Colossians 3:1-4 (AMP)
Therefore if you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, sharing in His resurrection from the dead], keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value]. For you died [to this world], and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
WHERE’S YOUR FOCUS?
Are we looking at and focused on the one tree in the Garden of Eden that we can’t eat from or at all of the rest of the trees that we can taste and see the goodness of the Lord (Gen. 3:2)? Are we looking and focusing on what we do not have in the way of unmet expectation or lack of any kind? Or do we keep our eyes on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith and thank Him for the abundance of His blessings?
If we continually look upon the one tree that represents our lack, want, neglect, or any unmet expectation then this will multiply and dominate our thought life and cause us to walk in bitterness, resentment and all forms of ugliness. If however, we look at the vast number of trees of blessings that we have eaten from and continue to feast; our hearts are in a perpetual state of thanksgiving and praise. Which do you choose?
When we look to the one tree in the garden of lack we set our eyes on the things on the earth rather than on the blessing of God above. Long prayed over circumstances that have not yet shifted and changed, cause us to become discouraged, depressed, dissuaded confused and even deceived. It makes us want to question the goodness of God (just like Satan did with Eve in the garden as he twisted truth…Gen.3:4-5) and His process and package for the change.
When we choose to trust and dwell in Him, then the process He chooses to bring about the change is as good as He is good and/or perfect as He is perfect. No matter what the circumstances on the earth look like. These circumstances then no longer have any authority to dictate or control us with a negative emotional hold and we can instead, choose joy and peace even in the midst of unpleasant circumstances.
James 1:2 (NKJ)
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience, patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
We can choose instead to look to Jesus believing in hope beyond hope that although the change has not yet come, that it will come because of who Jesus is and not who or what we can do to control, manipulate or fix with the striving of our own hands. We pray so He can move us to enter into doing it His way with His wisdom, understanding, knowledge and truth.
Romans 4:17-18 (NKJ)
(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed – God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did: who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “so shall your descendants be.”
We walk in faith not by sight to believe in that which we don’t yet see.
2 Cor. 5:7 (NKJ)
For we walk by faith, not by sight.
As we rest and delight ourselves in Him he will give us the desires of our hearts.
Psalm 37:4-5 (NKJ)
Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And he shall bring it to pass.
It is full trust in His grace, the supernatural fix of God’s hands, as we return to Him, rest in Him, in the quietness and confidence of and in Him alone!
Isaiah 30:15 (NKJ)
for this says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength” But you would not,
In returning and rest we shall be saved and rejoice in the joy of our salvation while we wait in the quietness and confidence in the Lord to fight the battles in front of the gates of our lives naturally and spiritually (supernaturally). As we cooperate with Him to do only His Spirit causes us to do according to His good will and work in us (Phil. 2:13). Returning is coming back to full dependence on God and not on anything that might trump itself over God or His word (2 Cor. 10:4-6).
2 Cor. 10:4-6(NKJ)
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
RETURNING AND REST
Returning is turning around…repentance. It is coming back from a place where we might have backslidden in our faith or have a faulty mind-set of our belief in God (like Eve being deceived by Satan in the garden).
Jeremiah 8:5 (NKJ)
Why has this people slidden back, Jerusalem, in a perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit, They refuse to return.
We return to Him and depend on Him instead of depending on our own intellect, strategies and control, which is based on our own limited human resources (Proverbs 3:5-8). This is a choice that some would do and some would not! Which do you choose? By entering the place of rest that God has provided for us, we enter by faith in Christ’s finished work at the cross. (Hebrews 4:6-10). This is the place where the battle of sin and shame against our souls was won for us. Rest, the battle has been won!
Just like a prodigal son whose father is waiting for him to come home; is the Father in heaven awaiting for his children to turn back (repent) to Him so that they might find rest and restoration for their souls (Psalm 23:3).
Luke 15:20-24 (NKJ)
“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this is my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
Once a child of the Lord chooses to Return then God says Rest. Rest in Him! He who is our Refuge, Fortress, Strength and Strong Tower that we can run into and be safe, secure, protected, loved and fully accepted. (Psalm 18:1, Psalm 46:1, 62:8, 71:3, 91:2,4,9 and Proverbs 18:10). He is our dwelling place!(Psalm 90:1). This resting in God, defeats the schemes of the evil one against us as we walk lifting up our shields of faith quenching every flaming arrow of the wicked one and returns us to a place of peace! (Ephesians 6:16).
QUIETNESS AND REST
In quietness we rest. It is in the sweet standing in faith in what only God can do that no one else may even know about. It’s not about trusting in any other person, place or thing, but solely on the person of God alone. It’s between you and God in this quiet undisturbed place that the decision you made to return to Him is walked out by faith thru His gift of grace, Jesus. Quietly you hold this in your heart that you are going to trust Him for His process, His Ways, and His best outcome for you. That He is going to help you and bring you out to victory.
CONFIDENCE AND REST
In confidence we rest. We rest confidently not in our own resources but in God’s hands full of grace Who is our Helper, Deliverer (Psalm 40, Romans 11:29), Redeemer (Isaiah 44:6, 47:4 48:17,54:5), the One who makes all things new (2 Cor. 5:17; Rev. 21:5). When we are delivered out and His way is smoothed out before our feet (Luke 3:4-6) we walk out in triumph having been refined and reminded that we are not in control but that we know the One who is and we are confident in His love, protection and care for us whether our circumstances are pleasurable at the moment or not.
2 Cor. 2:14 (NKJ)
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place..
We are able to rejoice in the gift of our salvation with the joy of the Lord as our strength to endure these circumstances and trials knowing He will hold our hand and walk us out to triumph. Because of His wisdom, knowledge and understanding and not our own, then to Him be the glory and not ourselves!
WHAT IS IDOLATRY?
All other people, places or things that we put our trust in for peace, rest and quietness are idolatry (Isaiah 57:8). Idolatry is simply anything that masquerades itself as God but is not the real deal (remember Eve being deceived in the garden about the goodness of God?). The only true place of peace, rest, quietness and confidence is when we can surrender the works of our own hand and return to the works of his hands.
YOU SIT, GOD BATTLES!
God is the One who battles for us as we sit positioned for victory at the right hand of the Father….we sit just as Jesus is so are we in this world! We sit and take a front row seat to watch God intervene and intercede in man’s affairs to shift and change all that we are unable or often even unwilling to do for ourselves. This is where He is able and willing to display the splendor of His glory and mercies among men (Isaiah 41:20).
BEING IN THE SPLENDOR OF HIS GLORY!
John 11:40 (NKJ)
Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?
Return to the God who created you and knows you better than you know yourself! The One who has been with you before you were even conceived and Who loves you like no other. He sees our sin and offers His Son Jesus as a substitute for all your sin. Will you receive Him in your heart and enter His rest? Will you believe that He died that you might have everlasting life? Will you cast all your care on His shoulders that the load you are carrying might be lifted off? Will you receive?
Isaiah 61:3 (NKJ)
…To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
Then you can take off the heavy yoke you were not intended to carry and don your light easy yoke that God made especially for you (Matt. 11:30). This yoke is easy, light and allows you to live in the abundant life Jesus died for you to live out! Trade in your fears for faith in God’s care (1Peter 5:7), love, mercy and peace with everlasting confidence in what Christ has already accomplished for you.
Ask him into your heart and come home dear child. Your Father has been waiting to give you a kiss, the best robe and be merry.(Luke 15:30)! Jesus gives us all clean slates and clear calendars to walk again with Him. He heals of all backsliding and sin to live in true liberty and peace (Isaiah 57:18). Come and sit with Him in glory!
Amen. Amen. and Halleluiah! Thank You Jesus!
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with my Father on His throne. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”