REST isn’t a bonus add-on, a reward for strong faith or prize for repelling unrest. It’s a free gift embedded in our relationship with Christ and is as perfect and permanent as the nature of the Giver. Of course, our actual experience of that rest is less than perfect (some days more imperfect than others). Life happens, we react, and so become the anxious, afraid or stressed people we don’t want to be.
We can all identify with the singer calling his soul back into rest after his storm (Psalm 116:7). But what we really want is to stay at rest during the storm. Being yoked to Christ means we are no longer bonded to a life of unrest. His Spirit of grace is present to enable our journey of growing in his restfulness. The LORD told Moses, My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. (Ex 33:14). In Christ that blessing expands: he has drawn us into his restfulness and is constantly present to enlarge our experience of it.
Rest affects personal well-being, but also becomes a public display board, a witness to our trust in what the Lord has said about himself and about us.
Our rescue by Christ is complete, but unpacking salvation’s fullness is ongoing. Conversion didn’t automatically make restfulness our default mode for living; it’s a choice we make (or rather, keep making). It’s our deliberate response to the size of God with us – to the dimensions of his love, wisdom, power, goodness, etc. for us.
We’ve been designed to live best in rest. And it’s where we are the most effective as breakthrough pray-ers (see previous post NEW thing & COUNTER thing). Resting in God has an authority that makes a difference in our praying.
We’ve been given breakthrough asking rights. That is, God has connected the outworking of his Purpose (and plans that serve Purpose) to his people asking for it in the face of opposition. But it’s crucial that we do our asking from rest. Resting in God has authority because it displays agreement with him. That trust-rest has a devastating impact on Dark strongholds founded on disagreement with him (2 Cor. 10:4, 5). It would be good to see how King David handles praying at war yet staying in rest. Perhaps next time…but for now, let’s visit a group of his singers, the sons of Korah.
They are in a crisis. Together with King David, they had been forced to run from a life-threatening rebellion. As refugees in the desert, they sing about their storm…. and find rest in it. In Psalm 42, we see them:
- Talking to themselves (a healthy spiritual habit). They remind themselves they actually have no valid reason for unrest – after all, God has proved himself to be their Saviour (5, 11). Rest has space for questions and complaint (lament), but never at the expense of trust (9-11).
- Telling God of their choice (although he already knows, it’s good to voice it): in their storm they deliberately set their minds on him (6).
- Celebrating what the Lord says about himself – in this case, his constant love for them. They do more than think about it, they sing it as a prayer. It is, after all, his song, put in them to be prayed back to him (8)
As you look at your breakthrough asking point (see my previous two posts), focus on the authority of your rest in God. If you need to, revisit the singers in Psalm 42 and follow their rest-footprints ……. although, in Christ, we do get to take larger steps.
Another recent post about BREAKTHROUGH praying: Asking God for a NEW THING