Resting in God | Building Our Relationship with God

What does it mean to Rest in God?

Well, throughout the Bible, we oftentimes see this word “rest” through the lens of God resting after Creation but what I’m talking about is a different kind of rest. In my opinion, I define resting in God as a state of surrender to Him; being willing to listen to His voice when we are lost.

Are we stopping and listening to God?

Psalms 46:10 (NKJV) says, “10. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

As Psalms 46:10 says, we are to be still and recognize that He is God. But how can we do this when our own relationship with Him is struggling? Even if we are Christians, we are still human and as such, fall prey to our own devices but despite this, we are called to stand out from the world we are in; being called to renew our minds.

Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV) says, “1. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

We are called to continue to renew our minds in Christ but how can we do this if our minds are constantly active; thinking about what to do next and what other projects or assignments we need to get done? Well, we rest. We take the time to calm our mind and focus on God.

“It’s when we begin to stop and focus on God and who He is in our lives that we can begin to build our relationship with Him.”

In a recent devotional I read entitled “Seeing With the Eyes of Jesus” I learned so much about just taking the time to interact with the people around us; just like Jesus did when He was on Earth. However, because we are humans, we are always on the move and as such, we don’t always see the needs of the people around us, but Jesus did. He took the time to get to know the hurting, sick and those that were deemed unworthy by the society of His day. Are we doing the same?

“The hustle and bustle of our daily lives can cause us to become so focused on our own needs, agendas, and to-do lists that we don’t have the capacity to see or step into the needs of others.”

I recently read a blog post by Lynn Abbotts of Through Ink and Image entitled Revue: In Stillness and it is amazing; particularly in regard to how it relates to us as Christians in our relationship with God. In the blog post, Lynn Abbotts states that “I don’t believe “being still” has ever been easy for the humanity. We know exactly what needs to be done, what needs to be said, or what needs require filling. And we restlessly plunge ahead without giving our direction much forethought.

However, this wasn’t the only quote that really touched me as a Christian and I feel that there are others that can encourage us as Christians.

  • “He [Saul] turned the wrong way on a one way street. Destruction loomed. His compass needed realignment. And it took more watt-age than mere headlights to stop him.”
    • “During the three days that he waited in darkness, Saul probably did a lot of soul-searching. In the stillness, he listened for word from God.
  • “Paul initially placed his confidence in human wisdom but a genuine encounter with Christ showed him the futility of racing down the wrong avenue.”
  • God’s timing and path are frequently unexpected.”
    • “After all, God’s Word tells me again and again to wait on the Lord.”
  • “And so it is with you and me. When my pace slows, when I stop and listen, I hear my heavenly Father’s gentle whisper. His grace guides me.
  • “I would first consult Abba’s Word, His road map. Abba’s truth helps me recognize those one way streets.”
  • “… even when you and I have gone our own way, Paul’s life demonstrates that our God will gently and graciously redirect us.”
    • “In fact, grace calls me to be still and know that Abba is God. When I slow down in His presence, I willingly allow Him to handle whatever my day entails.

Lynn Abbotts said, “When I am hurried or impatient, I invariably take a wrong turn, and head in a disastrous direction.

Are we stopping and listening to God?

Psalms 37:7 (NKJV) says, “7. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of Him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.”

This also reminds me of a song by Johnny Diaz called Breathe. In this song, I feel it speaks a lot on us as Christians being patient and how because we are so busy in our everyday lives; we never stop to take a breathe and rest at Christ’s feet. What is truly interesting about this song is the fact that I regularly listen to this song when I feel that I am so busy that I never took the time to listen or read God’s Word.

Building a relationship with God requires us to sometimes stop and take a moment to breathe. Like may keep going but our relationship with God can determine where we live eternally.”

It also reminds me of a blog post by Sue Love of Run With It entitled “Dependence on God”. In this blog post, Sue Love talks about what it means to be dependent on God when we are struggling in our lives and when we are weary. She stated that “So, if we are followers of Jesus Christ, we learn to take our burdens to the Lord and to lay them at his feet. And, we learn to rest in him and to not fret.”

Sue Love’s quote about laying our burdens at the feet of Jesus is something that I feel all Christians, new and those who grew up in the faith all have to come to grips with in our own lives and eventually our relationship with God.

Also, within the blog post, Sue Love has several quotes that I feel we as Christians can relate to when it comes to not just our relationship with God but also us as Christians resting in Him.

  • “Even if we feel fear, which we sometimes will, we give it over to the Lord, and we let him fill our hearts with his peace.”
  • “… we have to make this our regular practice to recognize when we are feeling fear, and then to immediately take our fears to the Lord in prayer and to hand them over to him, and to keep handing them over to him, and then to keep turning our hearts to him in prayer and in resting in him.”
    • “So, their [Satan and his fallen angels] lies may be very subtle and may be mixed in with the truth. So, what they say may sound like truth. It may sound good to our ears. So, we need to pray for much discernment so that we don’t get trapped by their lies.”
  • “… if we want to have discernment so that we do not fall into a web of deceit, and get tricked into believing lies, then we need to be grounded in the Word of God.”
    • “… We must not only know what the Word teaches us, but we must be ones who put the Word into practice.”
  • “Jesus has to be our Rock, our solid foundation. And, our trust has to be wholly in him, and our hearts yielded to him, if we are going to walk in victory over darkness and live in the light of truth.

Sue Love said, “We can’t be giving the devil a foothold in our lives because we are dabbling in things we know are wrong for us, and then wonder why we don’t have victory. We have to put off the old in order to put on the new. The old has to die for the new, in Christ, to be able to thrive.

As Christians, we have to continue to build our relationship with God with Him, but it has to start with us. We have to begin to rest aside that which we need God to get rid of and give it all to Him. This reminds me of a song by Shana Wilson entitled Press In Your Presence and this song is truly amazing; it focuses a lot on our relationship with God and how we are to press into Him and behold who He is.

Chorus

If I can just press, press in your presence

behold the beauty of your face

If I can just press, press in your presence

and never leave this place again

If I can just press, press in your presence

and leave all my cares behind me

I will behold, I’ll still believe, I will just lay, Lay at your feet

For I will behold I’ll still believe, I

will just praise, Praise at your feet

I will behold, I’ll still believe, I will

just lay, Lay at your feet

For I will behold, I’ll still believe, I

will just praise, Praise at your feet

Right Here In Your Presence

In the end, though, how we learn to build our relationship with God depends on us as Christians. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV) says, “5. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” We are called to trust in God with all of our hearts and as such, we need to let Him direct our paths; but how can we do this if we are still human beings?

So, what will we do as Christians?

Are we continuing to rest in God?

How are we developing our relationship with God?

 

God’s Blessings,

Joshua Reid

 

References

Abbotts, Lynn. “Revue: In Stillness,” April 3, 2019, throughinkandimage.com, https://throughinkandimage.com/2019/04/03/revue-in-stillness/ . Accessed 17, May 2019.

Johnny Diaz. “Breathe”, YouTube, uploaded by Johnny Diaz, 4 years ago, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnjeMwxFuBA . Accessed 23 May 2019.

Love, Sue. “Dependence on God,” March 27, 2018, runwithit.blog, https://runwithit.blog/2018/03/27/dependence-on-god/ . Accessed 20 May 2019.

Shana Wilson. “Press in Your Presence”, YouTube, uploaded by detroitdrummerboy, 10 years ago, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_68EM_Faros . Accessed 23 May 2019.

 

Picture References

Ann, Deborah. “God’s Timing Not Mine” 24 Nov 2018, poetrybydeborahann.wordpress.com, https://poetrybydeborahann.wordpress.com/2018/11/24/gods-timing-not-mine/ . Accessed 23 May 2018.

Author Unknown. “Psalms 46:10 NKJVhttps://biblia.com/bible/nkjv/Ps%2046.10 . Accessed 16 May 2019.

Author Unknown. “Romans 12:1-2 NKJVhttps://cellcode.us/quotes/romans-12-1-2-nkjv.html . Accessed 18 May 2019.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Bearing and Sharing the Burdens of a Christian Life. – Galatians Bible Study Series (Part 6)

Well, it’s here! The final part of our Galatian Bible Study series. In this week’s blog post, we will be discussing what it means to bear and share the burdens of a Christian Life. Throughout the Gospels, the Book of Acts and Paul’s Letters; we as Christians are constantly reminded that as Christians, our walk with God is never going to be easy and that we will face burdens in our lives.

In Psalms 55:22, the author reminds us as Christians today that we are to cast our burdens on the Lord because He sustains us.

Psalms 55:22 (NKJV)

22. Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”Read More »

Faithfulness and Obedience to the Lord!

What does it mean to be faithful and obedient to the Lord?

This question came to me while I was doing a study on the Book of Joshua this month and throughout the study; I’ve noticed these two themes stick out to me while reading Joshua: Faithfulness and Obedience.

In reading Joshua, I saw how God continually showed His faithfulness to His rebellious people; the Israelites and how He continued to fulfill the promises He made to Abraham. For me, this idea of God’s faithfulness started making me think about God’s faithfulness towards us as Christians today and asking the question: Are we remaining faithful and obedient to the Lord?

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines faithfulness as: A steadfast adherent or supporter of a faith or cause.

In Joshua 1:3, God is speaking to Joshua about the Promised Land and how He will fulfill the promise that He made to Abraham to the people of Israel. God speaks on how He will guide them through the land; even when it seems like it is impossible.

Joshua 1:3

“Every place that the sole of your feet will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.”

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Holy Spirit, Teach Us!

This blog post was inspired by a comment from my previous post by Efua of Grace Over Pain. She said,

“Sometimes we read the Bible with a preconceived knowledge. Like we already know what the passage is about before we even read it. We become too familiar with scripture and over familiarity clogs our heart from understanding what the Holy Spirit is trying to teach us.

In this blog post, I will be discussing how the Holy Spirit teaches us and guides us through Scripture and how we can then apply it to our everyday lives. As we walk through this blog post, I want us as Christians to reflect on how the Holy Spirit has been teaching us.

As we go through this week; I would like us to ask ourselves this question: Are we allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us God’s Word? Are we letting God’s Spirit convict us? This leads me to read Proverbs 18:15 where the author speaks of the heart and how the discerning acquires knowledge and how the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

Proverbs 18:15

15. The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.”

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The Importance of Reading the Bible (Part 3)

In this blog post, we will be discussing the final aspect of why we as Christians, it’s important for us to read the Bible; particularly how by reading the Bible, the Holy Spirit will be able to convict us on what is contrary to God’s Word. In 1 Corinthians 5:7, the Apostle Paul is telling the people of Corinth of their sexual immorality and how they have sexual immorality within the church.

1 Corinthians 5:7

7. Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened…”Read More »

The Importance of Reading the Bible (Part 2)

In this blog post, we will be discussing two more aspects of why as Christians, it is important that we read the Bible, particularly how reading the Bible can help us discern Satan’s tactics against us and how reading the Bible allows us as Christians to come together as a church and a community of believers.

In last week’s post on The Importance of Reading the Bible; we talked about how we as Christians should read the Bible to understand and study God’s Word and how we can then apply that to our everyday lives. In 1 Peter 5:8, the Apostle Peter is calling for us as Christians to be vigilant and aware of the Devil and his desire to see our destruction.

1 Peter 5:8

8. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

Read More »

The Importance of Reading the Bible (Part 1)

Why is it important for us as Christians to read the Bible?

Well, throughout the Bible, there are many reasons that I could give that tell us why it is important to read the Bible; but, here’s the question that I would like to ask you as you read this post: Why are you reading the Bible? Are you reading the Bible for understanding and guidance from the Holy Spirit?

In this blog post, I will be discussing several points that I feel, we as Christians should remember when we read the Bible.

In Matthew 13:10-11, the disciples ask Jesus why He speaks to the people in parables but it’s Jesus’s response to the question that should give us as Christians a better understanding of the importance of reading the Bible.

In Matthew 13:15, Jesus said, “15. For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.

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His Unending Love for Sinful People

Sorry, for not posting last week. As the month of February comes to a close, I can’t help but be amazed at how much God’s love for humanity is never-changing and He still waits for us to come back to Him. God’s love for humanity and its people is more than we can imagine and we should all feel grateful that we have a God that loves us and is always ready to receive us in our times of need.

What does God’s Unending Love look like for us as sinners?

Well, God’s unending love for sinful people is beyond imagination, so much so that nothing on Earth can keep us from His love as described in Romans 8:38-39. As the Apostle Paul said there is nothing, even the sins that we committed in the past, are committing or will commit in the future that can separate us as fallen people from God’s marvelous love.

To me, the fact that there is nothing physical or even death itself that can separate us from God’s love is amazing because that should show us as Christians and as people how much we mean to the Creator.

Romans 8:38-39

“38. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39. nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”Read More »

The Purpose of Fasting (Part 3) – Cultivating A Prayer Life after Fasting.

As we go into the final days of the 21-day fast for most churches, I am contemplating what it really means to cultivate a prayer life after fasting because this is the first time where I am able to take some time and focus on this topic. In Part 2, I talked about how if our prayer-life is out of sync and not aligned with God’s Word; we will continue to pray for things that are contrary to God’s plan for our lives.

In this final post in the 3-part miniseries on the purpose of fasting, I want to talk on how we as Christians should cultivate a prayer life after a fast that centers of who God is, what God has in store for our lives, and how to build a relationship with Christ through prayer.

What does it mean to Cultivate a Prayer Life?

Well, to me, I think that cultivating a prayer life is more than just praying to God and asking Him for guidance; I feel that in order to cultivate a prayer life, you would have to have begun to pray to God and be able to humble yourself before God. Humbling yourself before the Lord in prayer I feel shows that you and I as Christians are willing to submit to God’s plan for our lives over our way.

In the book of 2 Chronicles 7:14, the “chronicler” mentions that God just wants the people of Israel to humble themselves, pray and seek forgiveness of their sins and turn from their wickedness, but here’s the question: Can we as Christians today humble ourselves before God and pray for forgiveness?

2 Chronicles 7:14

14. if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

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The Purpose of Fasting (Part 2) – How to Pray During A Fast.

Welcome back. So, in last week’s blog post What Is Fasting? you and I learned what fasting wasn’t about our self-indulgence or our agenda but rending our hearts to the Lord and getting closer to Him. Well today, we will be talking about the other aspect of fasting; prayer. Prayer is just as important as fasting because prayer is a spiritual link that connects us to God and allows us to ask God for guidance in times of hardship and situations that seem out of our control. Together with fasting, prayer is an essential part of a Christian’s relationship with God.

What is does it mean to Pray?

Well, the words to pray or prayer either come from the Greek word proseuchomai which means “to pray to God” or “make prayer” or from the Hebrew word palal which means “to intercede” or “make supplication”. So, if both words mean to intercede and pray to God; then why do we as Christians pray half-hearted prayers and not sincere prayers to the Lord?

I think it has something to do with the type of prayer-life that we have while we are fasting. If our prayer-life is out of sync and not aligned with God’s Word; we will continue to pray for things that are contrary to God’s plan for our lives. The Old Testament prophet Ezra talks about prayer as a means of humility and praying that God leads the Israelites in the right direction but I feel it applies to us today. In Ezra 8:21, Ezra is taking the people of Israel to a river to pray and ask God for direction.

Ezra 8:21

21. Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions.”Read More »