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Seeds of the Kingdom

Be Still

by Ian Coates

Be still and know that I am God.
Psalm 46.10, NIV

What part has rest to do with our everyday lives? Life seems to be busier and more demanding than ever! What does the Bible say about it? Rest was God’s idea as part of creation. Even the seasons have rest! There seems to be strong connections between rest and living in God’s Promised Land and receiving His inheritance. ‘My Presence will go with you and I will give you rest’ (Exodus 33.14) and Jesus invites those who are weary to come to Him for rest in Matthew 11:25-30.

What is it that prevents us from resting in the Lord? The old hymn says ‘Perfect submission all is at rest, I in my Saviour am happy and blessed’. Here we have the first clue - submission. And, in Isaiah 30:15 which says ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation’, we have the second. So often it’s taught ‘in repentance is your salvation’ but actually it’s also ‘in rest is your salvation’. We can strive so much and achieve things, but where is our rest? In Hebrews, chapters 3 and 4, we see that it talks about rest and that those who are disobedient will never enter into rest. Rest is about our obedience to follow Him and do what He wants us to do. It will take some effort, (see Hebrews 4:1).

But how do we rest? It’s about confidence in Him. We don’t have to strive or persuade God with our prayers. It’s about being at rest because of who He is! We can relax in Him, because we’re confident of who He is! We must go back to what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 6; ‘Do not worry’. Worry is not a place of rest. It’s a very different thing to make every effort to enter His rest. We enter it because we’re confident of who we are and who He is. Therefore we can be confident today. We don’t want anything to come between us and God.

We need to check our heart motives. Proverbs 4:23 says ‘Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life’. The heart is the seat of our spiritual understanding and motivation, and the source of our true spiritual character. It’s the root of our doubts and beliefs.

So how do we move into this place of rest? The world’s seeking it in more and more leisure time. But it’s still not enough! But we can see that recognising the need to SEEK GOD is the key to rest! It’s our place of grace and through Jesus we have full access to Him with confidence. This is how we will know HIM and His ways.

Prayer: Lord, I can relax in You because I can trust You. I feel confident in You. I want to be rooted and grounded in You and I don’t want anything to come between us. Help me to put my trust in You completely and become the person You created me to be. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Ian Coates Ian has served with Ellel Ministries since its inception. He is part of the Executive Leadership team and is Centre Director at Ellel Grange, where the team will soon be hosting the nine week Flagship School. His sensitive but direct teaching helps people to face the real issues in their lives without feeling they are being pressurised or condemned.

 

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