I recently read that “self development is the key to success, fulfillment and worth”, although I could see what was meant I still wondered how they could believe it was ‘the’ key. It was only as God led me to look more deeply into the concept of personal/self development that I found that it’s truest meaning is not necessarily what we equate it with in today’s society. Continue reading
I have come to realise that mankind is not aware of just how detrimental stress is to our overall well-being and quality of life and how important peace and rest is to us. Stress has become a normal part of our everyday living experience when it should be something which causes us to sit up and re-examine the way we are living. We often get “stressed out”and pay more attentions to our experience of stress rather than asking, “where does this stress come from, what is its origin/root?” Continue reading
We all know how it feels to be sleep deprived; whether it’s because we’ve stayed up into the early hours of the morning to meet a deadline or for whatever reason sleep just seems to be elusive, it’s not a nice feeling at all! I am one of those people who love to sleep, so I don’t willingly give up my daily opportunity to slumber but there have been times in my life when I have not been able to fall asleep and/or stay asleep and I have hated it! Although scientists have no idea why we sleep, research studies show that sleep is essential for health and well-being. Sleep deprivation studies on humans show that at the very least cognitive performance and mood is disturbed whilst a very unethical animal study found that cats who were deprived of REM sleep eventually died (Jouvet, 1967)! The key point here is that we need sleep to function properly and as such we would never trust ourselves to the mercy of driver or pilot who was sleep deprived, would we?
But hold on a minute… the Bible speaks of God’s ability to do without sleep as a good thing.
For the keeper of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps
Psalm 121: 4
Haven’t you known? Haven’t you heard? The everlasting God, YHWH, The Creator of the ends of the earth, doesn’t faint. He isn’t weary. His understanding is unsearchable.
Isaiah 40: 28
Why should His children be comforted by such words, why should we be encouraged by the fact that God doesn’t need to sleep and that He doesn’t grow tired and weary? There are so many reasons why this comforts me:
- it reminds me once again that God is not a man, God is not limited like I am, His ability to perfectly function is unlimited, His internal resources are limitless, He IS limitless.
- God is strong enough to carry my weaknesses and burdens, they will not weigh Him down or cause Him to feel fatigued. His strength is my rest.
- God is always at work, busy on my behalf, when I am asleep and when I am weak I can trust in the fact that God is still active in my life.
- I am never alone even in the darkest, hardest and most scariest place, God is right there with me, He’s not on holiday, He’s not taking a nap, He is fully present with me and I can trust in His constant presence.
It is God’s will and desire to work on our behalf because this is where the greatest healing comes from, He sees us perfected through His expert care and moulding. I see this clearly in Jerusalem, Isaiah prophesies a future time when Jerusalem will live up to its name “City of Shalom”, and throughout the ages until that time comes to pass God will not cease to work until His desire is accomplished in her. Likewise, God doesn’t stop to rest until His work is complete in us.
For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burns.
I feel truly blessed and secure in God’s deep love for me knowing that He spends His entire time watching over me, safeguarding me, protecting me and working on my behalf - no matter what it looks like on the outside, His constant presence and the fact that He never sleeps makes me feel safe in His care.
So to all my dear brothers and sisters who are finding it hard to let go and rest in God’s presence, I just want to let you know that you have nothing to be afraid of. God is more than able to carry all of your burdens, He is more than able to walk through this journey with you, He is strong enough for you to lean on Him, and He is more than willing to do ALL of the work so that you can rest in Him. I pray that you will experience His Shabbat Shalom (Divine Rest and Peace) today.
Can you visualise the scene?
You are in a vast ocean surrounded by inky black depths. Your ears are filled with the sound of roaring and hissing waves as they crash and cycle over, above and around you. You yearn for the reprieve of the moments of relative stillness between each torrent of this cycling force, gasping for breath every time you break the surface. Your body is weary, your senses once full of the sounds, sights, smells and taste of the ocean can no longer absorb this reality, you are literally overwhelmed. You feel nothing, hear nothing all of your senses seem to have become duller, you have zoned out of this reality, you are bone weary so now all of your focus and energy is on one thing, staying afloat and staying alive. In the corner of your eye, you catch the light bouncing off a huge rock. Deep down, you know that if you could just reach this rock, you will be safe; you can ride out this storm. But, as much as you yearn for the safety of the rock, the energy, the work that will take you to reach it makes you want to cry in despair. You cry from the depths of your soul, a sacred SOS call “Father, help me, save me, lead me to the rock that is higher than I!” Continue reading
Many crowds came to him who had the lame and the blind and dumb and the crippled and many others, and they laid them at the feet of Yeshua and he healed them.
Matthew 15: 30 (Aramaic NT)
When you read this verse, what do you see? Most probably you see Jesus healing all manner of diseases, but this morning the words I see most clearly isn’t the fact that He healed all these illnesses and disabilities but the fact that these people were laid at Yeshua’s feet. There is so much symbolism here, what does it mean to be at someone’s feet? What does it mean to you? To me these words symbolise safety and security, when I am in pain, doubt or despair there’s no where that I prefer to be than at my Saviour’s feet, at His feet is where the real healing takes place.
At Your Feet
I am in distress O Yah
My soul is troubled
The prison walls are looming
And I am afraid.
Fear takes me away from You,
My distress chokes Your truth
Help me to find You again
Help me leave this prison behind.
Open Your gates to me O Yah,
There is only one place I gain comfort;
Let me enter into Your courts
I want only to be at Your feet.
At Your feet I am safe
No evil can befall me here,
I am at peace once more
My soul is at rest.
I don’t know about you but when I’m afraid that’s when things start to go wrong for me, not only do I start to become anxious but my prayers start to sound a bit like “Lord, deliver me out of this situation” aka “I’m a Christian, get me out of here!” My instinct is to run away, I want to run because I’m afraid but the truth is that even if God does deliver me from this situation today, there will be many other times in my life when I will be in a similar situation where what I am seeing on the outside will cause me to tremble and quake. I realise that the best thing I can do, the better prayer to pray is “Lord, give me peace in the midst of this storm”.
Why do I say this? Fear is a symptom of a deeper unrest, it is a symptom of bondage. I am afraid because I feel overwhelmed, out of control, vulnerable. But what is the root cause of my fear, what is its origin? If God does deliver me from all of my fears, He will not be able to show me the origin of my fear and give me healing concerning it – I will continue to be afraid. I don’t want to be afraid, fear is a bondage, a little while ago I prayed to God to reveal me the origin of my fears because I want to be free. Fear is not from God but peace and rest. When I am afraid I have no peace and I am not at rest. I want God to replace my fear with His Shalom and my distress with His Shabbat.
What are the things that make you afraid? Is there somewhere you go to experience God’s deep healing?
Lord God, fill Your children with Your Shabbat Shalom (Restful Peace). Help us to not focus on the prison walls that seem to loom up all around us but instead to enter through Your gates, past Your courts so that we can rest at Your feet.
In Yeshua’s name I pray. Amen.