Entering God’s Rest

All during our lifetime, we love to create on God’s behalf through our vocation, hobbies, parenthood and church ministry. However, we fail to heed God’s advice to take times off to rest (Genesis 2:1-2:3).

God gave us an example of how to spend our time by taking a day to focus on rest. We usually use our “day off” to catch up on chores around the house, to stock our pantry and to prepare for the coming week.

During the most hectic days at work, home and with family, we often wish we could fly away on the wings of a dove and be at rest (Psalm 55:6). Yet, we fail to use our days off to relax and breathe.

Most of us enjoy our work, and realize that no matter what our vocation, it is God who actually pays our check (Ecclesiastes 2:24-25). This helps us not to be anxious about our livelihood.

God gives us our job and keeps us there until He has another place for us to minister for His Kingdom (Acts 8:39). Regardless of our vocation, God has His perfect plans for us (Ephesian 2:10).

There is no reason to feel worried about any aspect of our life. We take all of our cares to the Lord in prayer, because He cares about us (1 Peter 5:7).

God’s peace guides us, not through our human mind, but through our spirit. He guards our emotions and mind from worry and stress, because we abide in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

Jesus modeled this peace through storms, Satan’s temptations, persecution and His crucifixion (Matthew 8:24). God is humble and gentle with us and gives us rest for our soul (Matthew 11:28-29).

Pray:
Father God, remind us that You offer us a fulfilling and passionate relationship with You, which keeps us in peace because of Your faithful provision for all of our needs (Romans 8:28). This requires regular quiet times in order to enter your rest (Hebrews 13:5).

As we pray with our children and model a Godly walk for them, they too will learn the importance of trusting You with their life. Help us to enter into Your rest and to abide under the shadow of Your wings (Hebrews 4:10; Psalm 91).

Thought for the Day:
Pray as a single person, as a couple and with your children to inspire anticipation for the miracles ahead, as well as faith in God’s faithfulness, which both inspire us to rest in Him and to walk in His peace in every situation.

Intercessory Prayer

There is nothing as sweet as time alone (all-one) with God, a time of separation from the world and spiritual renewal, a time of grace, mercy and unity with both Christ within us and our Father on His throne. Jesus is our intercessor, constantly serving as our advocate with our Father. He suffered the torture and agony of the Cross to provide for our earthly liberation and our eternal glory (1 John 2:1).

The Holy Spirit also intercedes for us, often with utterances, which we do not understand (Romans 8:6). We are the temple of God’s Spirit, and He dwells within us and sanctifies us over the course of our lifetime (2 Corinthians 3:18). He slowly crucifies the old nature in us as we cooperate with Him, by starving the little fellow to death at the same time that we feed our spirit with spiritual food (Ephesians 4:24; Romans 6:6).

God’s Word is an infinite source of wisdom and practical advice, especially the Psalms and Proverbs. Reading them daily can improve the way we handle and react to life. God’s Word is a lamp and light for our life (Psalm 119:105). Praying God’s Word allows us to identify with the prophets and psalmists as they interceded for themselves and their world.

During our times of oneness with God, He gives us His heart for the world (John 3:16). When we feel the torment of others, we can join Christ in interceding for that person or people group. Intercessory prayer facilitates our unity with God. We identify with God’s heart and learn to despise what He disdains and embrace what He holds dear, as we spend time mediating for others through prayer.

Prayer:
Father God, You make us aware of the spiritual warfare, in which we engage with each prayer we breathe. By Your Spirit, we put to flight tens of thousands of demonic predators, which roam the earth, seeking people to oppress or possess (1 Peter 5:8; Mark 3:15). The more intimate our unity with You, the more authority You give us over the demonic forces we battle through intercessory prayer.

Thought for the Day:
The pain of those we pray for becomes so real to us that it is almost as if we are pleading for our self as we pray for others.

Consulting the Lord

Joshua took over the leadership of Israel from Moses. He followed in Moses’ footsteps and sought God’s direction for each decision he made and every action he took. He had no confidence in his own ability and He generally relied on God’s counsel. God promised to give Joshua every part of the land where he set his feet. God also declared that no army would stand against him (Joshua 1:3,5).

Therefore, with a few successful battles to his credit, Joshua’s fame traveled throughout Canaan (Joshua 6:27). This caused his heart to swell with pride, and He got overly confident. He started believing the praise awarded to him, rather than giving credit to the Lord. The unconventional warfare God told Joshua to use at Jericho (Joshua 6:20) puffed up his confidence. Therefore, at the next battle, in the tiny town of Ai, Joshua did not bother to consult the Lord.

He relied on his own wisdom instead. He sent up an army of about three thousand men, expecting to hear of their anticipated victory. However, God taught Joshua a lesson through this and allowed the few men of Ai to defeat Joshua’s army (Joshua 7:3-4). God humbled Joshua, and he ended up embarrassed and dejected. It happened again when the Gibeonite ambassadors tricked Joshua by their deceptive words (Joshua 9:14-22).

Joshua foolishly believed he could handle these decisions without the Lord’s direction. We do this too. We forget to pray and to seek God’s counsel when salesmen pressure us, friends and family manipulate us and those in authority over us demand things from us. True success in life only comes when we seek advice from the Lord before making a decision, and follow His advice even if it is not popular or seems not to make sense. Hindsight always proves God right.

Prayer:
Father God, as Your children, we will need to make some important decisions throughout our lifetime. We have the choice of following a humanistic plan of action or of seeking Your divine direction. Remind us to trust in You with all of our heart and not to lean on our own understanding. Help us not to be wise in our own eyes, but to consult You (Proverbs 3:5-7). That way we will not be anxious about anything, but we will pray about everything and present our requests to You (Philippians 4:6). When we lack wisdom, we can ask You, because You give it generously to all without finding fault (James 1:5).

Thought for the Day:
Consult the Lord in whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
– Proverbs 16:3