Does Escape Bring Rest?
This week we are going to look at the 5 of the lies Satan uses to deceive us into believing where true rest can be found. So, let’s get started.
Lie #1 – “If only I could change my current situation or get away from it for a while, then I will experience a real rest.”
Here is the lens we need to hold up to this lie:
In the Greek language the word “blessed”, used in the following passage, can be translated as “fully satisfied apart from a person’s circumstances”. Therefore, what Jesus is teaching in the beatitudes is that there is no need to strive in order to achieve restfulness.
Listen to what Matthew 5: 3-12 says:
“Blessed [fully satisfied] are…”
the poor in spirit = those who has a truly humble stance before
those who mourn = those
who weep over sinfulness (sinfulness in ourselves, friends, relatives, society,
those who are meek/gentle = those
who humbly submit to the will of God at the expense of their own will
those who hunger and thirst for
righteousness = those who have a continual inner longing to
please God no matter what the cost
the merciful = those
who are being actively compassionate or who are having an outward manifestation
the pure in heart = those
with untainted/unsinful thoughts, feelings, and affections
the peacemakers = those
who are diligent to seek of peace with God and others
the persecuted = those
who suffer for the sake of Jesus Christ
Do these circumstances sound like restful ones to you?
What Jesus is teaching here, is that “true rest/true satisfaction” does not come from the circumstance - the emphasized sections of the beatitudes in the above paragraph. Rather, rest comes from outside the circumstance. It comes from the promise or hope that the circumstance has yet to reveal.
Now read through Matthew 5: 3 – 12 in their entirety:
“Blessed [fully satisfied] are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed[fully satisfied] are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
“Blessed[fully satisfied] are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
“Blessed [fully satisfied] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
“Blessed [fully satisfied] are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”
“Blessed [fully satisfied] are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
“Blessed [fully satisfied] are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
“Blessed [fully satisfied] are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed [fully satisfied] are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
The hard part of this lesson is to realize we need to find rest wherever God has us right now – no matter how bleak the situation may seem from our own earthly perspective. The truth Jesus reveals in the beatitudes is that resting in His promises is where rest begins and where rest is fulfilled.
So I ask you, in what ways do you struggle to stay where God currently has you? You can start your searching by asking God to reveal to you the truth about your life situations. As you pray, ask God to show you where He is in your life circumstances, and then be watchful to see where He reveals His presence in where He has asked you to be. AND THEN, as you discover His presence, His peace, and His contentment, His true rest will fill your soul. It is not a mistake that He is the Price of Peace.
Here is a personal story I have to share about a time when our family circumstances should not have been restful, yet in discovering God’s presence and His promised hope we found rest amidst our storm.
About 4 years ago my husband and I felt God nudging us to sell our home in an already declining real estate market, so in faith we put our house up for sale. For 11 months we showed our home on an average of 4 times a week while still juggling work, home schooling, ministry, and normal family life with three children. As the months wore on, our showings and open houses made sure the house was clean and stark (all the way down to neutralizing all of the vibrant colors out of our house), and the price kept dropping to meet the declining sale prices in the declining market. Rest did not come during this time by way of the number of showings, or second showing we had during that time, but rather it came through the ways God spoke to the hearts of all of our family members as He continued to reassure us that we were in His will and that the future He had for us was to be filled with many blessings He had prepared for us.
Over those 11 months, our family learned to find rest was we learned to internalize the truth that God was completely in control of our situation. Then, at the end of the 11 months, God brought a very special family to our home, one with 5 special needs children who in turn felt blessed and who had been praying for a house just like ours.
In light of the above truths we have covered today, I pray that the next time you are tempted to believe the lie that running away from or changing your life, and all of its pressures, will give you rest, I pray you will not take the bait. Instead, I pray that you will ask God to reveal Himself in your situation and in His presence. That in the end you will decide to rest in the peace He has ready for you.