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The Rest of Faith (1 of 4)

Mike Connell

So rest comes, when you overcome the driving internal pressures, and external expectations.

To look good - that's a pressure. To try and impress people, so you look better than you really are. Why not just be authentic? This is who I really am. It'd make life a lot easier.

It's easier to be authentic, than it is to try and keep up an image. Image costs you a lot of money, a huge amount of money. Then when you least expect it, it falls over and fails; and some of you blow it, and someone got a photo, or saw you, and you really blew your stack one day, and all the image is gone.

The facade is so nice and cool, and then it's blown away in one moment of anger! It happens, doesn't it?

So when you enter your Rest, you're resting in what God says; and you're focused.

The focus shifts from: trying harder; to coming to a place of believing, and dealing with the issues that stop me believing. It's where the focus is, that's the difference.

The focus of Works is: you try harder to get to achieve.

The focus of Rest is this: your work is directed to dealing with the internal issues that stop you trusting God; so your focus is on the issues of trust, not trying to make something happen.

That's where the key battle is fought. It's in the heart, on the issue of trust.

The Holy Ghost, when He came onto Jesus, came as a Dove, and He rested on Him. Here's the interesting thing: Doves will not rest where there's no ‘man of peace’. Jesus was at peace; and the dove came and rested.

If you want the Holy Spirit flowing in your life, you have to come to peace in your heart; because anything that disturbs your peace will cause the dove to flutter.

That's the nature of the dove. That's why they use the picture there. It's quite simple: if there's agitation and disturbance, the doves fly, they don't stay.

It's a particular type of dove, and so you'll find: it rests.

The Rest of God doesn't mean you're not doing anything. I've just got to make that clear, before I show you how to enter the rest.

The rest of God doesn't mean: I just lay around on my face and worship. It doesn't mean that: I do nothing, you know, I'm not occupied. In fact the Bible teaches exactly the opposite.

This is about an internal positioning in your heart; where you are free from fears and anxieties; the turmoils of guilt and pressure; trying to please people, trying to look good, all that kind of stuff; and you come to just be at peace in yourself with God - a great thing.

Titus 2:14 it says: “Jesus has redeemed us, to be zealous for good works”.

That's what He's making for Himself, a people zealous for good works. Are you zealous for good works? Are you zealous to do things for God? Are you passionate to do things for God? That's the people Jesus is preparing.

Titus 3:8 – “Be careful to maintain good works”. Be careful that your life is productive in doing things which advance the kingdom - reaching out to people, talking to people, building connection with people, winning them to Christ, showing kindness to them.

Titus 3:14 – “Let our people also learn to maintain good works, and meet urgent needs (or show compassion), that they don't be unfruitful”. So the Bible's very clear about good works.

Okay, but how? Hebrews 4:11 – “Let us be diligent, to get into this Rest of Faith”.

So our work is to come into a place of faith, where we're free, and it's natural to be generous, natural to overflow; and you actually become productive. You're productive, because you're no longer stressed out. This thing of being stressed-out is a huge issue for people today.

Fortunately Jesus makes an invitation. Matthew 11:28, three things Jesus said…

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Jesus is promising… Rest!

Where's the Rest? “Take My yoke on you, learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls”.

Notice He said: “I give you” the rest; and: “you'll find” the rest.