Rest In the LORD
As Christians, we often find ourselves frustrated with life, not sure of what we should be doing &/or not feeling satisfied with the work we’ve done. I believe this is because much of the work and service we are striving after in life is not actually done in the Spirit, as it should be, but is often done by our own human efforts, whether we’re striving to take care of our earthly concerns, or simply trying to serve God. Either way, when we are striving/working out of our flesh, rather than by the Spirit, we will always be left empty in the end, for as Solomon said often in Ecclesiastes, everything under the sun is a chasing after the wind.
One of the things I’ve always found quite chilling are Jesus’s words in Matthew 7:21-23:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Though these words have always haunted me, I think I’m beginning to understand them better lately. It seems to me He is talking about those who strived after God from their flesh, performing all these things by their own efforts, out of the flesh, which is why He says at the end of this pericope “I never knew you, away from me, you evildoers!”
Instead of striving after God out of our own efforts, we who are His servants ought to perform our service not out of fear or for reward, but out of love for Him who set us free!
Paul says all our work is for naught if we have not love (1 Corinthians 13:1ff), and I believe this love only comes from a life fully surrendered to the will of the Spirit. Instead of striving to serve God by our own efforts, we should first seek to rest in the LORD, and get to know Him before we can be of any service to God’s Kingdom.
Once we have rested in the LORD (Psalm 37, especially verse 7), and attained an honest and open relationship with God, I believe the Spirit of God will move us and direct us to whatever service He sees fit for us in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in.
Paul tells us to be content in whatever station of life we are in (1 Corinthians 7:17ff), for it is in the daily tasks of life that the Spirit moves us first. After we have proven faithful in the little things, even greater tasks will be accomplished through us (Luke 16:10)!
Though it is often tiresome work when we are serving the LORD, rarely (if ever) is it burdensome. If we are fully and 100% sold out to Christ, living by the Spirit, such that we have nothing we have not surrendered for &/or to Him (Matthew 13:44-46), then all our service becomes a joy, and not something to be burdened by (Matthew 11:28-30).
We must all remember to rest in the LORD, and first seek to know Him, rather than binding ourselves up by our own strivings. We must always remain in the LORD and rest in Him, letting the Spirit fill us so that all our work for the Kingdom is an outpouring of the Spirit in us. When we are fully surrendered to Christ, all our words and deeds will be Spirit-led and blessed by God the Father, who produces a harvest that is thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times what we sow (see Matthew 13)!