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Hello, again, friends. Today, I’m going to share with you wisdom I got from my pastor’s bible study. My heart tells me it’s right and so I’m going to give it a try this year and see how much it will help me.
It’s a new year and although I’m full of excitement for what the Lord Jesus has for me this year, my external circumstances are the same as last year. I have the same job (which is a GREAT blessing), I’m still not finished with my studies (which is NOT a bad thing either), I still have a mountain of books to read, and gigs of sermons to listen to and things haven’t dramatically changed for the better yet. I’m not complaining and I’m fully content where I am in this journey called life.
However, I am, also, fully aware that this isn’t everything yet. And this gets me excited. Sometimes, it makes me anxious that I tend to take matters in my hand and do things my own way to ‘help’ God speed up my growth process. I know, that’s stupid. So, when I heard the sermon last Sunday, I know and feel that this will help me stay on course and not do anything stupid again xD.
Of course, there are no formulas in living the Christian life. If there is, it’s going to be John 3:16. Basically, the real formula is only believe in Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the Cross.
There is, however, a very helpful principle that, I think, will be beneficial for me, and hopefully for you too. So, I’m going to share it here. (to get the full sermon where this principle was taken from, visit this link.) Know that this is not original with me (getting this out there to avoid any possible legal disputes) and although I don’t see the value of taking credit for a biblical revelation, there are many things in life and in this world that I don’t understand yet.
Alright, now that that’s over with. Let’s get on to the meat of this post. The following steps or keys for everything and anything about running this race called life, are:
It is important that we understand how Jesus wants for us to rest in Him. Although the definition of rest has many forms (rest as in sleeping, rest as in being passive, etc), knowing the biblical importance of rest is a life-changer. I think resting in Jesus is truly emphasised in John 15:5
I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing.
Jesus is the vine; the source of our every purpose. Resting in Jesus is knowing that He has finished the Work. His sacrifice on the Cross has given us complete rest. To me, this means, there is no need to struggle and wrestle with God when things don’t seem to go the way they should. Resting in Jesus means to trust that His finished work has made a way; to trust that His sacrifice has torn the veil separating us from God’s goodness.
For example, when my schedule is filled up and I get anxious trying to get some time to do other important things, like, say, study for my finals. I could work more by limiting my sleep hours, prayer and devotion time or my listening-to-the-Word time and spend more time in studying. The truth is, I could accomplish more by resting in Jesus, getting the right amount of sleep, prioritising my time spent in listening to His word and in prayer and then study what I could finish studying. Needless to say, I have to limit my activities that are less important than studying like, checking Facebook.
The point is, if I invest my time in the Vine, I will bear more fruit (in this case, will be more productive in my studies) than if I invest my time in studying (in this context, means working and not resting in Jesus).
I believe this key co-exists with the first one. To rest without hearing the Word is no rest at all. The Word is life to all who find it and health to all their body (Proverbs 4:22). The best demonstration of this would be when Mary chose to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen, contrasting Martha’s business with ministry work. There is only one way to have faith, and it’s only by hearing and hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Without faith, it is impossible to rest. Without the constant assurance of Jesus’ eternal promise and never-ending love, it is impossible to find rest.
In my experience, I easily forget God’s goodness and greatness that if I stop hearing or reading His Word, I get discouraged by little things. Also, the bible has so many reminders about this that I don’t really have to write all of them here (not that I can list all, in the first place). It is worth mentioning, however, that to listen to the Word of God births in us His rest. I think, then, it is correct to say that hearing God’s Word produces both faith and rest in us? You be the judge of that.
Lastly, flow in the Spirit. How, exactly? Well, I think this key is also inseparable from listen. Without hearing God’s Word, it is impossible to flow in the Spirit. Every biblically educated Christian knows that. For the benefit of the rest, to flow is the opposite of putting effort in doing something. Okay, maybe that’s not as clear as I intended it to be.
Take for example, two people giving money to the poor. One is doing it because he has to. He’s a good Christian and reads his bible that it is better to give than to receive. So, he gives out of the assumption that giving makes you a better person. Contrast this with the second person. He gives because he can. He’s also a good Christian and reads his bible that Jesus gave Him so much, he is overflowing with so much to give away. Do you see the subtle difference? I pray this message gets through.
To flow is to let Jesus work through you. But, again, it is impossible to flow without hearing or listening to the Word of God. Hearing makes your faith grow and this is when the Word of God does the Work through you. Notice that the emphasis is on God’s Word doing the work, not you. It is the Word of God that divides your soul and spirit (Hebrews 4:12), teaching you which is from God and which is from you.
To flow is to unconsciously do the work of God as a result of a constant relationship with Him.
I am positive that these 3 keys will help me live everyday; live in a way that is in accordance to God’s plan and purpose; and live with an ever-flowing joy and hopeful rest, knowing that heaven and earth will pass away but His Word, written in stone and in our hearts, will never fail. They are easy to remember and I think, is good for new (or renewed) Christians like me. I hope this will bless you!