IN TORMENTING TROUBLE—FIND REST IN CHRIST IN GOD
This study, as in the previous studies, has as its emphasis the need to find our strength and refuge from the traumas of the last days, in Christ, in God, resting in His protection.
God initiated the concept of resting from our exhausting and unproductive self-efforts in our ministry for the Lord, when He instituted the Sabbath rest.
“There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his [self] works as God did from His.” Heb 4:9-10.
The following readings show that the reason why we are to learn to enter into a rest from self-works for the Lord, is that it is only by the Spirit of God and the Lord Jesus that there is any lasting fruit.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing [no spiritual work].” John 15:5-6.
“Unless the LORD builds the house [does the spiritual work],
They labour in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city [protects the work and the workmen],
The watchman stays awake in vain.” Ps 127:1.
“This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel:
‘Not by might nor by power [of man], but by My Spirit,’
Says the LORD of hosts.” Zech 4:6.
Entering into a state of spiritual rest is to cease from all strivings of the flesh in doing the Lord’s work, and strenuous efforts to protect one’s life in spiritual warfare. It is to be still and trust in God’s love and faithfulness in protecting us, and believing that the work of the body is the Lord’s, to the end that we do nothing without His initiation.
Resting is to--
Standing is to maintain a constant attitude of a heart of trust and faith, withstanding the temptation that we have to do something to precipitate the work, or protect ourselves.
“And Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD.” Ex 14:13.
“You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you.” 2 Chron 20:17.
“Be silent [have trust and reverential awe] in the presence of the Lord GOD;
For the day of the LORD is at hand.” Zeph 1:7.
“Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD, for He is aroused from His holy habitation!” Zech 2:13. He is about to judge the ungodly.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him [that He is in your circumstances],
And He shall direct your paths.” Prov 3:5-6.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isa 55:8-9.
Wait on God
When we pray and make supplication to the Lord, we generally expect Him to answer our prayers speedily, and our impatience leads to lack of rest. There are many Scriptures that encourage us to wait on God’s timing, never losing faith or belief that His answer is forthcoming. Each of the following Scriptures show us that God rewards the patient for waiting on Him to do His work.
“Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!” Ps 27:14.
“For evildoers shall be cut off;
But those who wait on the LORD,
They shall inherit the earth [be fulfilled spiritually].” Ps 37:9.
“Wait on the LORD,
And keep His way,
And He shall exalt you to inherit the land [be fulfilled spiritually];
When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.” Ps 37:34.
“But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run [when speed of work is necessary] and not be weary,
They shall walk [engage in the ‘long haul’]and not faint.” Isa 40:31.
“Truly my soul silently waits for God;
From Him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defence;
I shall not be greatly moved [panic or be afraid].” Ps 62:1-2.
IN THE LORD
Being “in the Lord,” is abiding in Christ by faith, and walking in the light of His love, and the invincibility of His life working in us, knowing that, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13. It is to be joined in dependence to Him as a branch to the vine, so that He is able to do His work through us.
Abide in Him
“Abide in Me, and I in you.” John 15:4
To abide is to maintain a steady heart attitude of assurance that Jesus is in us, and we in Him, in the fullness of His name or capacity, and in the knowledge that it is His delight to bless us.
“I am my beloved's,
And his desire is toward me.” Song 7:10.
When we learn to rest and abide in the Lord, He, as our High Priest, leads us on a spiritual pilgrimage ‘into the Holy of Holies’ - into a spiritual state of making our habitation in God. This is a state of complete rest, peace, and security.
Resting in the shadow of the Almighty, beneath His feathers, is a picture of God’s presence in the Holy of Holies on the Ark of the Covenant, overshadowed by the wings of the cherubim.
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty [symbolically - under the wings of the cherubim].
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler [spiritual warfare]
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers [again referring to the cherubim],
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth [of what is ours by the cross] shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness [comes upon us unexpectantly],
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.” Ps 91:1-6.
In the Old Testament, the Israelites believed God was present in their midst in the Holy of Holies, and to them this was a constant source of comfort and assurance.
Now we believe that God is in His temple in heaven, and we may retreat into His presence in spirit through the cross of Jesus, and abide, or make our habitation in Him.
“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the [rent] veil [that was separating us from the presence of God], that is, His flesh [rent on the cross], and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience [by belief in the blood of Jesus] and our bodies washed with pure water [of the word].” Heb 10:19-23.
Question - How do we enter boldly?
God is our protection, the rock of our strength, and our fortress. He is our provision. Resting in God is to rest in the fullness of His attributes, believing that they now apply to us, because He delights to bless.
Entering God’s Rest is a Prelude to Ministry
If it is God, through Jesus Christ, in the power of the Spirit, that does the work and bears the fruit, it is imperative that we have entered into a state of rest, so that GOD may work unhindered by our flesh.
Our habitation in Jesus in God is a place of rest and security. The temple with its Holy of Holies, and the ark of God’s presence, is a type of our spiritual habitation in God. Right from the outset, it was to be a holy place of peace, rest and security, built when God had given His children rest from their enemies. Solomon, a man of peace, was chosen to build God’s house. He spoke these words:
“You know how my father David could not build a house for the name of the LORD his God because of the wars which were fought against him on every side, until the LORD put his foes under the soles of his feet. But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor evil occurrence. And behold, I propose to build a house for the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spoke to my father David, saying, “Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, he shall build the house for My name.” 1 Kings 5:3-5.
This reading has an end-time application for those servants of the Lord He has selected to restore His Church. He will bring them to such a state of rest, that there will be no distraction from Satanic opposition. Though confronted with warfare and evil occurrences, their spiritual lives will be hidden in Christ in God, and they shall not be greatly moved. “For you [your carnal nature] died, and your life [new spiritual life] is hidden with Christ in God.” Col 3:3-4.
Such will be His protection, that the hearts of His selected servants will be brought to a state where all is peace and quiet both without and within. It is in this climate of rest that His prepared servants will be enabled to re-build His Church.
This state of rest also has an application for all Christians who will be faced with the trauma of God’s end-time judgment and its accompanying spiritual warfare. If they are open to the Spirit, they will be drawn into the knowledge of the capacity of the indwelling Lord to meet their needs, and to be able to overcome in their circumstances.
These Scriptures from 1 Chronicles add to the description in 1 Kings.
“Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies all around. His name shall be Solomon, for I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days. He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son, and I will be his Father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.' Now, my son, may the LORD be with you; and may you prosper, and build the house of the LORD your God, as He has said to you.” 1 Chron 22:9-11.
*Note 2. David had been a man of war, and had shed blood. The Church, of which the temple was to be a type, would have as its head, Jesus Christ, the ‘Prince of Peace,’ and so Solomon was a more appropriate choice as its builder.
God allows us to be afflicted unto weakness so that we will learn to turn to Him in total dependence, and find succour in the Lord, and be brought to rest in Him. We learn to trust and rest in God’s faithfulness and in the power of His name, so that we shall not be greatly moved in the day of trouble and adversity. When trouble comes upon us, we will clothe ourselves in Christ, and retreat with Him into the inner sanctuary where God is the rock of our strength and our fortress.
“When I heard, my body trembled;
My lips quivered at the voice;
Rottenness entered my bones;
And I trembled in myself,
That I might rest in the day of trouble.
“Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O LORD,
And teach out of Your law,
That You may give him rest from the days of adversity,
Until the pit is dug for the wicked.” Ps 94:12-13.