For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”
About 2 months ago, I was praying and today’s text came to my mind so forcefully I could not ignore it. I knew the scripture but I did not know where it was in the Bible. So, Thank God for technology, I searched for it and found it in the book of Isaiah.
What I found interesting was the context in which the Lord spoke. It was a rebuke, yet a profound truth. He had proffered quietness and rest in Him to the Israelites as the solution to their problem at the time but they were not accepting it. They had confidence in the strength of their swift horses and they Lord was upset with them. The Lord referred to them as rebellious.
For them it was a hard rebuke but to me it was a gentle reminder that there is a better way. I took His word and thought about it for a while. I actually thought I had entered rest. But I kept praying throughout Christmas and the New Year. As God would have it, the month of February has been declared a period of fasting and prayer in my church, so there I am still praying. I was asking the Lord for the grace and faith to enter into the things He had said to me. And the scripture came back to my mind. I was actually reading the Bible about faith when I remembered it. Then the Holy Spirit took me to Hebrews Chapter 4 which advises to enter the rest of God. That was the point I remembered our text for today.
It was one of my AHA moments with God. Rest seemed to be the key word. But I began to extrapolate. Rest In God is faith. Until you are at rest, you have not come to the place of faith. I was confused because I truly thought I was at rest. Then the Lord began to show me the turmoil going on in my mind. In my everyday life, I was not doing much more than praying but in my mind, I was toiling with all kinds of thoughts. It was truly turbulent. I was trying to figure out how God would do the things He had promised me. I was drawing different scenarios, wondering which would be the jackpot.
For many years I have slept fitfully, He drew attention to it. I always ascribed it to child bearing. I used to sleep next to my babies so I formed the habit of sleeping with one eye open. I thought that was why, but He showed me how the goings on in my mind were causing my fitful sleeping patterns. That day I entered a new covenant with God-to labour to stay in His rest. I slept like a baby that night.
Of course I had to really look into my mind and arrest those thoughts. They were causing unrest, so they could not have been of God. I needed to reverse the state of my mind. And I have been telling the Lord, I am the first miracle. As I beheld His glory in His Word, I was being transformed into His image. I am looking, thinking and sounding more and more like Him. That just makes my heart sing for joy.
In the middle of all this, the Holy Spirit led me to read a book by Joyce Meyer, ‘How to Hear from God’. In it, I finally got it. She wrote, ‘There are times when God does not want us to take action because He wants us to wait for Him to take action. However, even trust is active rather than passive. We should be actively trusting God, praying and confessing His word in our situation while we wait on Him to act on our behalf’.
I finally got it. When the Lord says, ‘In quietness and rest’, He meant I should shut down everything and trust Him completely. I did not quite understand, ‘active trust’ and ‘no action in faith’. After all, the Word says, ‘Faith without works is dead’. Meanwhile my strength lies in the quietness and rest. I felt like a bird let loose.
Since then, I have laboured to remain in the place of rest in Him knowing He can be trusted to work everything together for my good. He will take care of stuff. He will bring to pass the things He has said. He will work it out in the best possible way. My interest will be properly protected. There will be no loss, rather there will be fruitfulness on all sides.
As we praised God in church yesterday, I simply burst into tears. He has been good to me. I remembered all His that he has done for me, in me and through me and I could not stop the tears. He has been good to me. How will He come this far in goodness with me and change towards me? Not possible, simply not possible. It would negate everything I know and have experienced with Him.
So my friend, per chance your mind is in turmoil like mine was, enter rest: Labour to enter His rest. That is when clarity of thought will come. That is when understanding will come. That is when you can engage properly with the Holy Spirit. That is when your breakthrough will come-when you go to sleep in your mind in Him. He will take care of things and make sure you get the best of Him.
My journey is still on. However I discover I am not alone in this journey, so I tell you the goings on of the journey, hoping that somehow it will encourage you as you walk your journey. He is faithful who has called us. Let us all truly find rest in Him. Bless you. Ck