to believe that they’re really for me.
3. God’s protection ~ I don’t have to fear evil. For the child of God who pursues holiness and takes advantage of God’s armor, God’s protection is in place. There will be assaults, but grace comes with them. There will be temptations, but God gave me a mouth to speak perfect arrows of rebuke. There will be close calls, but angels have my back. Nothing that comes against me takes God by surprise.
Today lies in expanse before me. I’m taking a deep breath and putting my mind at rest. I need only do what Jesus did, trust what His Father promises, and face a foe who may need to be reminded that the victory of Calvary is being held up as a standard against him.
My mind can be at peace. Spirit, take control of my thoughts. My heart can be calm. Spirit, rule my emotions. My body awaits the physical rest of eternity. Holy Spirit, give me the grace to live in mortality. Amen