Phil Wickham When My Heart is Torn Asunder

Sunday, June 4, 2017

A Place of Rest


It has been suggested to me by some hopeful readers of this blog that maybe I could publish occasional articles here just to keep it going, albeit at a slower pace.  I'm game to try it.

Today I struggled badly with anxiety earlier in the day.  I thought of looming health struggles with a portent for disaster.  Finances.  Poor fiscal decisions.  A house badly in need of maintenance and repair.  Increasing disability and helplessness for my part.  I think of things that need to be done and I wonder "who will take care of this?" and the unwelcome answer: no one in plain sight anyway.

I did my monthly budget today and the news is not good. It seems that I seriously have more expenses than I do income. And the major culprit is my medical expense. This month I have four MD appointments.  That right there is $ 160 in copays.  I have another medical bill to pay and also medication to pay for.  Plus I have to pay a housekeeper to come in twice a month to clean because it is impossible for me to do.

In all that and feeling hemmed in and stuck...God whispered to me "Joshua chapter 1" 

"The Lord your God is giving you a place of rest. v13b

"I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you1
 “Be strong and courageous, 5b-6a

"This is my command—be strong and courageous!
Do not be afraid or discouraged.
For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”v9

A friend of mine is moving to Florida to be with her children as her husband just went to heaven recently. I wrote some of these verses in her card...but I do believe they are for me too.
This is especially true of verse 9.  It will require courage to stay here in this house, in this disintegrating body and to face head on the challenges to come.  Catastrophe can come but the Lord has promised to be near me. Fear and discouragement have  no place in the life of a believer because the Lord God, King of Heaven and Earth is PRESENT with me wherever we go. 

He said in 13b he is giving me a place of rest.  Snuggled there in his strong arms in a mental and spiritual oasis of calmness and peace; in a place where there is no room for anxiety, where every need is met by the Father who loves me.

Does all this good stuff automatically come to every one who calls himself a "child of God"?
If you read the whole passage,  you see that constantly meditating on God's word and being obedient to what it says is crucial before God will be ready to hand out the blessings he mentioned in this passage. There is a cost. There are prerequisites. And there is also Grace, Mercy and forgiveness when we fail and when we fall.

Meditation and even prayer have cheap imitations this day and age. And in God's definition there is no room for mantras or for emptying your mind of every thought and believing that is the way to peace. Christian meditation is completely different. It is to be FILLED with his Spirit and his words. To mull over the word and ask God to show you how to apply it is the essence of meditation.  For me, the best way to meditate is to memorize.  How better to get his words inside you?  However, and as my pastor talked about today, meditation can be just using our sanctified imaginations to know that he is there, listening and loving us.  And we receive this love and express our love toward him.  Sometimes he speaks and sometimes we sit in the comfortable silence of close friends, spouses or families. 

God's Spirit has work to do inside of us. There are areas that need purification and to be made Holy.  There are deeply embedded areas of sin that we may not even be conscious of.  God has to shine his spotlight as we look into the mirror of the Word...he illuminates those sins so that we can see them as the hideous beasts that they are.  And when we see that? We will beg and plead for him to remove them, to purify us, to make us holy as he is holy.  We will ask for him to take them and for us to never be tempted by them again...to keep them far from us, buried in the sea of his forgetfulness.


That is not to say we will never fail and never sin again...but when a heart is pure and there comes an ugly smirch of sin, we will see it and rush to be rid of it...as a woman attempts to keep a house she has just worked hard to make it clean, spotless and free of dirt. 

And once we have confessed and are forgiven? Pure peace is ours... Peace that no one and nothing can take away...not sin, not circumstance, not critical or evil people...We can walk in that peace and there find rest



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