As mere humans if someone asked you to define “rest” our first thoughts would probably be, “not doing anything, relaxing”. Merriam-Webster’s definition of “rest” is “a bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities: freedom from activity or labor, a state of motionlessness or inactivity, the repose of death”.
There’s a BETTER definition of “rest” and God has spent all summer teaching me HIS definition of “rest”. I love His definition better than those above! I learned a long time ago to give my worries, my issues, my thoughts, my concerns, etc., to God for He can deal with them better than I can. I have always had “faith” God would take care of any situation I presented to Him, but I still was not “totally” obeying God’s Word when I would give Him things in prayer to take care of.
I’ve been alone most of my adult life. Yes, I might have been married, but when dealing with situations, especially financial & spiritual, it has been on my shoulders to figure out how to deal with them. So, early in life I learned the only person I had to depend on was God. He’s always been “My Father”, “MY Best Friend”, “My Salvation”, “My Rescuer”, “My Protector” …He has never deserted me and has ALWAYS been with me through thick and thin, in good times and bad. I just had to learn more about Him, His ways, and especially how to “Rest and Receive”!
Fifty-three years ago, I walked down the aisle at our church and asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. That day went down in history as a long journey to learning all I could about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. There were some years I learned a lot, and there were a lot of years I felt I would never figure out how to learn more about them. But the great thing is, I never gave up. I just knew there was more and more to learn about the trinity.
I’m here to say, the summer of 2018, I learned one of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned about God. He taught me what true “rest” is all about! In the past when we had a family emergency, whether it be spiritual, financial, health, whatever it might be, I’ve always “given it to God” to take care of through prayer, but what I realized is I wasn’t giving Him ALL of it. The great thing is even though I had not learned at this time that I was not (in reality) giving it ALL to Him, He still honored my faith in Him and provided for us.
For example, two years ago in May 2016, my husband Lonnie had total knee replacement surgery and he no more got back to work and had emergency triple bypass heart surgery in August. The total knee replacement surgery ate up all his sick days and vacation time so for over half of the year we were without any income from Lonnie. This meant all financial things were relying on my paycheck and I was missing a lot of work due to his surgeries and I was out a lot with my Mother having 2 major surgeries that summer. The previous October 2015 I found myself out of work when my contract finished and was out of work until February 2016 (I do contract work from home as a Web Designer/Developer and SharePoint Designer/Developer), so money was already tight for us. Right before Lonnie’s surgery in May both our AC units went out and had to be replaced. I knew in my heart that God would provide for us and He did, but the issue was when I went before God in prayer asking for His help, when I would get though with my prayer time my mind was right back on what could I do to help bring in more money to cover all the bills (Lonnie’s medical bill alone for the triple bypass was almost a quarter of a million dollars). I kept sticking my hands into what I had just given to God to take care of!
When it was all said and done, we didn’t miss a meal, we didn’t miss a payment, and thank You Father, we only owed around $4,500.00 on medical bills, but because I kept sticking my hands back in what I had given to God to take care of our financial liability was still growing! What I, and I stress “I”, thought was something God provided to help us through the financial crunch (“available credit” on our credit cards) was me sticking my hands back into something I had given God to deal with. Aren’t we all guilty of this from time to time? I so wanted us to “debt free” and we were almost there until I started sticking my hands back into what I had given God to handle!
By April 2018 we were back on track with paying down and paying off al lot of credit cards when suddenly, my contract I was working on got put on hold. What I thought was an additional 2 years on this contract was taken to a sudden stop. A few hours would come here and there over the next several months, but just enough to not miss any payments due each month.
I thank God He laid it on Pastor Gene’s heart many years ago to teach our church about getting up early each morning and spending time with God, before the sun comes up, and before we started our day. I loved how Pastor Gene also taught us about how to “Pray through the Lord’s Prayer”. So, spending time with God each morning was something I longed to do as soon as woke up in the morning for many years prior.
Since the weather in the mornings was starting to warm up (early May) , as soon as I got Lonnie off to work, I would take my laptop (all my prayer lists, worship music and my journal is on my laptop) and headed outside to our deck to spend my time with God before the sun rose. I love that our deck faces south so I could see the sun rising over the horizon and through the trees in our neighbors’ yard. It is the most angelic picture you can ever imagine seeing. One morning in late May I was crying out to God about our financial situation. I was at total peace and had complete faith that God was going to provide for us, He had already given me visions of what was instore for us, my problem was I wasn’t seeing it come to fruition. I was begging Him for some sign of what He was doing for us and when it might come to fruition. I was also asking God to enrich my walk with Him and show me His Shekinah glory. The song at the end of this post was playing during this and it was shipwrecking me that morning!
I love listening to Joseph Prince, reading his books, and I get daily emails from his ministry. That morning I did something I don’t usually do when I’m having time with God, I checked my email and what was the first thing my eyes saw? A Joseph Prince email with a link to his YouTube video, “Rest and Receive at Jesus’ Feet” and before I knew it I had clicked on the link and was listening to it. As I was listening to the short video, God said, “Now that I’ve got your attention and you are being quiet, I’m going to teach you something I’ve never taught you at this level before. I’m going to teach you the reason I’m unable to completely deal with most of your petitions. My child, please, if you never understand anything else in this life, understand this, once you pray and ask for my help, if you have your hands in it, I can’t work on it. When you give it to me to take care of, you must give it ALL to me, keep your hands and thoughts out of it and then rest. My child, I am about to teach you how to “rest and receive at Jesus’ feet”!” I thought WOW! At that time, the most beautiful picture caught my eyes as I looked up from the video. The sun was rising, its rays were shining through the clouds in the sky and beaming down through the branches in the tree next door. It was such an angelic vision. God said to me, “I’m now opening your eyes to see what you have never seen before, your ears to hear what you haven’t heard before and the wisdom to understand things that have been a mystery to you! I am going to teach you how to enter My Rest!”.
That morning, on our back deck all alone with God, I had the biggest “God encounter” I’ve ever encountered in my life. God told me He was going to teach me what having a “throne attitude” was all about. What a lot of people either don’t know because they’ve never been taught, have forgotten for whatever reason, or just don’t understand is that whatever Jesus has we have. For when Jesus hung on the cross and died for us, He took dominion over all darkness, everything Satan stands for. So, if Jesus has dominion, control, over it, then we have dominion, control, over it. We have the authority, through Jesus Christ’s name to take back what Satan has stolen. I always have known this, I just didn’t understand how to take my authority and have a “throne attitude”.
God then took me to Ephesians 1:15-23 (AMP – emphasis is mine), where Paul is talking about “The Blessings of Redemption”, “15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers; 17 [I always pray] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may grant you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation [that gives you a deep and personal and intimate insight] into the true knowledge of Him [for we know the Father through the Son]. 18 And [I pray] that the eyes of your heart [the very center and core of your being] may be enlightened [flooded with light by the Holy Spirit], so that you will know and cherish the hope [the divine guarantee, the confident expectation] to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints (God’s people), 19 and [so that you will begin to know] what the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His [active, spiritual] power is in us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of His mighty strength 20 which He produced in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion [whether angelic or human], and [far above] every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and world but also in the one to come. 22 And He put all things [in every realm] in subjection under Christ’s feet, and appointed Him as [supreme and authoritative] head over all things in the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills and completes all things in all [believers].” After reading this several times, I’m starting to see this vision of Jesus sitting at the right hand of God with His feet resting on a footstool and everything of subjection under that footstool. Jesus sat there expecting God to bring all His defeated enemies under His feet. I could see this constant cloud of air flowing up from earth, at exponential speed, into the bottom of this footstool. What is see within this cloud is people who have rejected Christ, places, things, events, everything that is of evil that God is constantly taking out of people’s lives, away from Satan, and subjecting them to Jesus’ rule over everything on earth.
I thought I had learned a lot with that vision when God took me to Psalms 110:1-2 (AMP – emphasis is mine), “1 The Lord (Father) says to my Lord (the Messiah, His Son), “Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet [subjugating them into complete submission].” 2 The Lord will send the scepter of Your strength from Zion, saying, “Rule in the midst of Your enemies.”” Psalms 110’s title is “The Lord Gives Dominion to the King”. I sat there and started really thinking about this verse after reading it over several times. Since it pretty much said the same thing as in Ephesians 1 about Jesus now sits at the right hand of God with His feet on a footstool I was thinking, “Okay God, I understand what you are saying here, and I know that it’s important because You have said it more than once, but what are You trying to teach me?” Read 1 John 4:16-17 is all I heard from God.
1 John 4:16-17 (AMP – emphasis is mine), “16 We have come to know [by personal observation and experience], and have believed [with deep, consistent faith] the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides continually in him. 17 In this [union and fellowship with Him], love is completed and perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him]; because as He is, so are we in this world.”
I knew this verse and had always quoted it, but never really thought deeply about what God was really saying here. I’ve always known that I am as Jesus is, but never did the light bulb in my head light up about it as it did this day! Then God took me to Hebrews 8:1 (AMP – emphasis is mine), “Now the main point of what we have to say is this: we have such a High Priest, [the Christ] who is seated [in the place of honor] at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty (God) in heaven,”.
Finally, suddenly, I saw with “new eyes” and heard with “new ears” what God was teaching here. If Jesus is seated at the right hand of our Father’s throne with His feet resting on a footstool and everything of subjection under that footstool and “I am as Jesus is”, then I am sitting at Jesus’ right hand with my feet resting on a footstool. God says, “You see that footstool? You see that cloud swooshing in up under it? That’s the things I have conquered for You through Jesus where You have given me complete control over to conquer without you putting your hands and thoughts back into it! My child, if Jesus is in complete rest at my right hand, then why are you not in complete rest at His right hand? Being seated is a beautiful picture of rest.”
Just think of it, in the Old Testament, in the temple, there were no chairs for the high priests to sit on, because they were always at work trying to atone for their sins. But, in the New Testament, when Jesus laid down His life on the cross His work was finished. So, when He joined God in heaven, he sat at the right hand of God, in the throne God appointed for Him and rested! Jesus had accomplished His work here on earth and now it was time for Him to take a throne attitude and “rest” in His Father!
When we take a “throne attitude” the first thing we need to remember that “As Jesus Is, So Are We!”! Think of it this way:
- When Jesus died on the cross, He took back dominion over all the earth. For us, that means when Satan has stolen something from you, if there is a generational curse in your bloodline, if your health is not good, if your finances are in dire straits, whatever is going on in Your life that is needing godly intervention, then you have the legal right through Christ’s death on the cross to take it back in His name!
- Fall to your knees before God, seek His mercy, grace, forgiveness. Talk to Him, tell Him what You need Him to do in your life then keep your hands and thoughts out of it!
- Now that You have taken your petitions before God and asked Him to do “His will in your life”, start thanking and praising Him for answered prayers.
- Thank You Father for the money to pay our bills each month
- Thank You Father for providing a roof over our heads
- Thank You Father for providing food on our tables
- Thank You Father that Your will is being done in my life
- Thank You Father….
Are you getting the picture? Give it to God and leave it alone, then start thanking Him for the blessings He sends your way. The answered prayers, the blessings, the new job, the money, whatever You asked Him for, “rest” and be assured it will all come to fruition in God’s timing and it will be God’s will being done in your life to better your life.
So, at this point, God had shown me how to have Jesus’ “Thrown Attitude”, but he was still not through teaching me about “entering into God’s rest”. God takes me to Hebrews 4:1 where you will find the only time in God’s Word we are told to “fear”. You find plenty of places God says, “fear not”, but this is the only scripture in the Bible where God tells us to “fear” and when God tells me to “fear” something I pay attention.
Hebrews 4:1 (AMP – emphasis is mine), “Therefore, while the promise of entering His rest still remains and is freely offered today, let us fear, in case any one of you may seem to come short of reaching it or think he has come too late.”
When I read this verse it just rocked my world. What God had been trying to teach me suddenly became a revelation to me. I was so overwhelmed I just burst out crying, big crocodile tears flowing down my face I was sobbing so hard, but it was tears of joy! God wants us to be happy, be filled with joy, be healthy, He wants to bless us with all “good” things till our vats are overflowing. When I read this verse, it was like He was saying to me, “I want to supernaturally bless You with everything, but I fear you are not ever going to understand how to “enter my rest” so that I can open up the floodgates of heaven for you!”
Suddenly, I just felt this peace overwhelm me. I had been praying for God to reveal Himself to me, so I could see His Shekinah glory and I believe He did! I truly believe that morning was the most beautiful time I’ve ever spent with God, in His presence. It seemed like time stood still, what seemed like had taken several hours to happen, happened in less than hour.
Has it been easy to not try to take back control of what I’ve totally given to God? No, it’s a learning process and something God is working on with me one day at a time, ingraining in me like breathing. But I am getting better at it. I’m probably 80% there in just these past few months. As the old saying goes, “It don’t take me long to look at a horse shoe”! LOL!
Now that God has taught me about “resting in Him”, He is teaching me how to be conscious about “resting in Him”. Remember in Exodus 3:8 (AMP) where He talked about the land he had promised His people that was flowing with milk and honey, “So I have come down to rescue them from the hand (power) of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a land [that is] good and spacious, to a land flowing with milk and honey [a land of plenty]—to the place of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite.” When the Israelites got to the edge of the land God promised them, instead of “resting” in God and having “faith” that God’s promises were going to come to fruition without their help, they had to “stick their hands” in it and send out 10 spies to see what lied ahead. They still had a “slave” mentality because they refused to rest their eyes on God and all His promises and goodness and the were focusing on what the spies reported. We get so focused on our problems, issues, symptoms, etc., that we take our eyes off of Jesus and His “throne attitude” and His finished work on the cross to the point that we can’t enter “God’s rest”.
Do you think that any issue, any problem, any concern is bigger than what God is saying about the situation you’re in? What God was trying to teach me, and I pray you learn from this, is before I go to God in prayer about whatever issue I have, whether it’s a prayer request for me, for my husband, my family, my friends, my government, my nation, the world, whatever my prayer request is that I have confidence that “my body is already healed”, “my bank account is already overflowing with money, “the job is already mine”, “the relationship is already mended”…. Do you get the picture? We are to believe that God will deliver us according to His Word, even before the words leave our lips or thoughts in prayer before Him and we walk in “His rest” as Jesus does! Our “healing” is in God’s rest, our “blessings” are in God’s rest, our “answers” lie in God’s rest!!
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