After long periods of uncertainty and struggle we are left feeling battle weary. At this point, the act of resting takes more courage than continuing the fight. In our tiredness, a sense of defeat overcomes us, even hopelessness. Rest the only option before us as our human strength runs dry. The act of resting feels like giving up, failure or even worse laziness or apathy.
But that is not truth. Period.
I share with you three truths, with worship songs, to help us enter rest, enter God’s restoring rest. Most of us enter 2021 somewhat battle weary and in need of a roadmap to act on to find rest.
Sit and remember
“…Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well…” John 4: 6
“…Indeed, the water I give will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14
Even Jesus felt tired. He stepped out of his day-to-day responsibilities, sent his disciples away and found a place to sit. To be alone, replenish and rest. As he spoke to the woman at the well, he encourages us today reminding us of truth: The source of our living water is inside us, ready to well up to eternal life. For the thirsty, Jesus gives living water when we chose to drink from his well that never runs dry. Remember the true source of living water again — it is not found in this world, it is not by human hands nor our strength, but only from God. Sit a while, replenish your soul by remembering who Your God is. The way, the truth, the life. How great is God’s Faithfulness that goes on and on and on… even when we can’t.
Wait for peace
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11: 28 (New International version)
“…but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40: 31 (New King James version)
Rest cannot be rushed. Expect a restlessness in resting but take it day by day. To return to our work before we have had our peace restored results in so much wasted energy. Rest brings clarity of mind and purpose. Turning away from distractions and hurriedness. Turning again to the cross of Jesus, sitting at the foot of the cross reserved for personal reflection as our hearts deepest cries are heard. Where forgiveness flows over us, as we forgive those who hurt us. Where love covers our deepest insecurities. Until, one day, Jesus our Prince of Peace rises up on the inside of us displacing all weariness and renewing our peace and so our strength. Laying down the past at the foot of the cross. Surrendering our future in the loving hands of our Father God. And simply being in the moment of this day that the Lord has made. Knowing that forever our eternal salvation is secured, our identity as loved children of our Father God unchanged and God’s carries us when we can’t go on.
Restoring our weapons and armour
“Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11
“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24
God’s presence is free, limitless, constant and our certainty. As the woman at well learnt, in the presence of Jesus, we too can find a new lease on life in God’s presence. It is here our battle weariness is restored, ensuring we are equipped for life’s battles which come. Our greatest weapon is God’s presence, it is where we gain wisdom, strength and healing. Restoring though placing on the full armour of God. God’s word with worshiping in spirit and truth — our greatest weapon. There’s that word again: truth. No co-incidence that the longer we stay away from God’s presence, the more the lies of the world send us running in circles, draining our energy as we fight too many wrong battles. But in God’s presence, we have truth restored and so too clarity of purpose. This ensures we fight the good fight with the greater precision, full armour in place for our protection and in the will of God. Indeed, this is my testimony and that of so many believers — God’s presence is our greatest weapon, especially against tiredness!
Let’s enter 2021 equipped to fight better as the battles continue for humanity to win the war against COVID-19. God is calling you and me to rest and then arise! For further encouragement for those tired on the inside, see this message by Steven Furtick.