The Lord’s Prayer 30 Day Challenge: Day #19 “The REST of the Story!”
As I was pondering my blog for today about how we find rest in God’s will, I noticed CJ Rapp’s article titled “‘I’m Busy’ the New I’m Fine . . .” for “The Christian Post” had been posted on Facebook. I love the way she thinks. Be sure to read her article as she challenges us to 30 days of rest using a guided formula in her writing.
My focus is finding rest in God’s will.
In The Lord’s Prayer we pray, “Thy will be done!”
I haven’t thought much about how God might view “my will” until today but I can sure have an opinion about the will of others. If we go on Amazon, we can find numerous books written about the strong-willed child. In reading these books, we can learn how to identify the strong-willed child, how to set boundaries for the strong-willed child, and many other how to’s for the strong-willed child. One of the books I stumbled upon was titled, You Can’t Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded). Can any of us relate? You can listen to some of Cynthia Toabias’ practical advice and encouragement right now about parenting the strong-willed child.
Years ago as a teenager, I babysat for a little neighbor boy who was a strong-willed child. When it was time for bed, he said to me, “I don’t have to do what you say because you’re not my mom.” Interesting that even when we know God is our heavenly father, we still choose to challenge his authority.
I know there are times God must refer to me as his strong-willed child. Do any of us want to admit that we’ve faced circumstances where we have a tendency to cross our arms, plant our feet firmly and project that look of determination that says, “You can’t make me!” Paul reminds me in Romans, Chapter 12 not to think of myself as better than I really am so I will admit I’m sure I’ve been strong-willed on at least a few occasions.
Abandoning my will for his is a part of the spiritual formation process and it requires humility and cooperation. When I choose anything but God’s will, there is an unrest that settles on my soul because God is my authority. There is an unrest that settles in my relationships with others when I am not submitted to God’s will. There is no rest in the battle of wills.
Peter reminds us in 1 Peter, Chapter 2 to also respect human authority. This may be a greater challenge for us than following God’s authority because human authority does not always represent God’s will and that creates a huge tension for believers. He goes on to tell us even when it causes suffering or even if our authority is cruel, to be patient and endure. Where does the rest come from in that? This is not a prescription for authority to abuse power, but an illustration of what Jesus was willing to endure for us.
It is because of what Jesus has done for me that “I can be persuaded” to submit to God’s will to find rest. I recall Dallas Willard speaking into rest of the soul in his book Renovation of the Heart. Specifically, he pointed out that our soul can’t find rest in sin. “We think we are ‘big enough’ to take our life into our own hands and disobey, instead of ‘humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God (Willard, Renovation of the Heart, p. 210.)”
We find REST, when we are obedient to God’s will!
Can you be persuaded to find REST in God?