Have you ever wondered what it means to rest in Christ? There are great benefits when we do rest in Him. It reminds me of physical rest. WebMD has a fascinating article listing health benefits when we have a rested body. They include better health, less pain, lower risk of injury, better mood, clearer thinking, better memory and a stronger immunity. (“9 Surprising Reasons to Get More Sleep” by R. Morgan Griffin)
Maybe you know someone like I do who was always tired until they were treated for sleep apnea. If you are not familiar with this disease, it is when a person stops breathing while they are sleeping. Most are treated with a CPap machine which makes certain they get enough oxygen while sleeping. Several of my friends have told me that this treatment changed their life, giving them the rest they needed to have energy for each day.
Did you know that our soul needs rest also? Our soul is our personality. In general, there are introverts, extroverts and what I call inbetweenverts! One of the things you can do to begin to give rest to your soul is to accept the personality type God gave you. Have you ever wished you were like someone who has a different personality type than you? This is personality envy and is a rejection of the unique personality God gave you. Why don’t you stop right now and thank God that He gave you the personality you have, even if you don’t feel like it?
Our soul also has three functioning parts: our mind, which is our “thinker,” our emotions, which is our “feeler,” and our will, which is our “chooser.” These can all get tired when we are not resting in Christ. They can be tired from legalistic Christianity, false guilt, fear of God’s punishment, shame, choosing to live from the flesh, worry, pride, anger, depression, believing lies about yourself, rejection, grief, disappointment, misplaced expectations and more.
Hebrews 4 tells the sad story of how Israel wandered in the desert for 40 years never entering into the rest of living in the land God had promised to them when He led them out of Egypt. They failed to enjoy this rest for one reason only – unbelief. The writer goes on to say that for Jew and Gentile (non-Jews) today, God wants us to enter into a different kind of rest. According to Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30, this kind of rest is “soul-rest.” It’s a way for us to have rest in our mind, emotions and will.
Hebrew 4:9-11 says, ” 9 So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 11 Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.” How do we enter into that rest, especially as Christians? The answer is, through faith in Jesus Christ and what He has already done for us.
He has finished what many of us are still trying to finish in our relationship with Him. He has finished these for us: He has made us acceptable to God our Father by 1. Making us 100% righteous in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21); 2. Forgiving us of all past, present and future sins in Christ (Ephesians 1:4); 3. Seating us (in our spirit) in the heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 2:6); 4. Reconciling us as enemies to God by making us His friends (2 Corinthians 5:18); 5. Being well-pleased with who we are in Christ, regardless of our behavior or ministry, just as He was with Jesus (Matthew 3:17); 6. Showing us that we are as valuable as Jesus in the parable of the pearl (Matthew 13:45-46); 7. Convincing us that there is no condemnation from Him when we fail or sin (Romans 8:1); 8. Removing our shame (Romans 10:11); 9. Offering to live His life through us in the power of the Holy Spirit, so that living our Christian lives is not up to us but Him (Galatians 2:20).
There are many more, but I wanted to show you some of the core work God the Father did through Jesus for you and in you. Do you want to enter into that rest today as a Christian? Why don’t you go through them one by one and thank Him by faith that all of those are true of you?
Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t invite you to come hear a very deep teaching on how we can rest in Christ in our Foundation for Transformation Conference which is only 10 days away – June 6. Click here for more information and to register https://gracelifeinternational.churchcenteronline.com/registrations/events/26759
Believe it! It’s the Gospel.
Live Free In Christ,
Mark Maulding, President and Founder
www.GraceLifeInternational.com All Content Copyright © 2016 Mark Maulding but feel free to pass it on!