ENTER MY REST
If I recall it correctly, it was just a little while after midnight on a weekday somewhere in the middle of the month of November 2010. Half asleep and eyes still very much closed as I lifted my head off the pillow, I heard that Still Small Voice inside say “Enter My Rest.” My reply was slightly audible and came with a bit of an internal smirk, “I thought that’s what I was doing before You woke me up” :-).
I dragged myself to the living room to lay on the couch to Wait upon the Lord and Listen UP. Almost immediately I perceived Him communicating His reply to my previous smart aleck comment: “There is a big difference between sleeping and RESTing” He said. Out loud I replied back, “I know, I was just kidding.” Over the years I have found our Heavenly Father to be quite playful at times.
Over the next couple hours I waited…and listened. During that time the Lord revealed some key understandings around the central theme of His REST. This wasn’t an enormous surprise simply because He had been emphasizing to me His concept of REST through the scriptures and His Holy Spirit for about 2-½ years by that point. But this encounter came with clear emphasis on the correlation between my operating from His REST and His willingness to release the “good works prepared beforehand” designed for me to walk in (Ephesian 2:10). For several years He had been giving me images, instructions and insights into what my life would look like as I learned to “let go” and “let God.” He had been helping me understand my specific identity and role within the Body of Christ during this time when the world is heading into deep transition. For a long time it was very overwhelming but as my understanding of how to enter His REST has matured, so did my ability to operate from that REST.
THE PROMISE OF REST
Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His REST, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it…There remains therefore a REST for the people of God. For he who has entered His REST has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Hebrews 4:1; 9-10
What a Promise! Wouldn’t it be something if we were the people called to enter that REST and the timing of the promise was ours? Well, I believe that is actually what the Lord is inviting us into in this age.
That early morning experience in 2010 revised my whole outlook on the mechanics of how we are to live, abide and work in Christ. As I laid on the couch awaiting His “voice,” this word appeared in my spiritual vision: RESTORATION…only it was broken up into two parts: REST/oration…
Understanding 1: R-E-S-T…Receive – Every – Single – Thing. Holy Spirit showed me this acronym and reminded me that John the Baptist said that a man can only receive what comes from God. That is to say, that the only things we truly “have” are the things the Lord authorizes in our life. All else will be taken away, eventually. This life is a matter of inheritance from the Lord based on our identity & purpose rather than our striving to “get” for ourselves.
Understanding 2: Oration…Orator…Oratory. God explained that the Restoration that He has promised us (see Acts 3:19-21 regarding the Restoration of All Things) is a function of our speaking/orating from His REST. He directly expressed to me that the “works” He planned for my life would not manifest if I continued to communicate from a place of striving. In fact, the majority of people are already living in a state of laboring and striving for survival or success… And, if I continued to relate to others outside of His REST it would only serve to add to our sweat and toil… And that sweating & toiling was born out of the curse established from our disobedience in the Garden. But now, since Yeshua’s crucifixion, resurrection and ascension, we are co-heirs of the “All Things” promised to the overcomer at the time of the overcoming (Revelation 21:7)… And Kingdom inheritance is not earned but received by the Faith of Christ.
THE REQUIREMENT OF REST
Over the following few years as I entered into a professional consulting role that was based on intercessory prayer and perceiving insights from the Lord, learning to operate from REST became a necessity. In fact, my very survival out in the “field” as I traveled city to city as well as my “success” as a consultant depended directly on my acceptance and application of this truth.
As I grew in the practice of His operational approach to living an Abundant Life, the Lord confronted me about my need to “leverage” Him out of this REST. I protested at first that I didn’t want to “leverage” Him and how that sounded like a Wall Street tactic. He enlightened me that the works of man over the last few thousand years have served to devastate creation, including mankind. What is now needed are the works that are not produced from our hard work and striving, but by the Power of His Love and Spirit. He is looking to perform His works through us and for that to come to fruition, we must enter His REST and leverage His power.
PRAYING FROM REST
Immediately after appropriating His instructions I began to experience greater results from my intimacy with the Lord. My prayerful alignment with Him on behalf of others also began producing greater measures of answered prayer. I began growing in understanding of what Paul wrote about regarding the weapons of our warfare not being carnal (2 Corinthians 10:4) while experiencing continual increase of His Peace. We do not fight in the spiritual battles of life the way we have been taught to fight in the natural (this coming from a former wrestler). In the Kingdom of God, “waiting” is “working,” “meekness” is “strength,” “less” is “more” and “RESTing” is “productive.” His REST is the secret behind experiencing His Power through prayer.
Over the years of learning to Listen for the Lord’s will in life and pray in agreement, the following verse has come to be foundational…
In returning and rest you shall be saved and in quietness and confidence you shall be saved. Isaiah 30:15
Again and again I experience that the more I return (repent) and REST while practicing quietness and confidence in Him, the more I witness His works on display. Our full salvation is a function of our returning/repenting and RESTing in Him. He started the work of salvation and He will be the One to finish it. I have said so many times over the years that it seems the less I do and the more I rely on Him, the greater the accomplishments, in both quantity and quality.
In the closing chapter of the book of Isaiah, God asks a question: “Where is the place of My REST?” To which He provides the answer: “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at my word.” (Isaiah 66:1-2)
The Lord is looking for a place to REST…or more precisely, a person/people to REST upon. A people who have learned to “enter His REST” that He may perform the “greater works” He spoke of in John 14:12. This is the REST of Prayer that produces God’s will on earth.
Matthew Fleming is the State Director for the North Carolina Christian Chamber of Commerce (NC-C3). Matthew has a strong vision for the functionality of the Christian community as believers endeavor to operate in unison. He believes alignment and co-laboring from a united reality will be the catalyst for sustained Restoration in our world. Matthew can be reached at Matthew@nc-c3.org.