Soul-Rest

| 11 August 2020

It is a vicious cycle… I am “prone to wander” as the old hymn says. Here is how it usually plays out — it all begins in the heart: Pride leads to disbelief. Disbelief fuels restlessness. Restlessness breeds cynicism, doubt, and eventually, fear.

I “leave the God I love,” listening and responding to everything and everyone but Him. As a result, my heart grows hard and stubborn, and just like the Hebrew people, I grow deaf and blind to His presence and voice. My soul grows weary as I wander — powerless, directionless, and hopeless.

Eventually, God indeed draws me out and brings me to a place of humility, confession, and renewal. But, I admit, this happens repeatedly in my life. I find validation in the fact that this was a struggle for the children of Israel too; God led them out of bondage, drawing them back to Himself, and the same is true for us.

But “soul-rest” is so much more than a nap, a vacation, or even the mere absence of stress; it transcends a moment in time or a season of stillness. Soul-rest is best experienced amid everyday motion and movement. Encountering God’s presence and entering His rest is the result of trusting and obeying. It is what happens when we adjust our lives in a way that cooperates with and responds to His Spirit.

“And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So, we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.” (Hebrews 3:18-19, ESV)

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

1. Ask the Lord to reveal places of disobedience and disbelief in your heart right now. Confess and ask Him to create in you a clean heart once again (Psalm 51).

2. Ask Him to reveal where He is at work today and watch, so that you might join Him and respond obediently to His invitation.

Lord, we echo the essence of Augustine’s confession when we say our souls want to find our rest in You. Spirit of Christ, prompt us to respond to Your voice. You call us to come rest in Your presence and victory. We gratefully receive this truth and respond in faith and obedience, in Christ’s name, Amen.

Dave Hook
Pastor of Worship Arts