Being Still = Accepting God's Rest
In our new series “Being Still =” we’re going to be looking at six different definitions of what it means to be still and know that He is God. This series is based off of a message I was blessed to be able to share at a women's retreat with my church family earlier this summer. I hope it blesses you like it has me!
This week we’re talking about accepting God’s provision of rest. In Psalm 23 verses 2-3 it says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul” (NLT).
Here we see the idea of being still and resting tied together. We see God prepare a place of rest for the psalmist, and we see the psalmist obeying and submitting to that rest; and when he does God restores his soul.
Being still can mean accepting God’s provision of rest; and when we do that, He restores our souls. So why are we always so tense and anxious all the time? Why are we so weighed down by our burdens? Why do we often react to situations like emotional sleep-deprived people instead of well-rested children of God who are calm, and peaceful, and of a sound mind?
I decided to ask myself this question: Why don’t I accept God’s provision of rest? And here’s some things that came to mind:
1). I feel like if I don’t do it all everything will fall apart. I feel like everything depends on me.
2). I feel like if I don’t get involved in and fix every situation then it will never get sorted out and people will never find their answers.
3). I feel like I’m a bad Christian if I’m not constantly doing and fixing.
4). I don’t trust God to deal with a situation by Himself. I feel like I have to stay there awake and alert to monitor everything and make sure nothing bad happens.
5). Sometimes taking a break and resting from something feels like failure. And my pride won’t let me admit I need to rest and take a step back.
I’m sure there’s more I could add that aren’t coming to mind at this moment, but... ouch. When I look at the reasons why I don’t often accept God’s provision of rest I find out a few things about my spiritual health:
#1. I don’t trust God as much as I’d like to think. If I did, then I could accept His provision of rest and trust Him to be in control while I take a step back from the situation.
#2. I want to be in control much more than I’d like to admit. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be so exhausted trying to monitor everything and strategize ways to control each and every situation.
#3. My identity isn’t as rooted in Jesus as I’d like to believe. If it was, then I could accept God’s provision of rest without feeling like a failure or fearing condemnation.
In Isaiah 30:15 it says, “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel says: Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it…” (NLT). According to this verse, we will only find the solutions to our situations by resting in God. Where the world says, “try harder” God says “Depend on Me more.”
In Matthew 11:28 Jesus tells us, “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” (NIV).
This passage proves that we aren’t meant to wander around crushed by the weight of our burdens and overwhelmed by our weariness. Jesus wants to take our burdens off our shoulders. He wants to give us rest.
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being tired. I want to learn how to cling to God’s truth and be still in His presence in such a way that I can experience His rest.