MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2019
As I look out my window I see the beginnings of a storm brewing. Hurricane Dorian has slowed its approach and increased its intensity. It is no longer headed up the middle of the state of Florida, but is projected to hug the Eastern coast. However, there is still a lot of damage that it can produce, both on the coast and inland. Yet, it still does not seem as if the storm is coming, as golfers continue to tee off on the 16th fairway outside my window, and as my wife and I enjoyed a concert at Disneyworld the night before.
Yet, the radar tells a different story. The storm is real. It has already wrecked havoc on the Bahamas, and our prayers go out to these communities and their families. I keep wondering if I have done everything to prepare. I go through my mental checklist and I can’t find anything else I can do. Yet, I want to be doing something. It is hard to wait. The unknown is so difficult to deal with. I have been in numerous earthquakes when I lived in California. And I have hunkered down for impending tornados in Texas. Yet, all of these come suddenly. Nothing is like waiting for a hurricane as it creeps ever closer towards you!
When we face impending change or possible disaster, our natural tendency is to do something. It is hard to simply rest when a storm is on the horizon. Yet, in life, this is exactly what God calls us to do. It is also His promise to His children. There is a rest in the Lord that can anchor one’s soul in the midst of the fiercest storms of life!
- “Therefore, a Sabbath rest remains for God’s people. For the person who has entered his rest has rested from his own works, just as God did from his. Let us then make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience.” Hebrews 4:9-11 CSB
We misunderstand the concept of Biblical rest. It is not inactivity or the lack of preparedness. It is the cessation of facing life in our own strength. It is entering into God’s provision for all that we need. The children of Israel missed this rest. Why? They missed this rest because they hardened their hearts and did everything in their own strength. They ignored God’s commandments and pursued their own desires. They did not honor God in all their ways, so they never experienced the Sabbath rest of God.
The disciples could not understand how Jesus could be asleep in a boat that was being beaten like a twig in the ocean by great wind and waves. Jesus was not asleep because He did not care. Jesus was fully convinced of the faithfulness of the Father and therefore He could enter into the fullness of His rest. While the disciples frantically tried to bail out the water to save the tiny ship from capsizing, Jesus simply looked at the storm, with full assurance of the Father’s care, and said – “Peace, be still!” And then Jesus turned to His disciples and taught them about faith!
How do we know if we have entered into God’s rest or are striving in our own power and strength? The only way I have found is to abide in the Word of God. The Word of God is the mirror to our souls and the thoughts and intentions of our heart. If we are daily abiding in God’s Word, He will correct us, refine us, cleanse us, and direct us. God’s Word is alive and it is the tool of the Holy Spirit to lead us into God’s rest!
- “For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. No creature is hidden from him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account.” Hebrews 4:12-13 CSB
And, it is God’s Word that reminds us that we always have a place of safety and refuge to run to in our greatest time of need. He truly is the shelter in the midst of our storm!
- “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens — Jesus the Son of God — let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16 CSB
In Jesus Name!