Rest

So, another thing that big sis Phyllis told me yesterday was that I should ‘rest’…that my creative energies could only come to the fore when I was not anxious or uneasy. She advised me to cultivate God’s presence and rest in it. Rest in Him, and allow my mind to be at peace. It is in this restfulness that I would be inspired, get great ideas and wisdom. And then, just before I went to bed, I got a nudge to go read a blog I usually read but haven’t read in ages (http://kennethkskang.blogspot.com/), and you wouldn’t believe what it said…well, I couldn’t believe it either..it was so on point! See below:

When you are at rest…

by Triumph in Christ (Kenneth Kang)

Leviticus 23:24 (NKJV): “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.'”

This day is also called the Head of the Year, or Rosh Hashanah, i.e. the Jewish New Year. Notice the Jewish New Year begins in the seventh month (Tishrei), and very interestingly, Leviticus 23:24 says it begins with a sabbath-rest! The word ‘sabbath’ in Hebrew here actually means ‘rest, stillness, quietness, or to desist from exertion‘. I like the words ‘to desist from exertion‘ here. Let me explain further.

As a believer in the New Covenant, know that Jesus is the Lord of Sabbath (Matthew 12:8). In Him, you find sabbath (rest, stillness, and quietness for your soul). Notice just before Matthew 12 about Jesus being the Lord of Sabbath, in Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Your year begins with a sabbath-rest! I used to wonder why is it so, and 1 Chronicles 22:7-10 came into picture: And David said to Solomon: “My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build a house to the name of the Lord my God, but the word of the Lord came to me saying, You have shed much blood and have made great wars; you shall not build a house for My name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in My sight. Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies all around. His name shall be Solomon, for I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days. He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son, and I will be his Father…” By the way, ‘Solomon’ in Hebrew comes from the word ‘Shalom‘, meaning ‘peace‘.

Let me reiterate this: Your year begins with a sabbath-rest! And so it is with a new season (or project) you are walking into! In other words, begin your new season (or project) with the revelation of sabbath-rest!

You see, only a man of rest can build God’s things! When one is striving, restless, or in strife (i.e. not at rest), one cannot make ‘pinpoint’ or accurate decisions, hence building God’s things, or walking in the fullness of God’s destiny for him/her. That’s why the psalmist wrote, “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) And when one is at rest (i.e. ‘to desist from exertion’, which speaks of ‘to stop trying hard with one’s own strength and self-effort’), God’s divine wisdom and revelation also flows. What takes many days for somebody else to ‘achieve’ with his/her own self-effort or intelligence,with God, it may only take you one day!

In fact, studies have proven that one’s inability to handle stress effectively raises his/her heart risk (i.e. the risk of heart attack or having heart-related problems). Also when one is striving and not at rest, his/her body’s immune system lowers down, and therefore becomes easily susceptible to all kinds of illnesses!

That’s why God wants us to start the year (or a project) with a restful heart. When you have a restful heart, you are in effect allowing God to take charge and take over. You also cast your care to Him, knowing that He cares for you, and will lead you on. Jesus would then become your wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30), instead of you relying solely on your own human wisdom. And when His divine wisdom flows, whatever He has called you to do will never be in vain! Psalm 127:1-2 confirms it: ‘Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep’. ‘To eat the bread of sorrows’ here can mean ‘to be anxious, restless, and worried about many things’.

So, people of God, begin to look to Jesus as you begin your year (or a project). When you learn to rest in Him, that’s when He acts! He is your ‘head start’! He is also your all-sufficient Lord and God. Rest in His wisdom and revelation for you (Ephesians 1:17). Rest also in His assurance that He is with you, and will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). In Him, you find every good thing flowing to you and through you. His work on the cross has already been completed and finished! (John 19:30) And He is now highly exalted above all else (Philippians 2:9), sitting together with the Heavenly Father. ‘To sit‘ speaks of ‘rest’. Today, He is also inviting you to sit together with Him in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6) and reign with Him (Romans 5:17), as you walk into the fullness of God’s destiny and calling for your life. Amen.

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