R-E-S-T: A Labor of Love
I love how creative the Lord is in the ways He teaches me. His frequent use of an acrostic is a favorite of mine. I usually know when one is coming because I just keep hearing a word repeat over and over in my head and heart. At the beginning of 2011, during a long morning walk, that word was “rest”. I finally just told the Lord to lay it on me and this is what came, “R-E-S-T is Receiving Everlasting Salvation and Truth.” This began an enlightening dialogue.
I walked and pondered for several minutes when the Lord broke into my thoughts, “You do not enter rest just because you receive salvation. Rest is a result of everlasting Truth replacing your beliefs. What you believe has no power to change Truth, but Truth has the power to change what you believe.”
I continued to walk, ponder, and listen. There are times when I know the Lord is taking me much deeper into understanding a particular topic and I have nothing to contribute from my limited storehouse of knowledge. I follow His lead, and He typically guides with questions.
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I had recently gone through a time of focus on my physical fitness, shedding several unwanted pounds resulting in a new size of clothing. The Lord drew on this for an illustration. He asked, “Before you lost weight, if I had bought you a pair of jeans in your current size as a gift, what would you have done with them?” My response was that I probably would have exchanged them for a size that fit. I could feel His smile at my honesty, but His reply expressed sadness, “That is exactly what people do with My Truth. They exchange it, or alter it, to make it fit what they believe, what they have been taught, or simply what they prefer. If I give you a pair of jeans that are meant to fit you based on how I created you, it is then up to you to decide if you will do the work necessary to fit into them.”
He extended the invitation to me that morning on my walk. And because He is my absolute delight, He has proven Himself so utterly faithful in my journey with Him, I can deny Him nothing. I readily said “YES”, and entered into the most revelatory, yet intense struggle I have ever experienced. I felt consumed by a burning cloud.
Eventually the cloud lifted, the dust settled, and the ashes blew away. I rested into a clarity I had never known before. I understood double-mindedness as it existed in my thinking, and can easily detect it in others. There are many things we profess to believe, yet our actions expose the depth of our unbelief and self-deception. We can say all the right things, yet never actualize them in our lives. We often do the exact opposite and cannot even see it. It takes a great listener and observer to notice the discrepancies. That level of listening and observing must start with Self.
Deuteronomy 29:4 states, “But to this day the Lord has not given you minds that understand, nor eyes that see, nor ears that hear!” Enkindle the Lord of all Truth by praying Psalm 119:29, “Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your instructions.” Grant Him access into your mind and allow Him to instruct you by exercising your critical thinking and reasoning muscles with Him—utilizing both Word and Spirit.
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