Let’s face it, if you don’t know someone, why would you trust them? Here we have a blog series about finding rest in HIM (Christ Jesus), when maybe you don’t even know who HE is.
Perhaps you’ve accepted His gift of grace but haven’t spent time deepening your relationship with Him. You don’t know Him that well yet.
If you don’t really know Him, why would you believe He could give you true rest?
Can I just tell you?
Here is just a little of what I know about God:
He loves us with an unfathomable love.
But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
For God so loved the world, that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
He is our Father who not only knows what we need but provides for and abundantly blesses us.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 1:3)
Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. (Matthew 6:8)
And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
He knows us. Nothing is hidden from Him; He sees it all- the good, the bad, the ugly.
Luke 8:17 For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.
For more comfort in being known by God, read THIS.
He is powerful and good. We can trust Him with every area of our lives.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us… (Ephesians 3:20)
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
For nothing will be impossible with God. (Luke 1:37)
God is Creator, sovereign, all-powerful, all-knowing, holy, wise, infinite, gracious, faithful, worthy, just, merciful, loving; the list goes on and on and on. Check out more about His character HERE.
But please, don’t just take my word for it.
The bottom line is you need to get to know Him to trust Him. But how?
Pray. Read. Worship. Fellowship.
Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Pray. Without ceasing. (1 Thess. 5:17)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)
Your prayer does not have to be fancy; no specific order or outline to it.
Just be real. Pour out your heart and thoughts to Him. He hears, listens, and responds.
I pray best through writing (surprise, surprise). Sometimes it’s a letter or poetry, other times it’s writing song lyrics. Occasionally I’ll talk to him out loud in my car; I like to pretend he’s riding in the passenger seat.
How do you talk to God? He is listening, and He cannot wait to hear from you.
Read. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).
Did you catch that?
The word of God (Bible) is living and active.
That means reading it will change you, just like it changed me (and still does!).
Do you read with anticipation and expectation?
Do you read with desire to know Him more?
Open God’s word. He will always meet you there.
Fellowship. Encourage one another and build each other up (1 Thess. 5:11).
Do not neglect to meet together (Hebrews 10:25).
The enemy wants to isolate us, make us feel alone, and feed us lies.
I don’t know where I would be without my people; my “tribe” as I like to call them.
They’re the ones I ask to pray for me when I’m struggling to love my husband. They speak God’s truth when I’m believing lies. They know my faults and see my ugly and love me anyway.
Everyone needs a tribe of fellow believers.
Who's in yours?
Maybe you don’t have one. Believe me, I have been there and it’s lonely. You don’t have to stay there. Ask God to build a village around you of the people He wants to be in your tribe (Matthew 12:49-50).
Then take action!
Attend a church that bases its beliefs on Biblical doctrine and believes in the inerrant Word of God.
Join (or start!) a small group and build relationships through weekly meetings. Have a meal together, time for fellowship, and time for Bible study/prayer.
Join a Bible study
Ask God to show you the relationships in which He wants you to invest. (I did this a couple years ago; the name he brought to mind was surprising. This was someone who intimidated me, and who I found difficult to really know. But I reached out in faith, asking her to meet once a week at lunch, and our friendship grew. She is now one of “my people” and one of my most sweet and trusted friends).
Ask God to help you be transparent with 1-2 trusted individuals other than your spouse. They can pray for you, hold you accountable, and be a sounding board when you need one. Do not keep things in the dark, bring them to the Light (Ephesians 5:13, John 1:5).
Remember, you are never alone.
Wait… what about worship?
I’d like to take a bit more time to delve into worship. It’s important to clarify a few things.
What do you think of when you hear the word worship? Singing praise songs with eyes closed and arms raised? Sure, that’s one way to do it.
But let’s not limit worship to singing at church on Sundays.
In Romans 12:1 Paul says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
A living sacrifice.
God calls us to give it all- every part of our lives in sacrificial worship to Him. He created us to be worshippers. We worship Him when…
We look for- and act upon- opportunities to love our spouse in the ways they need. It could be something as “small” as doing the dishes or as “big” as selling your prized possession, making money to put toward something your spouse enjoys.
We carry our spouse’s needs; when God uses us in their life to give them rest.
We set aside our own agendas, desires, and plans, and seek what’s best for others.
We use our time, talents, and resources to glorify God; no matter what we’re doing. Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
To learn more about worship through thanksgiving, read Thanksgiving- It Ain’t Just a Holiday. How Thanking the Lord Leads to Worshipful Living that Will Transform You and Your Marriage from the Inside Out.
whatever we serve is what we worship.
Whenever we worship the creation rather than the Creator, we toil under our self-made yoke, and we never find true rest.
What are you worshiping?
God created an infinite number of beautiful things.
I happen to believe dark chocolate is one of those things. But if I eat the whole bag of dark chocolates, am I worshiping the Creator? No! I am self-indulging, seeking comfort in creation rather than turning to the Creator to satisfy. (Romans 1:25).
When our day is long and we just want to come home, sit on the couch and watch TV, but our spouse needs care and conversation, will we succumb to our desire for relaxation? Or will we decide to devote time and attention to our spouse, trusting God to meet our need for rest?
Will we serve the Creator, or the creation?
Vow to change: an encouraging call to action
I pray that, this week, and every week thereafter, your relationship with our dear Lord deepens through consistent prayer, reading His Word, worship, and fellowship.
Pray without ceasing. Pray with your spouse every day; set aside time and do it. Talk to God throughout your day; lay your heart bare before him. He listens. He cares. He sees you. He knows.
Read his Word daily.
As a busy mom of 4 young ones, the only time I have to be quiet before the Lord (and still stay awake!) is before the sun rises. I set my alarm early, brew a cup of coffee, and savor sweet time with my Savior.
Worship Him. Whatever you do- work outside the home, stay-at-home mom/dad, CEO, factory worker, in church ministry, in the workforce- do it all to the glory of God. Be a living sacrifice.
Fellowship with other believers. Meet regularly. Be transparent with your trusted people so they can pray for you and hold you accountable (and vice versa). Find your “tribe.”
As you do these things, you will see your relationship with God grow. You will get to know Him more.
As you get to know Him more, your love for Him will grow.
As your love for Him grows, you will trust Him more.
And as you trust Him more, you will eagerly hand Him your life, knowing that HE will give your soul the rest it so desperately seeks.
Check it out
Maybe you’re thinking I know all of this, but something is not transferring. I can’t seem to make that head-heart connection.
To help figure out what may be holding you back, and for encouragement to let go of whatever is holding you back, read the next post: God’s Rest of My Work? Making a Choice to Let Go and Trust God.