What’s Really Behind Your Restlessness?

Gwen Smith Blog, Comparison, Confession, contentment, Relationships, Rest, Trusting God 13 Comments

It’s recorded in the book of Genesis that at the dawn of creation God made the heavens and the earth, separated light from darkness, and that everything was good. Then He held the sky away from the water, established day and night, and it was good. Next He spoke the land, seas, sun, moon and stars into existence, and again all good. He went on to fill the earth with fish, birds, and animals, and fashion man in His own image … and it was good, good, good and good. Then He rested – which we ALL know is awesome. Amen? Amen.

Peace covered the earth like a warm blanket.

God had a perfect relationship with all He created. Adam and Eve got to know Him intimately. They walked and talked with Him in the Garden of Eden in a way so pure and sacred I can scarcely imagine.

Then Adam and Eve wrecked the good with greed.

They rejected what was meant to be respected, took what was not theirs to take, ate what was not theirs to eat, and sent perfection into a downward spiral of impossibility.

After good was spoken and perfection broken God sent Adam and Eve out of Eden. And it was there in their freshly fallen, imperfect reality that they conceived their first son, Cain, and eventually their second, Abel.

These brothers were very different. Able was an animal guy, Cain a farmer. Both brought offerings to God, but they were not received the same. The offering Abel presented pleased God. Cain’s did not. We aren’t told why, but can safely conclude that it was a matter of motive. God always looks at the heart.

Cain did NOT appreciate God calling him out on his heart situation by rejecting his offering. “So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.” (Genesis 4:5) God asked him why he was miffed and followed up with a strong question. “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?” Then God warned Cain, “If you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” (Genesis 4:7)

Jealousy, hate, bitterness, and anger filled and fueled Cain when he invited his brother Abel to go hang out in a field and then attacked and killed him.

God punished Cain for the murder by placing him under a curse. “When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” (Genesis 4:12)

Cain became a restless wanderer because he refused to heed the discipline and redirection of God.

Instead, of turning his heart to the Lord in repentance and asking God to teach him the ways that are right, he allowed the crouching-at-his-door sin to master him. He let feelings of jealousy and anger lead his responses, and in doing so, brought destruction and restlessness upon himself and others.

Proverbs 3:11-12 instructs us this way, “Do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”

The late apologist Ravi Zacharias said, “God disciplines us for our good that we may share in His holiness.”

Imagine that! You and I are invited to share in His holiness. Incredible.

But you and I can become restless wanderers who ignore correcting just as easily as Cain. Can’t we? Sin crouches at the doors of our hearts each day too. It looks like comparison and smells like envy. It sneaks like arrogance and creeps like gossip and promiscuity. Satan longs to control and master us so that our relationships with both God and man suffer.

Jesus said that our enemy is a thief that comes to steal and kill and destroy. (John 10:10) This sobering, slithering reality stirs me to take a fresh stand today.

I resolve that I will not allow the lying tempter to lead me away from the good God has for me.

I will consider the matter of my motives by asking God to search my heart and show me any ways that are offensive (Psalm 139:23-24).

I will stop pretending that God turns a blind eye to any sin in my life. (That’s not who He is. God is holy and just.)

I resolve that restlessness will not overcome me because I stand in the same power that resurrected Christ from the grave.

I have decided to follow Jesus and there will be no turning back.

Will you take a fresh stand today as well?

Fair warning: the enemy will still crouch low trying to trip us up, but the Spirit of God within will help us to master and reject sin.

The challenge is daily, and the struggle is real, but the supply of God’s power is endless.

The cure for restlessness is found when we turn from temptations toward Jesus. And as we call out to God in prayer, His grace will meet us with strength for every trial.


Dear Lord,

Please forgive me for the times I allow sin to master me. Convict my heart of any thoughts, beliefs or actions that are not right in Your eyes. Root out all stubbornness, jealousy, pride, racism, arrogance, and rebellion from my heart so that I will no longer be restlessness but can rest in Your grace.
In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE

Read Romans 12.

Which of the heart directives of Romans 12 speaks most to you today?

What you plan to do about it? Give me scoop! Leave a comment on my blog or send me a direct message on Instagram.

Love you guys!
GWEN


PS.
If you want to get in the Word for personal Bible study, but don’t have one right now, download a copy of the Psalm Adventure Bible Study Journal and get started!

 


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TODAY’S THE PERFECT DAY TO GET CAUGHT UP!

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Comments 13

  1. I have been struggling with all the areas in my heart that I know need to be transformed and renewed by the Lord. It encourages me to know that I am not alone….verse 21 one spoke to me. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Instead of focusing on all that God needs to change in me and being discouraged by it I can replace the evil with good. Loving others, insted of being jealous of them. Giving, instead of being greedy. Listening to others , instead of being prideful. With Gods help I can “master the sin that os crouching at my door.”

  2. Hey Gwen! Thanks for sharing this message today. I care for my 98 year old dad that has rapidly declined in recent months. He’s always been very independent and thrived on being in control of ALL situations. His decline in cognitive has frustrated him and now his physical abilities have waned as well so the daily challenges have become overwhelming at times. I continue to pray for strength, both mentally and physically as well as God’s direction in the many decisions that face us concerning my dad’s care. I will continue to pray that I stay diligent and not become frustrated or bitter in this very trying time. That I will keep my eyes on God and my heart as a servant’s heart. Thank You for prayers and friendship from afar! ❤️

  3. Oh how God hears & knows my struggles…..yesterday I cried out in my restlessness & today my conviction is confirmed. My world has been filled with many challenges financially & taking in a 15 year old granddaughter, now virtual school & the continuing covid gloom is lingering. I’ve become grumpy & discontent. Forgive me Lord, I turn to you & ask for wisdom & strength to move forward with grace.

  4. I will not be shaken by anyone who wishes ill on me. I will be strong and dedicated to following God’s will.

    Yes, I have sinned, Yes, people know that I have sinned. I have fallen short of His glory. I have asked forgiveness for all whom I have hurt,

    I am saved, I do not return evil for evil. Those who want to persecute me need to remove the log from their own eye before they judge me. I love my enemies and pray for them all of the time.

    No matter what storm I face, I know God is by my side! I live my life for God, I walk my walk with God.

    Thank you, Gwen! I needed this today.

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  5. I am restless in so many ways. I found this so inspiring to know that there are so mant other people who are discontent. Not that I want them to be discontent, but that my God can see their hearts too and realize that almost all of the human race has some area that they have to work on and that God will grant them grace and bring peace to their hearts.

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  6. Loving my enemies speaks loudest to me today. Allowing God to avenge wrong. Not being overcome by evil. Admitting sin and trusting God to help me resist it. I resolve to look to Jesus today for his love to help me in this struggle to be holy and good.

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  7. I will try to not be conceited by putting people in different stations based on their life situations. I will no longer treat them with as underlings though my attempt was to make them happy that I was giving them the time of day.

    I will treat all people with the same respect that they deserve be as children loved by God. I will not judge others using myself as a standard, but accept them as children of God.

  8. I resolve today not to greet evil with evil; but to show love to everyone on my life. My family and those i greet in the name of the Lord. To be generous in sharing what has been given to me. To be hospitable and to love unconditionally. In Jesus’ name, amen

  9. Romans 12 gives me a direction…or a redirection back to keeping my eyes on God. Live and walk in love, encourage others, love my enemies, and just represent represent represent. All that I just mentioned should begin to fill that “hole” of restlessness by keeping my eyes on the Father and that is a full time focus that will keep.me.busy. serving Him. Not serving myself and desires of this world that distract me from His purpose for me.

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