As discussed in my last article, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ not only pleases God but is paramount in an intimate and victorious walk with Him (Hebrews 11:6).
Trusting God can be one of the hardest things to do at times but is genuinely rewarding when the fruits of faith spring forth.
One of the rewards is rest (Philippians 4:11, Matthew 11:28, Galatians 5:22, Psalm 91:4). A little child can rest so easily because he or she trusts that their provision is guaranteed. They have experienced their parents’ faithfulness in providing food, clothing, protection, security, wise instruction for healthy preparation to become an adult (Proverbs 22:6) and even special gifts along the way. Unfortunately however, in this day, because people have lost faith in God, they are like broken reeds and this means that broken parents are raising broken children because they don’t raise them in the ways of God.
Children today have adopted a ‘dog-eat-dog’ philosophy because they have been failed by their parents and haven’t received the godly instruction that would guard them in all their ways, as well as security and protection they needed. Protection from evil provides (James 1:27, 2 Corinthians 6:14) a nurturing environment in which children can mature and become strong before attempting to cope with the weight of corruption found in this lust-driven world. Today, they are exposed to so much way too early and they don’t have the truth to hold onto while trying to process them. They are not taught about their own sin nature and are not only exposed to more evil than in any generation before us, but are recruited by the devil to become workers of evil themselves. What does the church do? They repent of calling people to repentance and swear never to talk about sin again. Insanity has perverted the minds of most professing Christians. A strong delusion has overtaken them and they are drunk on their own glory ... but death awaits them and calls their name.
The good news is that we, as Christians, when walking according to the spirit and not the flesh (Galatians 5:16-26), can renew our mind daily in the ways of God (Romans 12:2). Not only can we impart this truth to our children, but as we grow in the Word of God, our faith is being built and we will develop the maturity that we need to view the physical and spiritual world around us. With the mind of Christ, we can process the trials and tribulations we experience in such a way that we can rest in Him and not allow our joy and peace to be stolen, which is what Satan likes to do (John 10:10). We take up the weapons of the spirit and not of the world.
It’s easy in our flesh to race ahead of God like Abraham and Sarah, who are referred to in Hebrews 11 as being faith-filled servants. They had a promise from God but did not trust Him to wait patiently. They made their own plans to have a baby instead of waiting for God to miraculously give them a son and the fruit of this caused a whole broken race to come into existence called the Ishmaelites. What a mess they caused from not resting in faith. Ultimately, God’s promise came to pass in His timing and He used His seed to plant His new nation. Selfish ambition, when gone unchecked, will lead us to be in the flesh and not trusting God for His provision.
God has proven by His Word and Spirit that He will accomplish His plans and purposes for us. This is why we should not pick up the weapons of the world like the carnal do. When a brother slaps us, we turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:38-40). This can only be achieved by the power of the Holy Spirit. A carnal man will slap his brother back. A carnal man seeks his own retribution but the godly man waits patiently for the Lord to vindicate. Patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and when you are walking in the spirit, you have true peace and joy. This is where rest is experienced.
A carnal man worries when there is lack – a godly man knows there is no lack because he has a Good Shepherd who will surely provide.
A carnal man can never rest because he feels he must worry about every detail of his life – a godly man will rest knowing that the Lord takes care of all the details.
A carnal man cannot wait upon God’s deliverance for himself or that of others but seeks to deliver himself – a godly man will bring his prayers and supplications to the Lord and wait on Him for deliverance.
Psalm 127:2 ‘It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.’
When we are of Christ, we are not carnal any longer so we ought not walk as we once did.
Ephesians 4:17-24 ‘But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.’
It’s not merely enough to avoid the carnal way but we must actively do things God’s way. The explanation here is that it is an action to take off the old self and put on the new. In an example, it may be said that a cure for the junk food addict is not only in the ceasing of eating unhealthy food but he must replace it with eating healthy food, lest he starve to death. Both must be done. Before this however, he must rightly believe that junk food is bad for him and good food is healthy for him. If he doubts this he won’t be moved to action. If he believes rightly, he will benefit greatly because once he knows that his addiction will end up claiming his life, he will take off the old self and put on the new.
In summary, it may very well be a dog-eat-dog world and this very expression gives an imagery of two carnal animals – the fittest survive type thinking. However, we are in this world, not of this world (John 17:16). Satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) but we have the One true God in our corner when we belong to Him.
Faith comes by hearing the Word of God and then acting on it because we believe it’s true (James 1:22).
When we hear, we believe.
When we believe, we act.
When we act, faith is being manifested and the reward is great.
Hear, believe, act, reap.
Faith provides rest!
-- Judah Ayling