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The Rest of Faith (1 of 4)

Mike Connell

So it says: it's a gift from God. If it's a gift, you didn't work to do it. If it's something God gives, I've got to receive - and I receive everything by faith.

Not only that, He said: it's something you'll find. In other words, you've got to pursue it. You've got to pursue this - to come to a place of peace in your heart.

A lot of people are not at peace in their heart; there's every kind of thing agitates them. Now listen, there's every reason for you not to be at peace in your heart.

There's issues in marriage, issues with children, there's issues in church, there's issues in relationships, there's issues of injustice, there's issues of offences, there's issues of pressures and stresses and work. Man, the world is just full of it.

This week I encourage you, look around the people you know, and see how many are stressed out, uptight and not at rest - you will be amazed.

Jesus said: “Don't be anxious”; don't be stressed out; don't be uptight. There are some remedies for that in Me. There's a rest you can come to, in the midst of all the strife; and so He then talks about how you receive the rest.

That's a better way. How do I receive that rest? He gives three parts to receiving Rest - and they're all to do with Relationship and Trust.

1) He extends the invitation to everyone who: labours, that's weary, troubled, turmoiled, heavy laden, loaded up, burdened out of all sorts of things to do. The invitation is one to find rest, from all the have-to's of life.

How's it going to come? He tells us: Come to Me.

I didn't want you to say that! I wanted you to say: here's the principle, here's the rule to follow.

Here is the rule to follow: come to Him. You come to a person. Yes, a relationship - connect.

He said: come to Me. He said: the connection to a person, not a principle. It's not something to do; it's a person to come to. It's a person.

He's the one that's got the peace. If you're in turmoil, rest is found in Him. Peace is a gift from Him, so it comes through the connection.

He is the Prince of Peace, so if we're going to come to rest, the rest will come out of my connection with Him.

How am I going to do that? What does it mean: “come to Me”? I thought I'd already come to Him - I come up the front and prayed the sinner's prayer; and now today I'm in turmoil.

No, it actually means to just change your focus from the problem, and put your focus back on Jesus. It means pushing out of your mind, the things that are troubling you, and re-centre around Him again.

Get your mind set on Him again, and that takes a bit of discipline. The discipline is not: to get Jesus to give you rest; the discipline's to: push the other rubbish out - that's where the work is.

The work is coming to a place where I have confidence and trust that God is going to meet my every need. The reason that you get anxious is: you're not sure that God is going to meet your need.

So I'm anxious, I'm uptight, I've got to work hard to get this need met. But what if God were to meet it? Where would your anxiety go then?

Let’s say a bill comes up, you've not got enough money in the account; the stress of how I'm going to pay this thing.

The focus is on the problem; but what if I was to shift my focus to Him; and allow my heart to meditate on the truth: I shall not want, because He's looking after me?

That takes the pressure off me figuring the solution to the problem; puts it back with Him, and I can come to peace.

It's a relationship. It's about connecting with Jesus - and that is where the trouble lies. We'd rather have something to do.

The ‘Rest’ is the person, connecting to the person.

The reason we have trouble connecting to Jesus: something got in the way. The moment you try to connect with Him, whatever's in the way of connecting Him will come up into your mind - to be dealt with.

It's always about trust.

Notice He says: “come to me”; and that's what Peter did. While he kept his eyes on Jesus, he was walking on the water. As soon as he got his eyes on the circumstances, all grace and power left him - and he began to sink.