I have taken part in a six week e-course – Quiet Time. A beautiful young lady has put together thoughts and scriptures for the “busy soul”, as I like to call it. It is from these daily moments over the next six weeks, that I will periodically come here to share with you all. I encourage you to not only engage in the reading of my moments (w/ its discoveries and more) but for you to breathe in moments of your own.
In writing (typing), I am reminded of a thought/suggestion given to me as I prepared for my wedding day. An old supervisor told me this, and I share it with brides-to-be still:
When you get to the reception [it can be done in other periods of that day as well], take a moment and stop. Scan the room. Breathe in the moment [and breathe out the stress (thought’s mine)]. And see the love around you.
Now I don’t know what you take of that, and it really doesn’t matter, but how beautiful a thought. First of all, how lovely of her to say that to me (didn’t know she cared). ok feeling emotional. shake it off. Anyway, regardless of the chaos, foolery, and even the possible evil that some experience during this time, there’s always a moment of peace waiting to be embraced. I believe these moments are placed by the Prince of Peace Himself, who’s always ever-present. He remains. While these moments are yet present, it’s unfortunate that they’re not always taken.
So, on to my study notes I came to share, because if I stay where I was I’ll never complete this. The scripture given is found in Isaiah 30:15,
For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning¹ and rest shall ye be saved; In quietness and in confidence² shall be your strength: and ye would not³
¹also reads as -Repentance ²ESV uses Trust ³that last sentence in ESV reads: “But you were unwilling.”
A big problem people have, probably equal with that of diet, is not knowing how to rest; by now most do know that sleeping and resting are not the same. One of the great tragedies of/for Christians, and probably Thee greatest, is that of not resting in God; not letting our faith develop/mature/grow to the place of Trust and thus, resting in Christ or the Finished work of The Lord Jesus Christ. See Hebrews 4:1-3 (actually all of it). Here’s a piece:
Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
I was watching Marilyn Hickey (and her daughter Sara) recently. She said, I paraphrase – One of the first things man experienced, in the beginning, was a day of rest. God made man on the sixth day. On the seventh day, God ceased from works.
So Adam did not begin his walk with God in stress. Isn’t that good! I think that’s the first time I’ve heard someone share that. Oh, and btw, I’m not going to fully expound on everything here because then you won’t take moments. So if you read something and think–Oh they could’ve mentioned this or talked about that. Well, go ahead and share and link me if you will or just lmk somehow that you added more. I don’t need credit for anything because thoughts are not ours alone. Okay, so getting back to resting in Him.
I need to begin with God, Abba, the author of my faith. Let Him be my Shepherd who:
- makes me to lie down in green pastures
- leads me beside still waters
- restores my soul
- leads me in paths of righteousness
It is here that I’m prepared for my valleys, wilderness experiences, etc. Cherishing that time of rest where faith builds to trust, keeps me from wiling out, a.k.a. stressing, rebelling, complaining, etc.
Did you notice that in the word -restore- is the word -rest. Most people are familiar with the definition of restore – repair; give (put) back/build up, again. I want to invite you to go a little further. Now again, I’m trying not to overdo it but I enjoy Words and Information and Sharing and Learning. I just get the glad-glads saying that. So, the prefix re = again. On the standard tip, it’s the understanding of things being as they were the first time. Again…, a repeat of a thing. We know some of the phrases:
Play it again. Do it again. Come again/Say that again. Time and time again.
Such is not the case with God. Restoration in Him is reparation (repairing) to the extent of wholeness. Some things should never go back to how it was. Otherwise you’re likely to repeat the same errors and wrongs and so forth. This restoring of the soul also deals with Repentance. The scripture in Isaiah, aforementioned, says that in returning or in repentance and rest shall one be saved. Many do not have peace because they want to rest and chill without repenting from their ungodly will. Faith in God doesn’t mature if one does not will it. Action is needed on our part. Not only so, but please know that repentance is not just being sorry. It is the breaking of the heart, a rending, a.k.a. tearing –the bible says Rend your hearts not your garments (Joel 2:13). There was a time, and probably still is, in parts of Israel, and possibly nearby in Africa, when people would rend their garments in prayer as a sign of repenting to God for their wrong doing in hopes of mercy and cry out to Him. This however can be done without the involvement of the heart. A madman can rip their clothes and cry out when being tormented by demons. A person high on drugs…the same. A person lit from alcohol…, you understand. Some have misquoted that verse to say – Render your hearts. NO No NO! It’s not a giving of that which has been described as wicked and deceitful (Jer. 17:9). It’s a Tearing, a Cutting, a Breaking. It’s a coming back to the Author and Finisher of our faith and being re-positioned in Him, not from where we fell off but in where we are in Him. It reminds me of J*s*s praying in John 17:5 “And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” esv
Though I’m reminded of the prodigal son story, please do not misunderstand that to mean I see J*s*s as such. OH NO! He committed no wrong. What happened is that I thought of myself. I saw HIM who knew no sin and yet took on mine — and even took me in. It’s interesting because, most picture–mentally–the prodigal running back to his father. *I chortle* When the son decides (puts to death all other options) to return, the bible states: But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. I’m not saved because I ran to Him or first loved Him, but because He first loved me and ran to me. Whoa!
I’m wrapping up, but I’m reminded of the image of the dove, with it’s caption, and the relation it holds to my father. He always used to say, probably still does, that he wishes he could fly like a bird and go somewhere…anywhere and just be free. Is that you? Do you long for freedom? For Rest? Not that you can’t afford a spa day or tropical island vacation; but that there’s a weariness that money can’t buy you out of.
The prayer I wrote that day of study was this:
Father, please forgive me for not resting in you. You are my Peace. You are my Joy. You are my Lord. I submit again. Thank you for never leaving/forsaking me.
My heart cries out more but I will have that time with Him, alone. Feel free to pray the above and much more…daily, if need be till you’re resting in Him. Til you’re restored and saved and strengthened with strength in your soul. Til you’re one with Him, abiding in Him and He in you. And…