Catching up on Spiritual Rest
UNHURRY HACK: Rest is found in God's presence & He invites us to dwell there.
FIRST READ: Psalm 91
DOES YOUR BODY FEEL RESTED?
Rest is something our physical bodies need to survive, yet many of us go about our day in deficit. In a recent study published in the New York Post*, 65% of the sample surveyed admitted they rarely woke up feeling rested. 42% reported feeling tired by noon. Perhaps you can relate. When we are tired, our body doesn’t function as well and we don’t relate as well to others. While many factors contribute to this deprivation, tired bodies have become a common side effect of today’s busy routine and distraction.
WHAT ABOUT SPIRITUAL REST?
Rest is mentioned throughout the Bible and often linked to dwelling in God’s presence. Psalm 91 is an illustration of the Lord’s blessing and provision of rest as we place our trust in Jesus.
Psalm 91:1-2 says, He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." (NIV)
Can you say of the Lord that He is your refuge and your fortress? As a follower of Christ, God’s Word affirms this promise, but do we live with that mindset?
Do we watch the world around us with spiritual eyes?
Do we respond with a spiritual mouth?
Do we listen to headlines with spiritual ears?
Do we process hurt through a spiritual heart?
It can be easy to compartmentalize Bible stuff and forget it’s made for the stuff of this life. I’m guilty of this too--our physical eyes see physical things, and sometimes we forget to view the world a Child of God. So, our challenge remains: Will we choose to filter life through limited human understanding or the unlimited promises of God?
God’s rest is important for our whole wellbeing.
Like our bedtimes, we can push back God’s promises and wake up feeling sleepy. Psalm 91 explains we are safe in God’s rest. When we surrender our life to Jesus Christ, God promises us the gift of eternal life and rest with Him in heaven. But, we don’t have to wait until heaven to enjoy the peace and rest of God’s presence—we can enjoy His presence every single day. Is God your dwelling place? Do you live each day tucked under the wings of the Lord shielded by his faithfulness? This means that even if harm comes our way Jesus is right there with us fighting on our behalf.
This world is full of struggles and hurt, not because God is mean or doesn’t care, but because we are living out our days in a fallen world awaiting God’s perfect restoration. God doesn’t just band-aid this world, He is making all things new (Revelation 21:5).
Isaiah 43:2 says that when we pass through the waters, waves won’t sweep over us. When we walk through fire, flames won’t consume us. This is the language of Psalm 91. The battle is real, but our God wins. Neither wave nor flame gets to have the hearts of God’s children. Our peace and joy are only taken from us when we hand it over to the enemy.
Headlines and hurts may scare us, but Jesus explains in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Why does God fight for His children? Psalm 91:14 reminds us it is our love relationship with the Lord. A relationship involves two parties. We love because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). Do you rest in this relationship today?
Bask in the language of Psalm 91 today. Are you ready to stop being your own refuge today? Me too! The daily forts we try to build around us are sticks and pebbles compared to the impenetrable tower of the Almighty God where He invites us to live our days.
Experience life from the safety of God’s refuge today. Let Jesus patrol the ramparts of His strong tower and shield you with His faithfulness. Dwell there in His shelter. Daily listen and talk to God in prayer. Daily read about life and the promises God gave his children to live it out. We often forget the Bible is our teaching manual to be used, marked up, and memorized to do this job we call living life. Bask in God’s promise and presence…experience hope amidst the headlines, headaches and heartaches of today--catch up on some spiritual rest today.