Thursday, October 30, 2014

how rest brings freedom

It seems contradictory, backwards even. But resting really does lead us to victory.

The Israelites were fleeing from the Egyptians when they heard the admonition from Moses. When terror was at its height and escape seemed to be eluding them, Moses gave an unlikely charge: “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to hold your peace.” (Ex 14:14 KJV) Other versions render the word peace as “be still”. The whole idea was that God would fight the battle on behalf of his people, and he did. 

God has unconventional battle strategies for his people. He determines that we should fight, and he equips us with songs and words. He exhorts us to be strong and then asks us to be still and wait. There is great peace in the resting as we fight our battles and press on towards victory.

Rest does not equal surrender. Rest equals knowing from whom the victory comes. Because at the core we must realize that we do not fight our battles on our own,  (the battle is the Lord’s) and when we do we usually go down quickly in defeat. 

Also, rest does not equal a stop in our physical activity. When the Israelites were instructed to hold their peace they still had to move forward, away from the advancing enemy. 

And so for us rest happens in our minds. The enemy knows that the primary battles we fight will be waged in our minds, over patterns of thinking and ways of thought that are contrary to God’s best for us. He determines to fill our minds with worry and anxiety, and all sorts of other things to busy up our thoughts. But the restful mind does not dwell in fear. Rest and peace cannot be found in anxiety. The key to entering into God’s rest as we fight our battles is to keep our minds free from worry and confusion. 

Joyce Meyer reminds us that the secret isn’t really such a secret after all, the enemy is fully aware of the power of a restful mind. “Satan, of course, knows this fact, so he attacks your mind, waging war against you on the battlefield of your mind. He wants to overload and overwork your mind by filling it with every kind of wrong thought so it cannot be free and available to the Holy Spirit working through your own human spirit.” (Battlefield of the Mind, 84)

God offers us the irresistible opportunity of freedom, it comes looking like rest. It arrives at the mention of God’s word. And it settles down and dwells in the middle of our praise. 

We can be free. We don’t have to be tied up with the need to control and be in charge. I pray that you’ve seen glimpses of that this month, and I pray that you have been able to see the light of freedom begin to dawn in your lives.

He offers us so much, sometimes we just need to fight for it and claim the freedom that Christ holds out. 

Friends, I pray we continue to do this. Let’s walk this freedom trail together. 


This is the final post in a month long series about finding freedom from our need to control. Find the rest of the series here or by clicking the button below.

1 comment:

  1. Your words intrigue me. This question comes to mind for me. Even when we think we are at rest are we truly at a peaceful places allowing God to fight the battle for us both outwardly as well as inwardly? Thanks for always sharing your heart friend!


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