R.E.S.T Restoring Emotional Spiritual Thinking
by Cynthia Jennings | September 4, 2019We naturally associate rest with sleep. When we are tired, the first thing we say is “I need to get some rest” and that rest usually consist of sleeping. After that, we’re feeling good and expect to be refreshed and energized to move on again. This type of rest is great and is needed. However, I want to talk to you about God's rest. Rest is one of the greatest gifts God gave to mankind and is synonymous to peace. God 's rest is deep and profound, superseding the rest derived when we are physically tired, sleepy or worn out from each day's labor.
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the verb rest as: "to cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength." The Bible speaks quite highly of rest. It is a repeated theme throughout scripture beginning with the creation week (Genesis 2:2-3). God created for six days; then He rested. Not because He was tired but to set the standard for mankind to follow.
When we talk about God’s “rest” it’s not just rest from physical work. But “rest” that allows a harmony between our will and heart being aligned with God’s purpose and will for our lives.
Our initial thoughts of rest are let me sit or lay down doing absolutely nothing and being fast asleep. Have you ever thought about all this resting we’re doing and putting ourselves in a rested position, yet our inner thoughts are wide awake? Is it due to the difficulty of finding time to rest in today’s culture? Or is it because we still struggle with God’s design for rest?
God’s design for “rest” is more than just being asleep or stationary, instead “rest” has to do with our inner man. God lives by the principles of rest. This principle is seen while He was creating the earth. On the 7th day God rested (Ge 2:2). God considers rest holy. Have you ever thought of rest as being holy? So, if God lives by the principle of rest and considers rest holy. How do we obtain rest the way God designed it?
The rest God designed requires faith: Hebrews 11:1
We need faith to understand that rest is holy. It seems easy to comprehend rest by just laying down and turning off all access. However, when you look around there is a race against time, people are scurrying around trying to meet deadlines, working longer hours and staying up on the latest whatever. The mind of man is set on achieving more and more, and the quest to bring out the next new thing because unfortunately man is never satisfied and gets so bored (even with self), thus the invoking of the never-ending cycle of “going”.
Now I am in no way against new creations and progression. What I am saying if these things take precedent over “resting” as God designed eventually there will be a breakdown of your emotional and spiritual thinking.
IF “rest” as God designed does not happen there will be a breakdown in our emotional and spiritual thinking, thus we fall captive to sickens, anxiety, fear, and frustrations. Since God designed our bodies for rest, and He sees “rest” as holy, if we don’t take heed to The Holy Spirit when he says “rest” our bodies will do what it needs to do to force “rest,” usually when rest is forced it is with some ailment we would prefer not to have.
God is serious about rest because resting requires us to have faith in Him as our source. When we stop working to “rest” for that period we give up control over the outcome of what’s going on. Because rest does not come naturally to us, we are reminded so many times in the Scriptures of the necessity of laying down our work. When we are overworked, we are more vulnerable to disobeying God. “Rest" not only applies to our physically body but more so to our spirit man.God longs to refresh our spirits and renew our strength. When we choose to rest as God designed, we are able to release anxiety and tension from our lives and have faith that He will take care of us,rendering dereased stress. When we are stressed, we are more inclined to let emotions overrule us and are less likely to allow our Spirit man to rule thus our thinking is out of line with God’s Word.
5 tips to R.E.S.T (Restoring Emotional & Spiritual Thinking) as God designed
1. Cast Your Care :1 Peter 5:7 --casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
We think that resting is 100 percent of doing nothing and that could be true. But as busy as we are, when we decide to rest…this little annoyance in your ear can have you believing you’re being lazy. However, this rest that the Bible talks about is an action to do between you and God, not an action between you and your bed. It is a partnership that you develop with God through Jesus Christ. It is entering into His rest and casting your burden on Him. In order to “enter” you must first “cast.” Ponder on this…when you prepare for bed what do you do? You “cast” …get rid of, take off work clothes etc. and you “enter” into a frame of mind or physical state that will prepare you for natural rest. So, in order to put yourself in the position to receive “rest” as God designed you must first “cast.”
2. Release Your Burdens: Matthew 11:28-30-- Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Our problems are not a surprise to God. When we try to make things happen and work in the flesh to vindicate ourselves or promote ourselves, we will end up in trouble. We can lean on God and find the rest in Him. You’ve decided to “cast”, now “release”. You’re probably thinking isn’t casting and releasing the same thing….ponder this…..how many of you have gotten rid of (casted) items but yet haven’t released that item( you keep reminiscing about that item), you haven’t’ released it to the point of allowing room for something new. Scriptures says, take my yoke upon you and “learn” of me. Learning = something new. So, in order to receive the “rest God designed you must be willing to learn the difference between natural rest and rest for your inner man. In order to do that you have to release your burdens at His feet.
3. Surrendering Your Will: Luke 9:23-24-- And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
Surrendering to God’s Will helps you rest; this is done by giving up the ego and relinquishing to our way daily. You will know that you have reached this when you trust Him to work all things without your help. Surrendering to God is an intentional daily process. The flesh wants what it wants and doesn’t take kindly to us telling it what to do. In order to receive “rest” as God designed it is imperative to understand His “rest” is for our own good. The only way we will fully grasp the importance of God’s design for “rest” is if we surrender our will and be willing to learn by following Christ example. So, in denying ourselves let’s move from “I” (what I want) to Lord whatever your will is so you are able to experience “rest” as being holy.
4. Know You are Loved: John 15:13-- Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
God loves us unconditionally. His love does not fluctuate as it does with people. He gave us Jesus to atone for our sins. That alone is key to God’s design for “rest” in that we have “peace” in knowing we don’t have to be lost in this sin sick world. Remember God’s design for rest is synonymous with peace.
5. Finding Hope: Romans 15:4 For --whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
We need to hope in order to find peace. Hope is the assurance that He cares for us, and will provide for us moving forward. This is a blind faith, and it tests our very soul at times. The fact that we have God’s written Word as instructions and assurance that He will never leave us is a comfort that should lull us into “rest” as He designed. Especially on days when you don’t feel like you can make it, and battling voices that are condemning, or causing anxiety.
PEARLStoPONDER: When you think about REST, remember you are Restoring Emotional & Spiritual Thinking according to God’s design.
Hebrews 4:11-12----Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.