Resting in the Easy Chair of God’s Presence

 

I love what theologian John Owen (1616–1683) wrote, “God’s rest is not spoken of absolutely with respect unto himself only, but with reference to the rest that ensued thereon for the church to rest with him in. Hence it follows that the rests here (Exodus 33:14) mentioned are as it were double—namely, the rest of God and the rest that ensued thereon for us to enter into.”[1]

Jesus, likewise, told us, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]” (Matthew 11:28 AMP)

Even God rested (Genesis 2:2). Rest was so important to Him that He set aside a whole day for it (Exodus 16:23).

He also is the perfect place to rest, as today’s verse and the psalms profess (Psalm 62:1, 5; 91:1). Yet, often in the midst of our circumstances we don’t rest. We don’t slump into the easy chair of God’s presence, take a few deep breaths, and let His love, presence, and grace surround us and engulf us.

We’re restless. We may be consumed with grief or we may be thinking of every possible strategy or plan. We struggle and squirm, and in the end we’re exhausted.

Joshua 22:4 says, “The Lord your God has given them rest as he promised” (NIV). The tribes were now free to go home. God gave His people rest. The word used for rest is an interesting one. It conveys “the meaning of both victory and security, and it involved Israel having their ‘resting place’ in the land.”[2]

As we go through the rough patches of loss, we can fix our hope on this: We can go to God and know that there will be victory and that He offers us complete security. We can be assured that when we enter into His rest, He will provide a resting place for us—a spiritually rich experience. We can simply stop in His presence, and know He cares and loves us.

We don’t need to run around aimlessly. We don’t need to let our minds race from thought to thought or from emotion to emotion. God’s resting place is secure, victorious, and peaceful. It’s in His resting place that our souls are eased and refreshed.

Like a cool soft drink on a hot day, God is beckoning you to come to Him. He’s offering His peace and rest if you will just slow down, ease your mind, kick your shoes off, and rest in Him. He will cause you to rest. He will relieve your mind and refresh you like nothing else in this world.

Even God rested—shouldn’t you?

 

PRAYER: Sit quietly, close your eyes, and ask God for His perfect rest. Ask Him to help you focus on Him, His promises, and His Word instead of what the Enemy may be whispering into your ear. Ask God to give you rest amidst the storm that’s swirling around you.

LIFE CHOICES:

Study Genesis 2:2–3, Exodus 14:14, and Psalm 116:7. Describe the Lord’s rest. Resting implies looking back at all that God has done for you. Can you recall times when you rested and God delivered a promise?

Understand that the purpose of God’s rest is not simply to sit and wait. Its purpose is to turn worry, bitterness, or stress over to Him and to worship, pray, and wait for Him. It’s a time of active faith, active worship, and active pursuit of God’s next steps for you.

Discover the power of rest. It promises more than simple rejuvenation. Jesus urged us all to come to Him. Make rest a habit and discover not just bodily refreshment but a refreshment of your spirit and soul.

 

My new book, The Way Back from Loss is now available from Amazon and other fine sellers of books.

 

[1] John Owen, The Works of John Owen, public domain, 274

[2] Warren W. Wiersbe, Bible Exposition Commentary: Old Testament Wisdom and Poetry, (Colorado Springs, Cook Communications Ministries, 2003), 75

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Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope.

Brennan Manning

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