Finding True Rest
The apostle Peter warns, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8).
We live in a fast-paced world that constantly demands our attention and leaves little room for us to savor what is right in front of us. Obligations leave us tired and in need of escape, but too often the things we use to escape add fuel to the fire. Busyness, social media, overeating, materialism, alcohol, and entertainment often leave us empty and discontent. When we refuse to surrender every part of our life to the Lord, we inevitably fill ourselves with things that will not satisfy.
Psalm 119:164 says, “seven times a day I praise you…”
Philosopher and theologian Dallas Willard suggests that the only way to discover true rest in the Lord is to reject our fast-paced culture and replace it with a slow, lingering, prayerful life with God:
“One of our greatest needs today is for people to really see and really believe the things they already profess to see and believe. Knowing about things – knowing what they are, being able to identify and say them – does not mean we actually believe them…the experience of a life without lack depends first and foremost upon the presence of God in our lives, because the source of this life is God Himself.”*
Have you ever considered that the abundant life Christ promises us (John 10:10) extends beyond following the rules, weekly Bible study, and daily quiet time? Paul calls us to pray continually (1 Thess. 5:16-20, Phil. 4:6, Eph. 6:18, Rom. 12:12). What does your prayer life look like? Do you “hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matt. 5:6)? Or do you struggle to love Him?
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3
If you are tired of living the status-quo Christian life, I entreat you to RUN from the things that distract you and instead continually seek His face.
- Spend an entire day with Him.
- Take a compact Bible everywhere you go and instead of scrolling on social media while waiting in line at the grocery store, immerse yourself in His Word.
- Set an alarm to pray every three hours.
- Take a few minutes of silence to linger and wait on Him.
- Ask Him to point out people who need help, who need prayer, who need an encouraging word, and obey those Spirit-led impulses.
- Reject complacency (Prov. 13:4).
- Run your race as if to win (1 Cor. 9:24).
Try this for a couple days and you will have some stories to share. Try this for a month and you will be a new person.
“Give me a deeper trust, that I may lose myself to find myself in Thee, the ground of my rest, the spring of my being.
Give me a deeper knowledge of Thyself as savior, master, lord, and king. Give me deeper power in private prayer, more sweetness in Thy Word, more steadfast grip on its truth.
Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action, and let me not seek moral virtue apart from Thee.”**
* The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett
** Life Without Lack by Dallas Willard