Entering His Rest
To grieve the heart of the One who loves me most is a tragedy that I can not comprehend. I had a dreamlike experience a couple of weeks ago. In my experience, I saw a man who was so busy with the mundane activities of everyday life that he barely made time for true communion with God. This man was a Christian and loved the Lord; but without realizing it, he had gotten too caught up with the cares of this world and doing things he thought were necessary. He was becoming task oriented, working non-stop, going to meeting after meeting, and simply going through the motions.
Human striving was taking its toll on this man. God knew the only way the man would stop, rest and spend time alone with Him was to cut his arms off. So, from the elbows down, the man lost his arms. I understand this experience sounds extremely weird and graphic but it was a symbolic picture. I honestly do not fully grasp its full meaning; however I know what I saw.
At the end of my dream, I saw the man lying in bed resting. He had his little nub arms raised worshipping Jesus with the most satisfying look on his face. I, by no means, believe the Lord wants us to be in pain nor have our arms cut off. I believe this was an illustrative picture given to help me better understand the truth that nothing matters more than spending time with God. The man’s arms in my opinion represented tasks, works and endeavors that people put there hands to out of human striving.
The day after I had this experience, I was reminded of Matthew 18:6-7, which says:
Woe to the world because of things that cause sin! Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come! If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life maimed or crippled than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into eternal fire.
I believe until we realize that in and of ourselves we are crippled, and until we begin to become fully dependant on God, we will not walk in the true authority or places God has ordained us to walk in. I have recently found myself in the same boat as the man in my dream. Therefore, I believe this was a wake up call first for me and also others. The Lord wants me to spend additional quality time with Him because He wants to speak to me more, and ultimately bless my life. Within the last couple of weeks, I have begun to reevaluate my priorities and reconsider how I spend my time. It is as simple as that…just spending time with God.
Matthew 18: 1-3 says:
At that time the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
This passage reminds me of when I was a little girl. I would play outside for hours on end without a care in the world. I was so innocent and simple. I was entirely dependant upon my parents to ensure that all my needs would be met. I trust this is the state the Lord wants us in. He desires for us to have complete union with His Spirit. To rest solely in His arms and embody the Fruit of the Spirit– love, joy, peace patience, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and self-control are attributes that rightfully belong to us (Galatians 5: 22-23).
We are to overcome the cares of this world like John did on the Isle of Patmos, and allow our spirit-man to be at the forefront and rule over our soul (mind, will and emotions) (Revelation 1:10). Even in the midst of persecution, heartache, stress, and problems, to eat from the Tree of Life, which is the Spirit of the Living God, is our inheritance. To have life and have it more abundantly is the place we find our identity. We can possess peace and kindness even as we experience the craziness of everyday life.
An Example to Follow
I have recently spent time studying the life of Benson Idahosa. Historians report he was a dynamic preacher and an evangelist of faith to the world through God’s power. He was also the first African preacher to visit over one hundred and thirty countries before he died. He attained the position God destined for him and became an ambassador of faith to nations. He led a delegation to put a stop to bloodshed in his home country of Nigeria, which was known for rampant bloodshed.
His community became a better place to live, without the fear of being made a sacrifice. Through his messages, millions of people were saved. It was written by a researcher who studied Idahosa’s life that the key to his success was twofold: childlike faith and quality time with Jesus; two simple, yet profound truths that need not be overlooked, because they can change our view of life.
Hide yourselves in Christ, and He will whisper strategies. When the striving ends, there will be no more of the weariness that comes from attempting to do things every way but God’s way. Out of a place of rest will emerge the ability to achieve our calling! There can be paradise on this side of eternity. Revelation 2:6-8 declares:
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the Tree of Life which is the paradise of God.
The Kingdom of Heaven is near; we are to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the leper, and drive out demons (Matthew 10:7-8). Obedience is an essential gift and form of worship we can give our Lord. Obey His words, He will speak. He yearns for us to spend time with Him and in His word out of love for Him. To love the Lord is the heartbeat of our mission. It’s the stream from which our service should flow.
I bless each of you to find your identity as you rest in Christ. I also declare that you will become all that God wants you to be. As you experience the pleasure of being who God has created you to be, you will benefit, others will also benefit, and the world will be blessed. Union with Jesus will come when we comprehend that our true identity is in Him, and when we sacrifice who we are to Him. Out of unity with the Lord, we will find ourselves in unity with other people around us. This truly needs to happen in the Body of Christ so we can see the harvest in its fullest.
My pray is, God remove the stumbling blocks within me, so that the stumbling blocks before me will be removed as well. I want to fulfill my destiny, and I know this will come when I learn to rest and find my place in You. Help me Lord to become your dwelling place!