Mother, the Restful
As you come to a quiet place with the Lord today, ask Him to reveal places where your unrest comes from not realizing all He is for you, and ask Him to help you to put your trust in Him right there.
"This is what the Lord says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls," Jeremiah 6:16
We have discovered that the only meaningful study that will last beyond this life is the study of God Himself. Learning of Him must become the meditation of Mother as she learns to teach her children to know Him. Not only do we know Who He is, but we have a relationship with Him, based on what He has done for us and our receiving of His sacrifice. There must be a personal decision involved.
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name," John 1:12.
To receive Him is to have a heart of agreement toward Him, and to ask Him in by prayer; as simple as that. We want to be in the family of God and to lead our children to that relationship as well. While they are young, they will follow because they love and trust you, and when rebellion begins to crowd in, you
have the Word of God to lead you to tell them, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord," Joshua 24:15.
Walking together, and sometimes with you leading the way, you will be fulfilling the heart of God for your family. If you prod from behind, "Don't do it like that! Do this! Get over there! Move it!" you are blinded to the precious value of your children to the God who formed them. He longs to help you to see that He loves you without your earning Him at all, He cherishes you just as you are, and your children, too.
When you see this great acceptance He offers you, no strings attached, you begin to see your lack of accepting others. Often we expect others to behave a certain way before we will love them, but that is not in the character of our God and King, Jesus. We begin to long for His kindness and tenderness to be within us!
This is the meaning of Isaiah 29: 23,24, "When they see among them their children, the work of my hands, they will keep my name holy; they will acknowledge the holiness of the Holy One of Jacob, and will stand in awe of the God of Israel. Those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding; those who complain will accept instruction." It is believing that our children are valued by God and loved by Him, and seeing our own lack of love that brings us facedown before God, crying out for His mercy upon us. There is a time to grieve and mourn over our sin.
And after we have, we must place our trust in God, that He took our eternal punishment for us, and go to His Word for hope and life. We live now by His promises.
And we teach our children! As we learn, we teach them, just as a mother bird feeds her young from her beak to theirs. Our study is of the Word of God; we speak to them of Him during our waking hours. And we speak to Him of them!
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates," Deuteronomy 6:4-9.
What is the difference between the way we live and the way of the unsaved?
Several years ago I awoke with three verses in my mind and the difference clear, as though spoken to me. I don't think I've ever had an experience quite like it before or since. But I want to share with you what the Lord showed me:
"O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways."
If you look at these two passages (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Psalm 139:1-3) together, you will see the same actions:
Deut. 6, " when you sit at home"
Ps. 139, "You know when I sit"
Deut.6, "and when you walk along the road"
Ps. 139, "You discern my going out"
Deut.6, "when you lie down"
Ps. 139, "and my lying down"
Deut.6, "and when you get up"
Ps. 139, "and when I rise"
These are written of God and His people. Now let's see another passage that reveals the actions of the unsaved:
Here we see only three actions:
"walk in the counsel"
"stand in the way"
"sit in the seat"
What is missing?
The lying down. Rest, which pictures spiritual rest: trust, surrender.
What a privilege we have in trusting God. Believing Him is rest for us, and it is exactly what the unbeliever never has.
"For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:
"In returning and rest you shall be saved,
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength,"
"But the wicked are like the tossing sea,
which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud.
"There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked,"
This is the result of reading the Word of God, but not trusting in the Word made flesh. It is placing emphasis on ritual and performance of virtue, but leaving off the cross, in order to have a kingdom on this earth, a reward here and now. This is why the cross is so offensive. It boldly says: "You cannot measure up to God. You have nothing, and this is your due reward." Judgment is sure for anyone who has sinned, and only those who leave their performance as filthy rags and wholly lean on Jesus find their penalty paid by Him, and thus, find rest. It is not just a first time repentance, though this is crucial since it is the point of the Holy Spirit's entrance into the human body and soul (Ephesians 1:13)! Now it is also a walk of repentance and trust, repentance and trust. And in the trust is where the life is lived in resurrected power. All the living is built on this foundation, and the walls are raised by actions now done in trust in the King, and growing love for Him.
Think of the order of things:
God told the Jews to celebrate the beginning of each month, which was marked by a new moon (Numbers 10:10, 1 Chronicles 23:31). You cannot see a new moon; it is dark, resting.
The Sabbath day is a picture of our rest in Jesus (Heb. 4:3). God rested on the seventh day (Heb.4:4), and after the resurrection of Christ, we call the day of rest Sunday, the first day of the week.
In the same way, God, who created the day, began it in the evening. Genesis 1:5, "...And there was evening, and there was morning – the first day."
We see that all of these point to a rest before work. So do we resist any work until we are completely trusting in God? No, we do what is right, and God will take care of our motives as we go. For work that will go ahead of us into heaven, it must begin with trust in the Lord. That's what He is working in us all the time. We are all in the process, and we are perfect in His sight as we trust in the Perfect One! Born again, and learning to walk. Growing up to maturity with the ability to reproduce spiritually. It's a process.
Will you join me to pray?
You are so different from my inclinations to panic and press and make things happen. You tell Your children to rest, to trust in You, and You will see to it that our work is good. By myself I don't know how to rest and take confidence in You, so I will trust that You will work that in my life. You are so good, Father. You are trustworthy, and I worship You. I want to authentically trust in You. Thank You for telling me the truth, that not only is this the way I am saved, but the way I will live my life of faith. You will enable me! In Jesus' name, A-men.