Friday, November 22, 2013

He Alone Gives Us Rest

One of the most powerful sermons from Joseph Prince Ministries, "Have a Throne Attitude", would throw me for a loop.

The message does seem too good to be true.

We rest first, and we allow God the Father to make all our enemies our footstool.

The spiritual truth from this, however, is gaining more ground for me.

Human nature wants every problem to be solved in our lives, then we rest.

In Christ, we learn to rest in all that He has done, and then we grow in grace and knowledge, allowing His life to flow through us.

These sermons about the supremacy and goodness of Jesus were too much for me to appreciate for a long time.

My understanding of Christ and Him Crucified was too small for me, and we can rest assured that Satan has assured that people remain blind to the goodness of God through His Son.

Yet the argument that we do not have to have every problem in our lives solved first is a novel lesson which everyone of us must appreciate.

We cannot find the rest that we are looking for in solving all the problems and finishing off every need.

Yet, for a long time I simply refused to believe this. Human nature is such that we still toy with the notion that when all of our problems are solved, then we can be happy.

Two passages in the Gospel of Mark dispelled this notion.

When Jesus rebuked the raging sea in Mark 4, the disciple actually went from fearful to exceeding afraid (Mark 4: 41).

Imagine that! The disciples were tossed about in a raging storm, and their boat was even filling up with water, yet when Jesus arose and dismissed the storm with one word, the disciples got more afraid.

God does not want us to be afraid of Him at all.

In fact, His perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4: 18), and this love is based on the Cross, not our circumstances, and certainly not our feelings, either!

So, the righteousness, the peace, the joy which we seek cannot be based on solving our problems. We can never judge our peace and God's love for us based on our circumstances.

Once again, consider the disciples in the boat in Mark 4 -- Jesus rebuked the storm, but the disciples ended up being more fearful. Even when Jesus rose from the dead, some of His disciples still doubted what they were seeing (Matthew 28: 17).

We need His life within us in order to have the peace and rest which lasts.

We need to trust Him not based on our circumstances.

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." (Isaiah 26: 3)

In this verse, the word "stay" refers to our hands resting, lying on the sacrificial animal. We do not try to stop our minds, but rather we can rest assured that God is for us because of all that Jesus Christ has done for us at the Cross. Our minds our stayed in the sense that the work is finished, that there is nothing more which we must do in order to be justified before God and accepted in Christ.

Jesus also presents Himself as our rest:

"28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11: 28-30)

He does not just give us rest, but the full rendering of verse 28 would read "I will rest you."

Instead of working harder through our own frustrations to assure a sense of rest in our lives, let us rest in the truth that all rest starts and ends with Jesus, and grow in grace and knowledge of Him (2 Peter 3: 18)

No comments:

Post a Comment