Cheri's Blog

Resting Well Day 4

Resting Well – Day 4

Resting is Gospel-Centered

Scripture: Heb. 4:11-12

Five of my children are taking the public school mandated assessments. Failing the test would mean not promoting to the next grade. My kids feel the weight of the responsibility today, but they have not always.

One squirrely rascal refused to listen to teachers or their PHD Reading Specialist mom! This child possesses the fortitude of a CEO bottled up in the body of a tadpole. They can exhibit a wiseacre attitude. You cannot teach a person who thinks they already know what they don’t know. Needless to say, the child didn’t do well.

It’s the best thing that ever happened to them!

I sat with my future CEO, knee to knee, offering reasons we believed they failed to succeed. First we cried and embraced the tragedy of the situation. Then I cautioned them about remaining on this path, and we proposed a new plan. Becoming teachable and open to receive what the authority in their life offered would be essential.

We find ourselves in a similar tender, but firm encounter with the writer of Hebrews. Picture yourself sitting knee to knee. Just after the warnings and the challenge to strive toward entering His rest is given, a plan for how to be successful is made plain.

Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:11-12

You and I can be just like my squirrely kid. We sometimes think we already know what we don’t know. The writer steers us on a course for success. This Gospel–this Word, is different! We are encouraged to embrace this Gospel because it is changeless yet able to meet us where we are. It lives. We have no other resource to which it can compare.

For true rest, we must read this Word and receive this Word. Podcasts won’t be enough. Reading plans will not do it. Attending a great God-honoring church is wise and prudent, but will not satisfy the need. You and I must commit to hear it. See it. Memorize it. Get the Word in us any and every way possible-– but let it be the actual Gospel, not something about the Bible.

Do you want out of those desert places of wandering? Are you teachable? Can you receive what the Lord is ready to give? The key to believing God and leaving those desert wanderings behind is through the living Word of God.

Read it.

Receive it.

And you will be on your way to Resting Well.

You can find today’s podcast by clicking HERE.

With much affection, for His Glory,

Resting Well Day 3

Resting Well – Day 3

The Price of NOT Resting

Last summer, my husband took a job in another city for a year. This left me at home with eight kids and more responsibilities than I could handle. You might say, I had too many penguins on the iceberg.

My solution was to spend less time on me. Sleep less. Eat less. Do less of what I needed to give more and be stronger for them. As you can imagine, it was only a matter of time before penguins began flinging off my iceberg.

Not surprisingly, there was a price for neglecting myself.

Neither is it startling to learn Scripture warns us there is a price for NOT resting.

Consider God’s dealings with the Israelites as they settled into the Promised Land. In Joshua 21:43-44 we find God’s people entering His rest, experiencing all God promised them.

Thus the LORD gave to Israel all the land that he swore to give to their fathers. And they took possession of it, and they settled there. And the LORD gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the LORD had given all their enemies into their hands.
Joshua 21:43-44

Later the Psalmist encourages the people of his day to learn from those who were not able to enter because of their unbelief, and to choose differently.

For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness, when your fathers put me to the test and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work. For forty years I loathed that generation and said, “They are a people who go astray in their heart, and they have not known my ways.” Therefore I swore in my wrath, “They shall not enter my rest.” Psalm 95:7-11

Isaiah does something similar in his day.

 For by people of strange lips and with a foreign tongue the LORD will speak to this people, to whom he has said, “This is rest; give rest to the weary; and this is repose”; yet they would not hear. And the word of the LORD will be to them precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little, that they may go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. Isaiah 28:11-13

What does all of this have to do with you and me today?

Hebrews clears the fog by explaining that the promise of entering His rest still stands today (Hebrews 3:7-19). Therefore, the risk of NOT entering it also remains.

Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. Hebrews 3:12

There can be an UNBELIEVING HEART within a Believer that refuses to cleave to, trust in and rely on God.

Can you see how this could be a present reality? We believe God for our purposes in life. But the road to our particular Promised Land is wrought with impossibilities, hardships, difficult people and dysfunctional relationships. It’s easy to lose your footing in the midst of all this malarkey. Who wouldn’t be tempted NOT to cleave, trust in, or rest upon a God who makes promises blurred by all this haze?

Oh– but There is a price of NOT Resting. There are consequences for refusing to believe the God who gives rest to our souls! Constant turmoil. Anxiety and worry. Defeat.

Can we agree that this price is too great?

If this refusal remotely defines the state of your heart, then take the advice found in Psalms 106:6 and 25:11.

Both we and our fathers have sinned; we have committed iniquity; we have done wickedness. Psalm 106:6

For Your name’s sake, O LORD, Pardon my iniquity, for it is great. Psalm 25:11

Ask for forgiveness. Unbelief for the Believer is a sin. NOT resting as a Believer– not cleaving to, relying on, or trusting in Him-– is sin.

Ask, and you will be forgiven.

His rest is too good to miss!

With Much affection, for His Glory!

 

 

Today’s podcast provides a deeper look into the consequences of NOT resting and how to avoid them. Take five minutes and click on the title, “Pitfalls to Avoid.”

 

Resting Well Day 2

Resting Well – Day 2

Rest for Your Burdens

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

The invitation offered in Matthew 11:28 is generously inclusive. Most of us could admit to laboring at some point. We are invited to bring even our most grievous trouble– the ulcer-causing kind. Those of us who are overwhelmed with responsibility, as well as exhausted are welcome, too. Who isn’t glad Jesus calls us to Himself?

But if you and I were honest, do we really have any practical idea WHAT WE ARE SUPPOSED TO DO with the invitation?

Am I supposed to stop doing everything?

Do I zone out of my burdened life and just quote scripture?

Does it simply mean to stop worrying?

What is Jesus calling us into out of our exhausted states–our situations and worries that are spilling into our functionality?

We need to know because these are the places we live!

Some are working ourselves dizzy.

Some of us truly are taxed emotionally. The loss has been too great this year. The financial issues are too complicated. The relationship drama is ever-present and oppressive. The emotional strains are taking a physical toll.

Or maybe what others genuinely need from you has over-extended you until you have become ill. My dear friend cared for her mother in her final months. The day after she passed away into Glory my friend suffered an illness that land her in the ICU! She had given everything she had until the very end.

Isn’t that like us? You and I have no sense! We often give beyond what is good for us, personally. Therefore, most of us are bone-weary desperate to experience the kind of rest Jesus beckons us into.

This particular rest is a temporary respite from activity, or from service or work. He knows there will be times when we give everything we’ve got to the end. And there is nothing left.

Jesus says, “Come to Me – and I will cause you to rest.”

There are no substitutions. Jesus is the only One who can give us what we need to get back in there. Nothing else will do.

I don’t know what you need. But He does.

You don’t know what I need. But He does.

God knows we need Him to cause us to rest.

For there is work to be done. And we want to be fit to do it.

  1. Tell Him of your need, and
  2. Let Him fill it.

I hope you will take five minutes for today’s podcast, “The Path to Soul Rest.” Just click on the link.

With Much affection, for His Glory!

 

 

Resting Well Day 1

Resting Well – Day 1

I can’t remember the last time I talked with someone who considered themselves well rested. Most of my interactions are with people at the precipice of exhaustion. Some of us have not had enough sleep for close to a decade. We are guilty of jam-packing twenty-nine hours’ worth of vigor into the set twenty-four day. Insufficient sleep has become so problematic the Center for Disease Control has deemed it a “public health epidemic.”

Among other issues, fatigue is known to cause thousands of traffic accidents per year. It slows our cognitive processing, and is related to serious health problems such as heart failure, diabetes, and strokes. But the reality that it impairs our judgment about our need for rest, I found must fascinating! Somehow we think we are above slowing down. No. Those other poor souls can’t hack it. Just give us a power nap or hand us an espresso and we will keep going.

But the truth is, we deceive ourselves.

Even the Son of Man got tired. At one time, Jesus and the disciples boarded a boat, and a great storm swells. But Jesus is unmoved by the hurricane-force wind and the ferocious waves because he is sound asleep below.

And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. Matthew 8:23-24

This is not a cruise ship nor is it a few clouds. These were fishermen who believed they were about to die. The God-man was exhausted.

Another time He and disciples are traveling by foot when they arrive at Sychar in Samaria (John 4:6). Jesus is physically tired from the journey and needed to stop and rest, just like you and me.

Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. (NLT)

You see, God created humanity to require rest. “Six days you shall labor,” (Exodus 23:12), “but on the seventh, you shall rest.” Contrary to my backward and twisted thinking, resting is not a sign of personal weakness. It’s not punishment for not being able to do it all myself. It is simply God’s good intent toward us.

He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. Psalm 23:2

God knows our tendency toward exhaustion: physically, emotionally and often spiritually. But do not think for a minute resting well is not a call to lazy couch potato living. On the contrary. There are six days of work set aside for work which means the expectation is that we be productive most of the time. But there is also a high price to pay for NOT resting. You and I need to find the Biblical balance.

Over the next several days, we will discover what the Bible says about rest, what is the cost of not resting, and strategies you and I can implement into our daily routines for resting well in Christ.

Don’t forget to listen to the Podcast, Does God Care if I’m Tired? Just click on the title!

Thanks for coming along!