The Solution to Restlessness, Part Two

Gwen Smith Blog, Christian Living, I Want It All, Trusting God 18 Comments


The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
(Exodus 33:14)

The gap between knowing I need God’s rest and responsively living it out can be huge.

You too?

Recently we began to talk about the spiritual discipline of rest. {If you missed part one, CLICK HERE to read it.} We started to break down R.E.S.T. as an acronym and started a walk through Scripture to see just how God’s best for you is fueled by this discipline.

R.E.S.T. {Reflect. Engage. Surrender. Trust.}

Our takeaway from the first of word of the acronym, reflect, was this: when you reflect on God, you better reflect God.

In addition to prioritizing times of reflection, we must also personally engage with the Lord. To go to Him in prayer and interlock our hearts, motivations, ambitions, and wills to His revealed will and Word. This is where our faith fits together with our actions – where our lives go from being our own to being His.

ENGAGE

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29, NIV)

The apostle Paul instructed us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7, ESV)

Most importantly, we must engage with the grace of God through Jesus Christ, which comes from the confession of our sin.

“Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin.” (Psalm 51:1-2, NLT)

SURRENDER

When I think of surrender, I think of war and of waving white flags. And frankly, faith is a battle – so that mental picture works nicely. In every battle there is an enemy and there are weapons of warfare. And you DO know that you have an enemy, right? Satan wants to keep you from God’s rest because he knows that the spiritual discipline of rest can be one of our most powerful weapons in the battles that we face.

The best example of surrendering to God’s will is in Jesus. The night he was betrayed Jesus surrendered himself to God’s plan. He prayed, “Father, everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine.” (Mark 14:36, NLT)

Here’s the beauty of surrender: when you lay down your mess, your hands are then free to pick up God’s rest. Because the One who captures us in surrender is the One who sets us free. And in the surrender, you are empowered to trust Him more.

TRUST

I know what it’s like to have circumstances collide with my plans and knock me off balance. This is a constant struggle for each of us. It can be a battle to believe that God can work things out for good. Especially if we fail to rest and live in the “what if’s” and the “why’s.”

Let’s look at what Jesus had to say about this.

“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? … So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” (Matthew 6:31-32)

Friend, your heavenly Father knows that your job is stressing you out, that your marriage is hanging by thread, that you are bogged down with health challenges, that you are grieving that loss, that your finances are upside down… He knows the longings of your heart.

He. Knows. What. You. Need.

What would happen if every morning you woke up and decided to R.E.S.T.? What if you determined each day to choose to trust God for what you need because you know that He knows what you need?

Can you imagine living with that kind of faith?

That is exactly what the Lord is inviting you into.

His rest.

When you reflect, engage, trust, and surrender – when you prioritize R.E.S.T. – your life will still not be perfect, but you will be equipped for every trial, stress, and strain in the all-sufficient grace that the Lord provides.

And in everything, remember what Jesus said. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

 

Lord,
I really want to get this one! Please help me to turn to You in all circumstances – in the good, the bad, and the ugly. Give me the strength to surrender my will to Yours, and guard my heart and mind with the peace as I choose to trust You with my struggles today.
In Jesus’ name, amen

 

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE

Read Psalm 46:1-3 and Psalm 16:8, then wrap up your reflection time with prayer. Move from confession, to adoration, to thanksgiving, and end by praying about your personal needs/burdens.

What is one thing you can do this week to position yourself more deeply in God’s rest? CLICK HERE to post your answer in the comments section of my blog! {I love, love, love hearing from you!}

HUGS and BLESSINGS!

GWEN

 

Today’s devotion is an excerpt from my latest book, I Want It ALL.

Are you struggling to see your potential for greatness? My book, I Want It All, will help you to dust off a few heart dreams, think bigger thoughts of God, laugh and smile a lot, search your soul, and even cry a little … because each page lovingly directs you to the personal grace and truth of JESUS. (CLICK HERE to get a FREE Downloadable “7 Day I WANT IT ALL” Devotional Ebook.)

 


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Comments 18

  1. I have been struggling with this concept for what seems like a long time. Finding that peace and rest that Jesus promises. How do I get there. I think I trust him but probably not as completely as giving myself and everything to Him. I am missing all of the steps to R.E.S.T. reflect on God so I can reflect Him. Engage. How do I do that. By talking to Him and learning to hear his voice. Surrender. Do what He says. Trust Him fully. Teach me Lord to truly rest in you. Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence oh Lord and take not your holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of your salvation. And renew a right spirit within me.

  2. I will continue to trust God’s perfect timing to heal my daughters and family and bring the job that he has to my husband. I will trust His to plan for our lives.

  3. God bless you sister for this ministry.. I have received and “on time” word countless times through your girlfriends in god platform and I thank God for it and you. May he continue to bless you in all that you do! My sincerest thanks!

  4. My best is in the morning when I begin my day with a devotion, for Bible reading and prayer. Reading these past two days about “rest” has helped me to focus on reflect, engage, surrender and trust. If only I can remember, everyday moving forward!
    I feel so hopeful now, prayerfully I will make a better effort to “rest”in God’s perfect plan.
    Thank you and God bless you for your thought-provoking words!

  5. Taking a moment each day in between all the to-do’s and sit on my screen porch and take in all of nature in my beautiful garden. Give thanks for all that I have and am, thank God for all these blessings despite a myriad of unfinished business awaiting me inside. Just breath and be thankful I am able to witness another day in spite of all the worries and tasks at hand. Know I am in His hands, ready to listen and follow. And all the rest will follow suit as well.

  6. This teaching was so timely. I am going to engage more. When life gets to me I tend to wall myself in and leave everyone including God out. Tonight I’m going to an Aglow meeting purposely to have corporate worship & Word and engage with other people of God!

  7. I have a small dry erase board that I hang on the inside of my bedroom door that I have been using to keep me on His path. I got lost and found my way back about 2 years ago. I have made it a priority not to get lost again. As my faith grows my scriptures and notes (many of them are from these daily GIG that I get in my Email) change as well. I’ve been looking to update it with something new. It started out with “Keep God in 1st place. ” and scriptures supporting and relating to that. (Joel Osteen inspired) Now I have “The sin of unbelief sabotages God’s perfect plan” (GIG inspired) with supporting scripture. I read this every day. R.E.S.T. is my update. Thank you GIG’S for all you do. Seeing how it has helped me I can barely imagine how much it helps others

  8. It is hard because my mind likes to be negative. But I believe through Jesus, that my soul, that little voice in my head and heart is telling me to have faith. Jesus loves me; us, unconditionally and He is not ignoring our needs and pain. So I pray, and believe, and trust in his peace and will do my best to take each day as it comes and to be grateful.

  9. I am going to hand my worries over to the Lord instead of bottleing them all up inside. I need to lean on the Lord and REST in his faithfulness. Thank you for your blog

  10. This week I plan to put my trust in God and believe “HIS will be done.” One of the hardest things for me to do is to trust, today I surrender wholely unto God and put my Trust in him!

    1. Felicia, I struggle with exactly the same issue…I think it is one of the hardest habits to break! Let’s pray for each other!

  11. This one paragraph sums up my daily feelings:
    Friend, your heavenly Father knows that your job is stressing you out, that your marriage is hanging by thread, that you are bogged down with health challenges, that you are grieving that loss, that your finances are upside down… He knows the longings of your heart.
    On top of these struggles, I have a daughter addicted to drugs, I am a caregiver to my Mom with Alzheimer’s and my husband doesn’t have a job.
    Most days I feel defeated but I trying hard to lean on God for REST! Thank you for your blogs. They point me in the direction I need to be looking…. up!

  12. THIS IS HELPING ME TO UNDERSTAND WHY THE DOORS FOR WHAT MY FUTURE HUSBAND AND I NEED TO HELP OUR SON HAS NOT OPENED. WE ARE NOT TOTALLY DEPENDING ON GOD WE ARE TRYING TO DO THIS ON OUR OWN AND WHEN MY FUTURE HUSBAND IS IN THE ARMY STATIONED OVER SEAS HE DEPENDS ON ME TO DO ALL AND I AM AT THE POINT OF NOT BEING ABLE TO DO IT AS I DON’T HAVE THE MONEY AND I FELT AS IF I WAS DEPENDING ON GOD FOR ALL AND YET HE WANTS ME TO DO MORE?? SO I AM GOING TO LET GOD TAKE CARE OF THIS AS I AM AT MY END OF TRYING TO GET MONEY FOR HIS SON FOR HIS HOSPITAL AND HIS EXAM AT SCHOOL AND FOR HIM TO COME HOME TO ME??? IT HAS TO BE UP TO GOD AS I CAN NOT PUSH ANY MORE. I HAVE TO LET GOD DO IT AND SHOW ME THE WAY THANK YOU LORD FOR YOUR LOVE AND GUIDANCE AMEN

  13. Thank you Gwen, for these devotions on restlessness. They have touched my heart when I really needed it. I have spend too much time in my life allowing negative thoughts and actions to rob me of rest. I need to start each day with the thought of “Choosing Joy’ – the joy found in God’s rest. Thank you.

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