Stress Free Living - Day 4
Times of Refreshing
The apostle Peter said:
Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. (Acts 3:19)
As we read in the above Scripture, we experience times of refreshing or rest by remaining in the “presence of the Lord,” because it is in His presence where we find all we need. In Psalm 23, David describes the Lord as a good Shepherd who provides everything necessary for His sheep so they will not have anything to worry about. The book of Psalms also reveals that, in addition to rest, being in God’s presence gives us joy: “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).
Signs of Resting in God
There are three unmistakable signs that we have entered into the rest of God:
1. We Have Peace
When we repent of our sins and receive God’s forgiveness, He fills us with His peace. When we give God our burdens, He lifts them from us and gives us His peace. When we surrender our will to Him, He fulfills His will in our lives and immerses us in His peace. The peace we receive is not just a peace in which there is an absence of conflict. Instead, it is a peace that elevates us above any conflict and leads us to transcend the natural and live in the spiritual.
2. We Worship God
Heartfelt worship arises from being in a place of intimacy with God. When we are living in God’s rest, we do not worship Him only when things are going well and we have no problems. Rather, even in the midst of the harshest storm or the darkest night of our life, we choose to give Him the place of preeminence and worship Him in that place of rest.
There are times when we may start to worship God in the flesh, doing it in our own strength with our mind, body, or emotions, because stress is controlling us. However, seeing our genuine desire to worship Him, God will send His Holy Spirit to come and help us to worship Him “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23, 24). When this happens, our stress fades away as we enter into the rest of God’s presence.
3. We Continuously Allow God to Be in Control
When we are stressed, we cannot see, hear, or discern what is happening in the spiritual world; our spiritual senses are blocked, and we only perceive what is occurring in the natural realm. However, when we enter into the rest of the Lord, we live in continual anticipation of seeing the next thing that God will do. We do not conform to the impossibilities declared by natural minds, but we faithfully expect the Lord to act. The greatest miracle we can experience is to see God do what is impossible for us.
You will not see how God is acting in your favor until you commit to resting in Him, releasing your worries to His care. This is not something that is achieved overnight; it takes time and persistence to change the way we handle problems and to understand the full meaning of “resting.” In one sense, resting in God’s presence makes us spectators of what He is doing. However, this doesn’t mean that we are to be indifferent as we wait for His intervention, because He desires that we participate in His purposes. Rather, it means learning to daily live by faith, always expecting the “something new” that He will do.
Thought: Only repentance restores our ability to rest in God’s presence.