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Resting in God

Added by Holger Bergner on June 1, 2013. · No Comments · Share this Post

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Photo credit: Mario Inoportuno via Photopin cc

By Maria Vernon:

I have a riddle for you. What could seem to make a little more work now‚ but save much more work in the long run?

Here are some hints. It is mentioned repeatedly in the Bible, and those who have accomplished the most for God have all depended on it. It is a life-altering concept, but also one that is often hard to grasp because it goes contrary to natural reasoning.The answer is “resting in God.” That means stopping what we’re doing and taking a little time to get quiet and plug in to God in spirit in order to be renewed and regenerated. Then we need to learn to take that restful spirit with us as we go back to whatever we were doing, so circumstances won’t weigh so heavily on us and eventually wear us out.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. —Matthew 11:28–30

It sounds simple enough, but it’s not always easy to do, especially at first. One big reason is that it goes against our natural bent. When we have so much to do, the last thing we feel like doing is slowing down, taking time to pray and read God’s Word, and letting Him speak to us. That’s not what we feel like doing or what seems sensible when we have a deadline or life is speeding along all around us.

But if we look at the lives of those who have done great things for God, we find many examples of people who relied on this principle. In fact, Jesus Himself needed such times of resting and refilling, according to several accounts in the Gospels. One says that having risen long before daylight, He went to a solitary place to pray.1 Another says that He continued all night in prayer to God,2 and another that it was His custom to go to the Mount of Olives to pray.3

Most of us need a major change of mindset in this regard. We need to stop thinking we have so much to do that we had better get started, and instead think, Wonderful! Jesus, here is an opportunity for You to step in and help as only You can.

We can’t learn to rest in the Lord if we’re not doing our part by pulling away from the fray. If we’ve been busy, busy, busy, then when our spirits need a rest we are usually swamped with thoughts about all there still is to do.

But if we can get in the habit of stopping our work long enough to turn our concerns over to God and draw new strength and inspiration from Him, we won’t be so tied into the vicious cycle of pushing ourselves beyond our limits and falling further behind. Instead, we will create a positive cycle where He strengthens us for the tasks at hand, and as a result we will have more faith to place our burdens on His shoulders and trust Him to take care of things.

We all want to feel that peace and contentment and wisdom that God can give us when we spend time with Him, but the test comes when we go back to work. All too often we leave the realm of calm and peace and infinite possibilities, and start trying to do everything we can—and before we know it, we’re back in the rat race.

Resting in God means not trying to bear the burdens ourselves. It means continually putting them back on God’s shoulders. It means doing our part in prayer, so He can do the heavy lifting. It means valuing our time with God enough to make time for it, and because of that, having more of His blessings and Spirit in everything we do, because we’ve given the weight to God through prayer, rather than trying to carry it ourselves.

It’s easy to get on our own little “treadmill” and feel that we have to keep running to keep up, and yet feel like we’re not really getting anywhere. We need to have enough sense, before we get to that point, to step off and ask God to help us get in step with Him again.

Making the change can start a cycle of strength, relief from pressure, and real progress. If we’re resting in God‚ if we’re taking time with Him, if we’re pushing our burdens onto His strong shoulders and letting Him work in the spirit, we’ll have the strength and the time for anything and everything else we really need to do.

  1. Mark 1:35
  2. Luke 6:12
  3. Luke 22:39,41

Photo credit: Mario Inoportuno via Photopin cc

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