God led me to watch sermon 1 in the Soul Detox series at LifeChurch.tv and boy did He have a reality check in store for me. Pastor Craig Groeschel nailed it when He depicted the troubled soul who wanders the earth, always searching and never finding, constantly anxious and restless, never able to sit still and soak in the presence of Jesus. That is me. Ecclesiastes 2:22-23 says, "What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest." This world, especially American life, keeps our minds racing, our bodies exhausted, and our nerves on point all the time. Stress is killing us, worries overwhelm us, depression and mental illness are rife. Our souls are desperately in need of REST.
I was moved to tears this morning because I know that my inability to find rest in God has led me away from the only true source of satisfaction and peace--Jesus. Psalm 62:1 says, "My soul finds rest in God alone." Matthew 11:28-29 confirms from the lips of Jesus, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." But how can we find that rest in God? There's a three part answer to that. First, in Psalm 46:10 we find God's still small voice telling us to, "Be still, and know that I am God." Notice that God does not say, "Be busy, and know that I am God" or "be productive, and know that I am God." Be still. Try being still before the Lord, doing nothing else but basking in His presence, in silence, thinking of nothing but Him. Try that for 5 minutes and see how hard it is because of the fast-paced distracted life we've become used to. The second way we can find rest in God alone is by waiting on Him. Psalm 37:7, "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him." Sometimes we read our Bibles and pray and then question why we cannot hear God's voice speaking to our souls. Here's why: we don't wait. Psalm 130:5-6 says, "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning." Watchmen wait for the morning with the certainty that the sun will rise, because they know that not a day goes by where the sun doesn't rise. Likewise, we need to be confidant that just as the sun is going to come up, God is going to show up. Wait. Lastly, we need to make it a practice to reflect on God's goodness. During our quiet times with Jesus, instead of thinking about all that needs to be done, meditate about all that God has already done! Psalm 116:7, "Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you." Herein lies the key to finding rest in a restless world.
The key is Jesus.
"You awaken us to delight in your praise.You have made us for yourself,and our hearts are restlessuntil they rest in You."-St. Augustine
As I was listening to this sermon and meditating on this message, this song just continued to play in my mind. I hope it is a blessing to you as it has been for me.
Restless by Audrey Assad