I remember, as a young believer in my 30s, asking advice from a pastor who was many years my elder. I don’t remember the details of the problem I was confronting, but I have never forgotten his solution. “Just rest in Him, Kim. Rest in Him.”
I remember thinking (but not saying), “What in the world does that mean?” His answer confused me. What did it mean to rest? I was a young mom with three children under 3 and, to be honest, I didn’t feel that any type of “resting” was in the realm of possibility at that time.
Many years have passed since that conversation. Those three young children are now in college, one more has come along and she’s almost in high school. I still struggle with resting, but I have begun to understand what that wise pastor meant when he told me to rest in God.
Resting in God is working at the things I know He has called me to do do while trusting that He will do the things only He can do.
So, “resting in him” does involve some “work.”
Resting requires the work of knowing God, which means spending time with Him….in His word and with His people. If we don’t look to His word to learn who He is, we risk creating a God of our own design. And, if we don’t spend time with His people, our view of who God is, will be limited.
Resting also requires the work of trusting God. In order to trust Him, we must believe that He loves us, that He is good and that His ways are always perfect. This isn’t always easy and the more time we spend getting to know God, the easier this becomes.
Finally, resting means obeying God. And, this is where God has this thing rigged. Because, when we work to know Him and we begin to trust Him, we begin to see the ways that He shows up and does what only He can do. As we work, He does a work in us….He gives us the ability to obey or, as Paul says so beautifully….”He gives us the desire and power to do what pleases Him.”
Since that conversation with my pastor, I have grown in my understanding of what it means to “rest” in Him, however, that doesn’t mean I’ve perfected it. God gives me situations every day that offer me the opportunity to rest in Him or not. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes I fail.
But, what I’ve learned, is that….
Resting in Him brings freedom.
Resting in Him means I worry less and trust more.
Resting in Him means I’m less inclined to manipulate people and situations when things don’t go my way.
So, let’s ask God for an increasing ability to rest in Him. Let’s work hard to show the result of our salvation as we obey God, knowing all the while that He is working in us.
Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Philippians 2:12b-13
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