Everyone is in a panic. We operate more on adrenaline than anointing! We have pressures, commitments, deadlines, obligations, possessions and relationships that require continual maintenance. It reminds me of my first time snow skiing (a big deal for a Louisiana resident). I made it fine on the ski lift, but the moment my skis turned “south” I realized the first principle of snow skiing: “It is downhill and slightly out of control!”
Here are some principles I have learned on how you spell “R.E.S.T.”:
R—Relax in who you are.
- It was so sad to me to hear recently of a pastor who claimed for years he was a former Navy S.E.A.L. A routine investigation found that he had never even been in that branch of the military! He was “posing,” trying to impress others. Jesus said, “I am meek and humble in heart…and you will find rest for your souls.” When you relax in your own gifts and identity, you quit striving to impress others.
E—Examine your life for sin.
- Guilt and shame will control your life if you let it. Condemnation destroys rest. Like a mosquito that bites you, you seem to be always irritated by such a small wound. Your mind and life is supposed to be free from guilt and shame by the blood of Christ and the witness of the Holy Spirit: “The mind set on the Spirit is life and peace” (Rom. 8: 8)
S—Surrender to the will of God.
- Jonah lost his rest because he ventured outside the will of God. The eye of the storm is the center of God’s will. Stay there because obedience brings rest. Paul could sing in jail at midnight. He could say, “Be of good cheer” in a typhoon. He could shake off a snake into the fire. His “rest” came from knowing that He was in the center of God’s will and that His purpose would keep Him in his perils.
T—Timing is critical.
- Timing in an engine happens when the spark plug fires at the perfect moment for combustion. If timing is off, you lose power and you lose efficiency. Jesus’ brothers tried to get him to go down to Jerusalem but He replied, “My time has not yet come” (Jn. 7: 6).
Abraham grew impatient with God and had him an “Ishmael.” God says, “Do this” and Satan says “Do it NOW.” Learn to wait on the Lord and don’t let anything push or pull you out of your REST.
Get back on level ground instead of downhill. Do the “cross country” instead of the “black diamonds!” Follow Jesus as He worked to full capacity in a relaxed state of faith. His yoke is easy and His burden is light!
What is the one area you struggle with the most in maintaining your “R.E.S.T.”?