February 4, 2014

The way to go today

It is Tuesday; thank God for Tuesday! I am so blessed to be able to work from home on Tuesdays and Thursdays this semester. I cannot tell you how much I need these days off in between my teaching days. It is not that I am SO busy, but it is more that I am worn out, and in need of prolonged rest again. Yes, I feel the burn of exhaustion coming on me, and I need to rest.

Rest. Merriam-Webster defines rest as "a bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities." I like the minimal functional and metabolic activities part - that is what matters most. I need to cease my labors, and in doing so, I rest.

The Bible describes rest as 
Freedom from work, toil, strain or activity. Rest is the cessation of motion or action of any kind, and applicable to any body or being, as rest from labor, rest from mental exertion or rest of body or mind. A body is at rest, when it ceases to move. The mind is at rest, when it ceases to be disturbed or agitated.
Moreover, John MacArthur states, 
Rest also means freedom from whatever worries or disturbs you. Some people cannot rest mentally and emotionally because they are so easily annoyed. Every little nuisance upsets them and they always feel hassled. Rest does not mean freedom from all nuisances and hassles; it means freedom from being so easily bothered by them (Ed: It means freedom in the face of whatever would disturb your rest!). Rest means to be inwardly quiet, composed, peaceful. To enter God’s rest means to be at peace with God (Ro 5:1-note), to possess the perfect peace He gives (Is 26:3). It means to be free from guilt and even unnecessary feelings of guilt. It means freedom from worry about sin, because sin is forgiven. God’s rest is the end of legalistic works and the experience of peace in the total forgiveness of God.
Source: http://www.preceptaustin.org/rest_in_hebrews_4.htm

As I consider what it means to be at rest, I am reminded why it is so important to be AT REST. God has called us to a relationship with Him that is predicated upon the FINISHED work of Jesus Christ. The work that Jesus came to do was finished on the cross of Calvary. It is done, He cried -- it is finished! Therefore, Jesus rested from His work. He is seated at the right hand of God the Father, at rest. He has given the Holy Spirit as our comforter, our peace, and we are called to enter His rest -- to accept the full forgiveness of our sins, and to cease from worrying about them or feeling guilty over them.

I understand this now, better than I did before, but I still struggle with worrying about things I cannot control (such as work, school, money -- oh especially money!) God has me covered, I believe this is true, and I know that He is faithful to keep His word. I surrender to Him and I let go of the worry and anxiety over these uncontrollable events and things. I give them up, and I let them go. In doing so, I rest from my toil, my work, my worries. I embrace the fullness of His peace, the quietness of His Spirit, and the composure of inwardly believing the my God has me well-covered. I know this, I experience this, and I believe this is true. I cease from doubting the Word of God, and I rest in the fullness of that knowledge -- that He is true and faithful in all things. I can take bold confidence to know that my needs are met with His sufficiency, and that I am no longer dependent upon any human for care, for comfort, or for consideration (though it is nice to have human companionship, and to know that other people care for me -- I do not depend on these outward expressions because God cares for me so completely, so carefully, and with such compassion -- I am well-covered).

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

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