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

Father, Guide Me In Your Ways!

What does it mean let God guide you?

Well, in my opinion, I think that what it means for God is guide you; is to allow for Him to not only use you and your testimony to impact and inspire others, but also to mold us into the person He has called us to be. Guidance from the Lord doesn’t just mean asking Him, “Where should I go?” but also “Lord, How can you use me to impact the people and the world around me?” 

By asking God where He wants us to go, in my opinion, causes us as Christians to recognize that we don’t always know where we are going and that sometimes we need a “guide” that can show us the way to go. When I read His Word, it feels so amazing to be able to use it as a sort of “compass” that continues to “show” me not only how to live as a Christian but also how to treat others.

Psalms 119:105 (NKJV) says, “105. Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.”
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Living for Christ (Walking In The Spirit) – Galatians Bible Study Series (Part 5)

Well, it’s almost the end of our in-depth study on the Book of Galatians but it’s still amazing to see how God uses the Book of Galatians to speak to us as Christians today. As we talked about in being heirs to Christ through the promise of Abraham, we spoke about how; we are no longer bound by our past sins and are now adopted into the kingdom of God as joint heirs with Christ.

This is where we begin our discussion on how we as Christians are to live for Christ while walking with the Holy Spirit. So, what does it mean to live for Christ while walking in the Holy Spirit?

Well, according to the Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 1:13-16, living for Christ means that we as Christians are to gird or protect the loins or the sides and back of our minds and be sober or vigilant and to rest our hope fully upon the grace brought to us by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

We are to be more like the Father and protect our thoughts from the desires of our flesh.

1 Peter 1:13-16 (NKJV)

13. Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14. as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15. but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16. because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” (see Leviticus 11:44-45 NKJV).Read More »

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 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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Confronting the Boundaries in Our Lives

Sorry for the missed post. For the month of February, I’ve decided that I would be focusing on God’s love for us as human beings and as His children over the next couple posts. For this blog post, I couldn’t help but turn to one particular passage of scripture that I kept thinking about in Luke 18:22. In that verse, Jesus was trying to tell the rich young ruler that what he lacked was his inability to give all that he had to the poor and follow after Christ.

In my Bible, there is a notation at the bottom of my Bible that made me stop and think about what Christ is trying to reveal to us that may be hindering us from God’s blessing.

In my NKJV Study Bible, the notation said,

“Jesus was examining the ruler’s orientation to God by directly confronting him with the very thing that was hindering him…”

Luke 18:22

22. So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. See all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.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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Are You Going to Give God It All?

What does it mean to Give God It All?

Well, to me, giving it all to God means that I need to relinquish all of my pain, regrets, sadness, guilt, shame and even the good things and lay them all at His feet. But also, it means that whatever I may be going through, I can give it over to God knowing that if I can’t handle it; by faith, God will get me through it. In the Bible, we see many times the prophets and later the Apostles urging us to give all that we have to the Lord.

But here’s the question: Why do we hang onto the things of the past? In Psalms 55:22, it is telling us to cast all of our burdens onto God and He will sustain us.

We no longer have to shoulder our burdens ourselves.

Psalms 55:22

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

“Oh, Give Thanks Unto the Lord”

What does it mean to Give Thanks to God?

Well, the words give thanks come from the Hebrew word Yadah, which means “to make public acknowledgment” in conjunction with another Hebrew word Yad, which means “hand.” So, in essence, to give thanks to God really means to lift our hands in public acknowledgment Him. But do we as people give thanks to God like we should?

Giving thanks to God is one of the most important things we as Christians and people should do because it is only through God that we are alive and it’s only through God that we wake up each morning. In Psalms 35:18, David calls the nation of Israel and even us today to give thanks to God before people.

Psalms 35:18

18. I will give you thank in the great assembly; I will praise you among many people”Read More »

Humility vs Pride – The “Me” Complex (Part 1)

This 2-part blog post was inspired by T.R. Noble and her blog post “5 Things That Stumble Me Up As A Believer”. Go out and give her support because she has such amazing content.

So, today throughout this post; I want you all to ask yourself this question: Am I focusing on myself or am I humble and focusing on others?

What does “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall” really mean? (see Proverbs 16:18).

Well, the word Pride comes from the English word meaning “A sense of one’s own proper value or dignity” or “A overly high opinion of oneself.” God calls us as people and as Christians to give up our pride and humble ourselves, but how can we do that when we as human beings are prideful and arrogant? In Isaiah 13:11, Isaiah talks about how God will punish the world for its evil; particularly the arrogant, proud, and haughty of humanity.

Isaiah 13:11

11. I will punish the world for its evil; And the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.”

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