Give Me Rest – A Devotion

Give Me Rest

Matthew 11:27-29 (NLT)

“My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

 

Have you ever had one of those days that just completely drains you? It is not necessarily that one particular day that has taken every ounce of energy that you have, but more than likely a collaboration of actively, events, situations, responsibilities, etc. that do the trick. Suddenly you find yourself so tired that you cannot keep your eyes open, some will be overwhelmed to the point of tears, and others will begin to snap off the heads of those who they love the most that become collateral damage. These are the times that I have learned to put myself in time out. Not because the latest list is completed or very task completely done but rather because I am done and do not want to harm anyone in my own decompressing meltdown.

Life is hard. It is strenuous. It is physically, mentally and spiritually tough. Only the strong survive is the motto of the world so we come to the edge of our limitations and thrust ourselves forward in the name of “what-doesn’t-kill-me-makes-me-stronger.” Well, that’s a lie from the enemy that leaves us flat on our face. God doesn’t want to kill you. He doesn’t want to run you through the wringer of life and back again in some cruel process of emptying and refilling you over and over again. Faith is meant to be constant. Hope should be secure. These two essential qualities of life fill us with the Love of God completely. The moment that we come to Jesus Christ and accept Him as Savior and Lord – we are immediately blessed with peace and comfort that produce the rest we need to endure in the world. He invites us to come to Him all that are weary and carry heavy burdens, I will GIVE YOU rest. We must learn to rest in the Lord to survive the worries, cares and opposition of this life. The Lord says to you (and I) today, “Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart and you will find rest in your souls.”

John 14:27 (NLT)

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”

Too often we do not have peace of mind yet it is a gift of Jesus Christ to us. He said specifically, “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind.” Now how do we put our mind at ease, confidence settles a worrying heart and wandering mind allowing our physical body, mind and spirit to rest in the knowledge, understanding and hope that God is in control and He is working every detail of our life for good. (Romans 8:28) But if you and I as Christians do not fully and completely believe that God is in control. Jesus is Lord. Everything is going according to His Plan. We will never have the kind of peace that allows us to rest in every situation. Doubt and insecurity cause us to run in circles trying to “fix” things rather than allowing God to do what He is doing we must do what we do.

I am the queen of control. If I am left in the dark, I am going to wonder. When I am done wondering, I am going to start worrying. After worrying a good bit, I begin wandering from what I know to find something new to believe. It is human nature. We all have it. We all struggle with it every single day. Peace of mind is our gift. But like many gifts, there is some assembly required on this one as we learn to use it in our life to find rest.

Romans 8:5-7 (NLT)

Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.

 

Romans 8:5-7 (NLT)

Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.

 

The last few weeks have been very busy. Our schedule has been interrupted and added to many times. There have been additional appointments. Work has been crazy. Kids have been on the move. Mom and dad trying to keep up. In the midst of it, I have tried to maintain our normal routine. Well, that didn’t work out so well. By Thursday, I realized I didn’t have enough energy to get me through Friday. I was beat, worn out and could hardly keep my eyes open. Every time I tried to lay down and rest, I would think of fifteen other things that I should be doing. Now common sense should tell you that if you cannot stay awake than you should probably go to bed and get some rest. But to do so would mess up my idea of what needed to be done and interrupt my plan for getting to the weekend. Finally, I turned on some praise and worship music and closed my eyes to pray. I was praying for a friend’s mother struggling with the side effects of chemo, another whose father was stepping out of sickness into eternity, our children and so on. In the midst of it all, I could hear the Lord interrupting “my” conversation to speak directly to me. It is okay to rest. You need to rest. In that moment, it was as if the Lord was giving me permission to stop doing all the things that I do to meet human expectation and just rest with Him. I took Him up on the offer. After a long hot shower, I went to bed and slept better than I have in weeks.

We have been given the Holy Spirit. We were born with a sinful nature. It is our human nature that fights for control because the inhabitation of the Spirit of God in us results in the pending death of our flesh. Our flesh is always hostile to God so there is a battle raging in us constantly. The only way to overcome the constant struggle is to be constantly filled to overflowing with the Spirit of God. To feed our spirit not our flesh. Feeding our flesh is not always a sinful endeavor. We do so by asserting control over our life rather than being led by the Spirit. How do I let the Holy Spirit control my mind? Read the Word. Every single day all day – it is our manual for life. What about work, school and other responsibilities? The Word of God is the answer to every problem. Use it that way. When you feel yourself slipping, open the Word not Facebook. Pray and talk to Jesus not every other person who will listen or commiserate with you. When your mind will not be quiet and your flesh is out of control, turn on praise and worship music. It feeds your Spirit and reminds our mind how good God is and how faithful, loving and true. We must overwhelm our flesh with His Spirit to leave peaceful and restful lives.

Philippians 4:6-8 (NLT)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

 

Worry produces anxiety in our life. Worry represents doubt that can only be overcome by faith. The Spirit of God in us is working to produce fruit that feeds our faith rather than allowing worry, doubt and fear to overtake us. I am striving to learn how to stop worrying about anything. I want to begin praying about everything. Who is willing to admit that this can be a struggle when our problems we see but the Lord we cannot see? Most people have trust issues just like me. They have been letdown in life so they are hesitant to rely on God. When we accepting Jesus Christ a death sentence was handed to our flesh. It is fighting to survive. We can either harbor this fugitive or surrender to the Spirit of God.

When we surrender our ENTIRE life to Jesus Christ, God gives us peace which has the potential to exceed anything we can understand. I have experienced this kind of peace in our son’s battle against cancer. But when I face ordinary problems with reasonable solutions, I forget that God’s Peace is not just for those things that are meant to destroy us but for everyday life, everyday people who have everyday problems. When I try to carry the burdens and problems in each day because I think that they are too insignificant for the Most High God – I become overwhelmed. When Jesus Christ died for us, He assumed full responsibility for my life. I am required but one thing. I am to love the Lord with all of me. That’s it.

Today, I must fix my thoughts. God loves me. Jesus died for me. His Love for me along with the Sacrifice of His Son allow me to live a peaceful life. I can rest fully assured that all my needs are met and every situation (good or bad) is being worked out for good to the Glory of God. Such an act of faith will give us the confident hope we need to find rest in the Presence and Power of God. I must decide in my heart and mind today that God’s Word is true. His Promises apply to me even the one about peace. He is honorable and will do exactly as He promised. I am made right by Jesus and must do nothing else. I must strain each thought and idea through the Word and the Spirit for validity before I lose my mind. My life is meant to be lovely. I can sit back and admire the Lord knowing no matter how things look – He is working it all out for my good! Lord, give me the grace to think about only things that are excellent and worthy of praise today. Expel fear, doubt, worry and anxiety from my life so that I may find rest in my faith and security in my hope. I accept the Gift of Peace you have given me now I ask you to make grow in my life. I surrender to your Spirit today and not my situation. Lord, thank you for peace of mind that gives me rest! In Jesus Name!

I Corinthians 2:16 (NLT)

For, “Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach Him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.

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