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Day #3: Freedom in Christ
“The Rest of the Lord”
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matt. 11:28-30 NIV)
Come to Jesus and He will give you ‘Rest for your soul’. Jesus, the Word made flesh (John 1:14), ‘spoke’ the Gospel by what He both said and by what He did. Though He was baptised and filled with the Spirit, like you and I, He still retained a strong need and desire to spend time with the Person of God, in the secret places of His life.
Jesus regularly went aside to seek the Presence of the Father and ‘sitting at His feet’ He was ministered to by the Living Word that “proceeds from the mouth of God” (Deut. 8:3). Jesus hungered (Matt. 4:4) for the Voice of God that by nature ministers and nurtures the soul of man; “I have food that you know nothing about” (John 4:32, John 5:37, 42).
There is a pattern here for us; the Greats of the Bible sought the Presence of God just as Jesus did. For example; with the same zeal Jesus’ own ‘forefather’, king David, was famous for longing for the Presence of God, to abide in His Courts (Ps. 84:10, Ps. 42:1‐2). There is a culture we see of regularly seeking the Face of the Father through prayer and fasting. Daniel is known for his culture of prayer and fasting (Dan. 10) and he is also known for capturing the heart of a king (and a nation) of whom stood by at the Lion’s Den.
The Father’s Presence and Voice sought for in the secret places of your heart comes upon your life and fills all the gaps in the souls of man. The issues common to man are washed away: fear, anxiety, guilt, loneliness, stress, depression, oppression, emptiness, worthlessness, hopelessness and brokenness are all replaced by the Voice, the Presence and the Might of the Lord. And He gives ‘you a place among these standing here’ (Zech. 3:1‐7). The Cross truly rescues and saves the souls of man and raises you in such high standing.
It is possible that you can instigate meeting with the Father and be raised to walk freely into His Courts whenever you like; then come out ‘carrying’ His Presence. This regardless of your station of life (Luke 4:14). Intimacy has a nature about it: never being disconnected in your commune in the Lord. As you go in and sit at His feet and have Him come upon your life in His wonder, I tell you what your vision shifts as does your demeanour. Do you realise just how much the Father longs to meet with you? So much so that He sent His Son to die on the Cross. He also gave the precious gift of the Holy Spirit as the ‘bridge’ that guides you in the deepening and broadening of your ‘connection’ with the Father (Rom. 8:26, John 17:24). Be encouraged the Father longs to meet with you and is ‘Jealous’ for you to long to meet with Him (Ex 34:14).
This is a very important, powerful, and beautiful part of our Christian walk: you can meet with your Saviour and ‘eat’ together with Him, one on one, anytime you wish (Rev. 3:20). You, an ‘ordinary’ Christian can meet with the King of kings and abide regularly in His Presence, at His ‘table’, and partake with Him throughout all your days.
A heart of invitation, seeking the Presence of God. Behind closed doors, in regular private prayer and fasting, seek the Father’s visit afresh and anew again today. For Him to come visit whenever He likes. Fasting to me is a physical form of prayer that expresses earnest and honest intent. Experience now tells me that God Himself responds and breaks ‘strongholds’ and answers the dreams of your heart. Personally I needed to fast to help express the deep longing and my earnest desire for the Lord. For I had neither the vocabulary nor the patience to sit still and pray, let alone the ability to wait upon the Lord. Now His Presence has become so wonderful I can’t leave and don’t want to. Now with an increasing vocabulary I can’t stop writing to try to capture the prayers coming from deep groanings in my spirit (Rom. 8:26). This open invitation now has Him visiting me because He wants to, even in the least expected places. I never want to leave His Presence regardless of how busy I am or what I face in front of me each day, but delight to remain in Him. I only fast all the more for I am now even more hungry for Him.
The simple child‐like love (Matt. 18:3), the longing of your soul draws the Father dearly close, for your Father is drawn to your love – because He is Love. Nothing else brings or draws the Presence of God; not your labour, your knowledge, your achievements, your position or your noble requests (Rev. 2:5). Only a simple toddler‐like love (Ps. 8:2), faith, and hunger for the Person of your Father; just as you are (nappy and all)!
Seeking the Face of your Father, leaving your cares and hopes aside, enables you to abide in the Rest of the Lord. Within this Rest there is the Freedom, the Equipping, and the Reserves of Heaven – the ‘Voice of God’. To dwell in cares is to set your heart and faith in this life, for what your eyes can see and what your hands can achieve. But to release your life and your cares into Christ, in preference for His Presence and His Hand upon your life, this is to open your heart to an ever deepening awareness of Him, and an increasing ability to liberally draw from His Rich Reserves (1 Cor. 2:9 AMPC).
Be ‘anxious for nothing’ (Phil. 4:6‐7 AMPC) but if anything be ‘anxious’ and eager for the manifest Presence of the Lord your God. Retaining a deep hunger for the Words that come from the mouth of the Lord. To retain a heart free of care is to enter the Freedom of Christ that you are called to (Gal. 5:1). For Christ was crucified to set you free. This Freedom, this entering into His Rest, allows you to be able to draw from the Father in such continual ease.
Lift up your eyes unto the Lord; trust Him, trust His Word, His Character, and His Promises. Prefer Him and His Presence, His Voice and His plans for your life over all the issues and desires that this life has to offer. Your Father by nature is the fulfiller of dreams … so delight yourself in Him instead (Ps. 37:4).
The most powerful thing that you possess is your ability to praise Jesus for the Blood that He shed, and seek the manifest Presence of God.
Learn to draw from Him continuously, for your sake and for that of your world. If you only knew the plans that God has for you, even in a small part, you would fall on your knees with deepest of tears. Allow His regular Presence to begin to open your eyes. Choose to lay all your cares upon Him (1 Pet. 5:7) regardless of how intense they are, treasuring His Voice in your soul and His Presence upon your life, with praise rising up in your heart and upon your lips. Your ‘hope’ in the Lord your God, your ‘Abba’ Father, enters the Most Holy Place behind the ‘Curtain’ right into the Heart of God (Heb. 6:18‐20).
Pray this prayer with me. ‘Lord, I thank you for the gift of Rest that is available in you. Lord, I recognise the value of this Rest, this deep spiritual principle of the Word of God. Lord, please fulfil this Rest in me, may your Rest come upon my life. Lord, life has its issues, there is always something to be caught up in. But I long for the Fruits of Heaven, I long for the manifestation of Heaven in my life; the fullness of that of which you died to bring. I, by choice, enter the Rest of the Lord, that you may rise up in me. Thank you Jesus. Amen’.
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