When God Says to Rest
I have had this title in mind for awhile now. Actually, since January when I poured my heart out to one of the women closest to me as we determined God was telling me to rest. What was spoken to me was there would be "release in the rest." This was pertaining to my writing and also speaking, releasing what God has put inside of me, what He was calling me to release for such a time as this as I rest in Him. I looked at this woman and mockingly said, "What am I supposed to write? When God says to rest?" And here we are.
Let's have an honest moment here. Ask yourself, "Am I at rest?" I'll give you a moment.
We fill our lives with all the busy things, get the kids here at this time, make sure to grab the groceries on this day, meetings, workouts, ministry events, keeping up with others, building, growing, and let's not forget posting all the highlights of our lives on social media. We scramble to accomplish what we feel called to, the responsibilities placed upon us, the roles we are called to walk in, expectations and outcomes, yet most days we completely miss God's heart for rest. The enemy has even perverted God's design for rest, coming in hard with an underlying religious lie that resting is doing nothing, yet we find ourselves in a hamster wheel overwhelmed with busyness. Oh, but we are being "still."
I thought all these things. I entertained the lies also. When things would get tough I would want to run away and mask it as "resting." But to be honest and very vulnerable, I haven't rested in 4 years. 4 YEARS! Four years of taking care of family and grieving their deaths, as well as putting all of my heart into someone I felt called to love. There hasn't been any rest.
4 years ago, I had given up everything to move in with my Mom to help my Grandmother during sickness until she passed away. At the same time, my Dad was sick also, and he passed away just 6 months after my Grandmother. 2018 was a time of great loss and grief. I look back and know that I was exactly where I was supposed to be, and I would do it all over again if I had to. There were precious moments even in the time of death and sorrow. I didn't want things to turn out the way they did, especially when it came to my Dad. I said every prayer, casted out every spirit, declared and decreed. But God still felt it was best to take him from us. How could my heart be at rest when everything I tried failed? When hopes and dreams have felt so out of reach? When delay after delay has swept over me keeping me in a constant struggle between God's Word and the enemy's lies? We are told to keep going, keep striving, keep pushing, keep trying to make it happen-nothing wrong with these things, but do you ever get tired of carrying all the weight on your shoulders?
I certainly do. I am a natural nurturer. I am a typical Enneagram type 2 which is the Helper. Eve has nothing on me! I was created to help----I thrive when helping others, giving, assisting, doing-but somewhere along the way I gathered up this false responsibility that I had to fix it, had to do whatever it takes to make something happen, to change myself and be who others would want me to be, to carry the burden upon myself. I want others to get it, you know? To know God the way I know Him. To experience deeper intimacy with a Father who loves them. To be set free.
I recently realized that I cannot control what others think, do, feel or how they experience God. I cannot drag them across the finish line or pray the boldest prayer to get them to cross over into the promised land. I'll admit, somewhere along the way in this 4 year season, I lost myself in that.
Back to January, I had to ask myself, "what does rest look like for Jessie?" The answer was: worship-dance, learn to play the piano
write-blog, write a book
create- start a ministry to help women connect to their Creator and creative calling
get healthy- prepare myself physically for future things
I have done/am doing all these things except I never let go. I never let go of what God said and how I thought He was going to perform what He said. I never rested in it or truly in Him. I wrestled and struggled with having to get it right, line up with perfect timing, and be ready-again, nothing wrong with those things, but what was the motive of my heart?
Last month, I was crumbling at Crumbl Cookie, haha-how prophetic! While waiting on my delicious waffle cookie, I had a moment where I saw the photo a sweet friend took of me at a women's conference I helped with in March. I was on top of the world that day. Speaking boldly, proclaiming and declaring, yet I was crumbling a month later. What happened? A quick downward spiral into the unknown that left my heart broken and devastated, defeated and empty.
As I stood their in line waiting for my name to be called, I heard a convicting whisper from Holy Spirit, "That woman that you were that day, are you trying to become that woman for man or for the man that died for you?"
I couldn't respond. I ate my cookie quickly, chewing on the question.
Sometimes things just don't make sense. If they did at the time God gave us revelation (which He does not even have to do, by the way) where would we be trusting Him? What and who would we be resting in? Because at the end of the day, He is the Giver of Life. He is our peace and place of rest. It will never be our husband, our family, our position, our bank account, our talent....our greatest calling and purpose is being a Child of God. It's just that simple. No strings attached. Resting is really getting to the place that being a Son or Daughter is enough and that because of that, He is enough.
It has taken awhile to come to the Cherith Ravine where daily provision comes by the ravens...
this is my current place of rest.
My full surrender.
Resting and Trusting.
If you're feeling overwhelmed, if all the things you've tried just aren't working, if the promises seem too far out of reach, if you feel a need for a deep breath,
then ask God,
"What does rest look like for me?"
Declarations of Rest
When my heart is weary and heavily burdened, you give me rest. You refresh my soul with salvation. As I join my life to yours, I find rest in you. Your yoke is easy, so my burden is light.
You refresh me when I am weary, and you satisfy me when I feel faint. (Jeremiah 31:25)
You gift me with rest as I dwell in your presence. (Exodus 33:4)
My Hope is in you as I rest. You lift me up on wings like eagles. (Isaiah 40:30-31)
Your rest leads me beside still and quiet waters. My soul is refreshed and restored as I am led into your paths of righteousness. (Psalm 23:2-3)
I let go of the past and everything weighing on my mind as you quiet me in your love. You rejoice over me with sweet songs and shouts of joy. (Zephaniah 3:17)
I will remain in you, abiding in who you are as joy is made full, complete, and overflowing within me. (John 15:1-11)
As I rest in you, my mind is renewed bringing clarity to your good, pleasing and perfect will for my life. (Romans 12:2)
You create in me a pure heart, and you renew a steadfast spirit within me. As I rest in your presence, you restore to me the joy of my salvation. You give me a willing spirit, sustaining me in all things. (Psalm 51:10-12)
You have promised me a faith-rest life. I will enter into your rest and embrace the fullness of your promises. Resting in you leaves no room for doubt and unbelief.
Instead I will experience your faith-rest life, as I cease my own effort and works. (Hebrews 4:1-11)
My striving has ceased, and I know that you are God. (Psalm 46:10)
I loose myself from carrying the weight of my promises being fulfilled. For you have declared the manifestation of your word and promises will come not by might, nor power, but by your Spirit. (Zechariah 4:6)
I will remain secure and rest in the shadow of your wings. You are the Hope that holds me, my great confidence. (Psalm 91)
"Sarah’s faith embraced God’s miracle power to conceive even though she was barren and was past the age of childbearing, for the authority of her faith RESTED in the One who made the promise, and she tapped into his faithfulness."