God works because of love, not obligation, and it is this reality that He invites us into when He calls us co-heirs and rulers with Christ. Paul describes exactly this quality in the believers in Thessalonica:
“We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 1:3).
Their hard work and labor for the Kingdom were rooted in faith, love, and hope. They were not performing to earn God’s love but performing because of God’s love springing up in their hearts. The distinction may seem small, but it makes all the difference in our ability to live at rest, no matter how full our lives might be.
In God’s presence we find the peace we need to stop striving. We find the ability to let go, to trust God, and to simply be with Him.
With Him, we discover the rest, refreshment, and renewal we need to be active partners in the expansion of His Kingdom on earth.
The presence of God gives us rest.
In Exodus 33, Moses went to the tent of meeting to experience the presence and glory of God. There God met with him “face to face, as a man speaks to a friend” (Exod. 33:11), and He promised him, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” (Exod. 33:14).
In this we see a pattern that has continued to our present day.
The place of connection with God is the place of rest. And as stated before, true rest means having a heart of rest at all times and in all circumstances. This is what Jesus meant when He said:
Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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 (Matthew 11:28–30).
Here, He was not promising an absence of difficulties or activity in life. He was promising that regardless of what is going on, we can have a heart of rest when our hearts are connected to Him. The more we turn our hearts and attention to Him, the more we will learn from Him, grow in His ways, linger in His presence, and find rest for our souls. This is our inheritance in Christ.
This is an excerpt from my new book Loved Like Jesus.
I wrote it because I want you to experience the deep love that your heavenly Father has for you. Living from this reality as a much loved son or daughter, you can rest in a confident connection with Him and experience abundant living and lasting freedom.
Order my book today for yourself and an extra copy for a friend, your pastor and/or your small group.
Thanking Him for you,