By Kathi Pelton
I’m often up in the wee hours of the morning— or what most would consider the middle of the night. Tonight was no different as I rose about 2:30 am. As I sat in the silence– enjoying the quiet, when nothing is heart but the sound of our heater and the beat of my heart, I realized that these hours (when all are sleeping) are filled with so much peace. There is no pressure to be anywhere or do anything; just rest and “be.”
As I was breathing in the quiet and stillness, the Lord spoke so sweetly to my heart. He asked me, “Why is your soul not as at rest when all is awake?”
I hadn’t thought about it but knew immediately that during the day hours I tend to pressure myself to be productive, to be purposeful and to always be growing. Though these are not bad things I suddenly realized that I was trying to produce the “wind” that fueled these attributes. Then He spoke again saying, “You are to be productive, purposeful and growing; but by My Spirit. It is in My finished work that you will find rest for your soul while still bearing much fruit.”
I know this, I teach this, I write about this but I haven’t been living it like I should. There is a rest to be found in awakening. When the world is awake and busy we can remain in the rest of Christ. If we are truly living “by His Spirit” then the pressure is off and the rest of God is on (even if we are very active).
I believe there is another great awakening happening (though in we are in the very early hours). As this “awakening” crescendos it will be so important that we have learned to live in the “rest of God” and find rest for our souls. This is how we will stay in peace, health and joy— it is found in the flow of “not by might, nor by power but by His Spirit.”
When we come to know Christ as our Savior we enter into His Sabbath rest. Our souls enter into the seventh day rest; where the work of the finished cross is complete. In Genesis we read about God creating the heavens and the earth for six days and then resting on the seventh as it was completed or “the work finished.” When Jesus died on the cross and spoke the words, “It is finished.”, the veil was torn and we were invited into His finished work which provides a rest for our souls. We were given a seventh day that has no end.
“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.” Hebrews 4:9-11 NIV
Some versions of Hebrews 4:11 say, “strive to enter into that rest…” The real effort is in the surrender; the yielding to His Spirit and His finished work in a world striving to earn something, to work for something and to make themselves something (or someone of significance). To enter the finished work of the cross is to re-enter Eden. As His Church, we know this but rarely live it. There is still so much striving to make something happen that we’ve forgotten that it’s already been done!
I find myself striving to finish something for the sake of His Kingdom rather than striving to enter into what has already been finished that brings His Kingdom. His Kingdom comes as we enter into His rest; His finished work!
Yes, I love the silence and peace when all is asleep but will I love the time of awakening? Will I allow His rest to be imparted to me so that I will not be swallowed up in the noise, the activity and the busyness of a “Great Awakening?” Will I live in His Sabbath rest where my soul has yielded fully to His Spirit and I am able to ride the wave of revival in joy, peace and love. Will I allow His Sabbath rest to create an Eden within me where I “cease striving and know that He is God?”
It’s time to rediscover true rest. He’s inviting His sons and daughters into His finished work and Sabbath rest. Rest is not inactivity but rather it is the activity of victory, the peace that comes with the finished work and the joy that comes when desire is fulfilled.
We are in the wee hours of the day of another great awakening. Let us strive to enter into His rest so that we can be sustained in the hours when all the activity is happening. Today we strive to enter into His rest so that tomorrow we can cease striving and know that He alone is God— He has assured that He will be exalted among all the nations of the earth!
“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
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