What does it mean to rest? In the many definitions of rest, the following stands out;
- 1: repose, sleep; specifically : a bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities
- 2: freedom from activity or labor
- 3: peace of mind or spirit
- 4 : free of anxieties…..
From the above definition of rest, we appreciate two things; Firstly that Rest is synonymous with “Peace” on the one part and that there are realms or levels of rest; Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Rest, a typical representation of the Tripartite nature of man with the spiritual being the Cornerstone and foundation for both the physical and emotional….1st Thessalonians 5:23 “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” And also as the book of John 4:24 says “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”. This nature of man is similar to God’s in 1st John 5:7 which says “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
So whilst rest/peace is desirable by everyone, the ability to actually rest or experience peace is one that is determined by the environment, circumstances and relationships the individual is surrounded by or finds himself/herself in. What this means is that NO MAN can decide to rest by himself/herself alone. Certain factors can either facilitate or enhance the rest/peace or deter/prevent it .
Physically; a very humid weather and a hot room will make sleeping or resting impossible; a bumpy road will make resting in a commercial vehicle on motion difficult; a very loud noise; Malaria, fever, General sickness and disease will make resting impossible.. .
Emotionally; a broken or hurting heart will know no rest/peace; a mother with a sick or wayward child will know no rest/peace; the heart of a father without means(Financial) to take care of his family will know no rest; the loss (death) of a loved one(husband, wife, child, father, mother, best friend) will make the heart restless …and many more instances.
Spiritually, every life that has not found its “True” Maker and Purpose will know no rest/peace.
Is your life full or filled with Rest and Peace?
God has design life to be a constantly full and filled entity, that is why every creation of God has a purpose and essence it is fulfilling. In the Book of Genesis when God initiated creation, it was void, empty, chaotic and in darkness(without purpose and essence)….In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters… and in Six Days He filled it up with life and man as its ultimate ruler and rested on the Seventh Day(Because He is a full and filled God, no emptiness in Him). Also God didn’t just create trees and animals, He gave them purpose and essence.
THERE IS NO VACUUM IN LIFE. Everything MUST be filled whether with the right content or the wrong one. That is why Jesus made this statement in Matthew 12:43-45 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”
Once there is a vacuum, it must be filled. Jesus understood this principle that is why He said in Matthew 11: 28-29 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Jesus knew they had not accepted Him and if you have not accepted Jesus, you definitely cannot find or be at rest no matter the “Seeming” rest you think you have and this brings us to one of the devices of the Devil; an illusion of rest/peace…The Midway House of Illusion.
What are you full and filled with?
The Midway House(as I have tagged it) is a state of being where all seems right, good and peaceful and yet there is no Jesus involved and neither God nor His Word is the essence of such a state. It is a religious believe that teaches a man that peace and rest can be found deep within the man and all he needs to do is to reach out through meditations, good works and love to find it; believing in yourself mantra...It is the self righteousness theology that guarantees a man eternal peace and rest by doing what is good according to the man’s subjective and perceived good according to the man’s Will without reference and reverence to God.
Romans 10: 1-4 says “Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes”.
Philippians 3:3 says “For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh”
Proverbs 16: 2-3 says “All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord . Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
Proverbs 30:12 says “those who are pure in their own eyes and yet are not cleansed of their filth;
It’s a demonic principle that concentrates on the physical and emotional rest far and above the spiritual rest; a superficial rest which is temporary and can be called Happiness at best. Hence the phrase “Happy and fulfilled”. This is a Midway to Rest and Peace without Jesus; a mirage.
Worthy of note is that there is a difference between happiness and rest/peace.
Whilst technology is getting better, more advanced and improved, wealth is increasing as also knowledge. We have more beautiful cars, fantastic house, security gadgets and lots more. The health sector is experiencing tremendous breakthroughs in medicines and entertainment industry is ever shunning out recreational and exciting programmes to keep everyone hyped but yet
1.Crime rate has increased,
2.Depression rate has increased,
3.Suicide rates have increase(even in my country where suicide was unheard before),
4.Anger and rage levels are high
5. Loneliness are deepened
6. Anxiety and fear are the new normal.
7. Increase in Divorce rate
Why is this so?
Because none of these things have proven to be enough to give man the rest/ peace that matters; the Spiritual Rest and once this rest/peace is missing, troubles, burdens, chaos, lack of focus and vision, confusion, etc and eventual death as enumerated above is inevitable. Happiness is temporary, a quick fix, a steroid, which wears out while it last…Luke 12:15 says “Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
Ezekiel 13:10 says “This will happen because these evil prophets deceive my people by saying, ‘All is peaceful’ when there is no peace at all! It’s as if the people have built a flimsy wall, and these prophets are trying to reinforce it by covering it with whitewash!“….Here, the people were sinning against God and rather than repent, their spiritual leaders told them all was well(without God’s help) and then God mentioned in anger disowned them.
So Who and What can ensure 100% rest and peace for man…
Isaiah 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Isaiah 54:13 “All your children will be taught by the Lord , and great will be their peace.”
1st Corinthians 1:3; 2nd Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2; Philippians 1:2; 2nd Thessalonians 1:2 ….“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
JESUS ALONE CAN GIVE AND GUARANTEE REST/PEACE….Hebrews 4:9 :There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;”
By giving our lives to Jesus genuinely for Him to become our Lord and saviour….2nd Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” living according to His righteousness and Holiness…Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Also you might say “I am not a believer in Jesus but I live a good and contented life Or must I live for Jesus to experience true Rest or Peace”?
Book of Revelation Chapter 3 verses 14-16 gives us a insight into God’s mind and mentality about relationship and life; which is that is is no Midway house to life, rest or peace….“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
This is further confirmed In Matthew 12:30 saying ““Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”
What this means is that, if you don’t have Jesus, you don’t have rest or peace at all no matter how you feel, what you have been told, your current situation or whatsoever.
There is no Midway House to Rest and Peace except by and through Jesus.
If your life is a continuous storm, then you need Jesus, the Prince of Peace
If you are happy and feeling fulfilled without Jesus, then you are in the Midway House of Illusion, it’s only a matter of time before your storms sweep’s in and destroys all you have built your hope and confidence upon.
Hear the testimony of Jesus in Matthew 8:27 after he rebuked the storm and there was great calm…”…Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him”