August 6, 2010
The following is a ten minute video called “Enter into His Rest” by Bill Johnson on cultivating your awareness of God through rest. If you warfare in your mind and you are seeking the victory, you will be blessed by this. Please watch the video and then read the article that outlines Bill points plus a teaching by me that further expounds his message that together, provides good training material. Be blessed.
God uses insignificant moments to become significant building blocks in our lives. Don’t waste your moments. Learn to rest in His presence where your awareness of God is ever present. Our goal is intimacy and fellowship with God. As you steward the moments, you will become aware of circumstances and situations that God has provided that are significant opportunities for you to capture.
Busyness always wars against your awareness of God. Everyone seems to be in a hurry and with today’s life’s style, there never seems to be enough time in the day to accomplish all that we desire to do. “Busyness “always fights and competes for your God awareness. We can learn how to be active however from a place of rest. We can still be busy as we carry out our responsibilities, but from a place of serenity and peace. Otherwise we will become mentally and emotionally rest “less.”
We do not enlarge our awareness of God through striving, but through rest. True rest is not just being still on the inside, but the absence of strife, fear and anxiety. This comes from learning how to be still to rest in the Lord’s presence where our inner being is renewed by the life of His presence. The eternal life of God comes from living a life of thanksgiving with praise, where our thoughts and faith are at rest in Christ.
Faith is the fruit of rest and surrender. It is not the result of our works and efforts that produces faith, but our trust in God even if there is no works involved. True faith is in a person – the Lord Jesus Christ. It is resting in His love that He has for us.
Contend for a heart of rest which is the place where we become aware of His presence to hear His voice that guides us by His counsel, wisdom and understanding. Paul tells us in Hebrews 4:10 and 11, to cease from our works to enter into His rest.
For he that is entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did his. Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
To cease from our works doesn’t mean that we stop working, but that we cease from striving. All that we do is to be done with God in His presence with thanksgiving. If we are to labor, strive to draw closer to God. It is from the place of peace, love and joy that we go through the day that comes from abiding in God who is love.
We fall into unbelief when we trust in our own works, understanding, and reasoning that comes from our process of thinking. Or from how we feel about a certain person or situation. It is from the place of rest that we cease from mental and emotional anxiety and turmoil, to place our trust in the Lord. Our goal is to be still and wait upon Him to receive His guidance. “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10).
In order to find this place of rest, the apostle Paul gives us some key points that he gave to the Philippians as recorded in 4:4-8. First, he says that we are to “Rejoice in the Lord always.” Whether in good times or bad, whether we are happy or sad, we are to rejoice always! He also admonishes us to be anxious for anything, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your request be made known unto God.” (V 6)
In every circumstance and situation, in every trial and tribulation, we are to come to the Lord with thanksgiving! It is here in God’s presence that we make our petitions and love motivated intercession that moves the heart of God. Thanksgiving is the language of faith that releases God to work on our behalf. Being at rest will position you to be at peace to receive the answer that God has for you! And the peace of God shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (V- 7).
So what do you do in the meantime while waiting for God’s answer? Rest in His ability, sovereignty and lordship for He is God and He is faithful. Until he answers, think on “whatsoever things are true, (not what’s in your mind that you want to war against) whatsoever things are honest, that are just, pure, lovely, good and that have virtue (Phil 4:8) and you will find that “ He will keep Him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you Lord because He trust in you” (Is 26:3). Trust is the key.
Whatever you do, don’t murmur and complain or dwell on the issues at hand for this is a waste of valuable time and energy! Paul tells us “If you are then risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:1-2).
The key to overcoming is to take your attention off yourself and lift your eyes towards heaven to offer praise with thanksgiving to God for His mercy and compassion. In doing so He will lift you up! While communication with others is helpful in order to clear up misunderstandings, we are not to become anxious or to fret over these things.
Contend for a heart of rest which is the place where we become aware of His presence to hear His wisdom that guides us with His counsel and understanding. And in doing so, “You shall go out with joy, and be lead forth with peace” (Is. 55:12).
The great blessing of being at rest is being filled with the Lord’s peace and joy that floods our soul! When we are led by His thoughts and ways not leaning unto our own understanding, we begin to live by faith, the faith that pleases God. (He. 11:6) It is His pleasure that is our joy.
God has set up opportunities for you that arise from a place of rest. God never sets you up for failure, but to succeed for He is our victory. How we respond to situations determine our success. We like to be in charge and tend to busy ourselves. Our encounters with God come from a place of rest where we are able to take advantage of divine opportunities that arise. We can easily miss Him and the divine opportunities that arise because of our busyness, much less the opportunities for fellowship!
Did we hear the Lord who prompted us to give a prophetic word at the check out counter at Wall Mart? Or was our mind so focused on the next errand that we missed our time of visitation? Is our internal clock wound up so fast that we are racing faster than we are actually physically capable of going? We must learn how to wind down and run in the Lord’s presence from the place of rest. Then, as we live in the moment abiding in His presence, we will be on time for everything. Time is on our side when we learn to rest in Him who is the Lord of eternal time.
The Carnal Mind versus the Mind of Christ
The apostle Paul tells us that the carnal mind is enmity against God. A carnal mind is the mind that relies upon its own reasoning and understanding rather than upon the mind of Christ. A mind that is not sanctified by the infusion of the Spirit of God, will lead one to draw from their own conclusions that becomes their understanding.
To rely upon our own mental power that is not sanctified by God leads to works of the flesh. The carnal mind that is directed by its own reasoning and understanding cannot obey the things of God for it is hostile towards God. Romans 8:6 -8, tell us,
For to be carnally minded is death: but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor can it be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Warring in our mind with a person or situation because of an unresolved issue will lead to mental and emotional strife that opens the door for confusion and vain imaginations. Have you ever found yourself engaged in a battle mentally warring against a person or situation that consumed your time and energy?
It is in that mode of stinking thinking when our mentally wars against a person or situation, that the mindset is on the flesh rather than at rest in God. It is also at that moment of time that you set yourself up to fail for two reasons.
- 1. The mindset that is on the flesh is death (Ro. 8:6)
- 2. The carnal mind is enmity against God. (Ro. 8:7)
For they which are after the flesh, do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace (Ro. 8:5-6).
What does it mean to be spiritually minded? It simply means that our thoughts, imagination and reasoning are sanctified by allowing God to direct our thinking and feeling about a certain person, event or situation. It is the ability to see with the eyes of the Spirit as we rest in His presence that enables us to walk in the Spirit by faith.
When people think of being in the flesh, they often think of someone living in sin such as idolatry or adultery. A carnal minded Christian can be born again, minister in spiritual gifts and attend Church faithfully but rather than cultivating the nearness of His presence, they walk in their own understanding. This is the curse of death that comes from abiding in the flesh that takes place when we partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
We position ourselves through our own mental and emotional response, attitude and mindsets for either success or failure. The carnal mind will always disengage you from knowing God’s purpose and thus the opportunity to respond to what He is doing. It prevents you from entering into the place of rest where there is peace in the Lord.
If we do not walk in the Spirit that reveals the divine nature of Christ and the fruits of the spirit, our actions and response to people and events will be the same as those that are not saved – unsanctified. One of the most difficult people to deal with, are not the unsaved but often the Christian that are critical and judgment who believe because of their knowledge and wisdom that they are spiritual. The apostle Paul tells us that “Knowledge puffs up but love edifies” (1 Cor. 8:1).
Some test that we go through is to expose God’s work while other test is to expose what is in our heart. These test are designed by God to reveal that which is in our hearts. The Lord told Israel the reasons why He led them through the wilderness was to “humble you, and to prove you, and to know what is in your heart to see whether you would keep His commandments or not (Deut. 8:2). The Carnal mind cannot obey the Lord for it isn’t even aware of the mind of Christ, only its own thoughts and intentions.
God always sets us up to succeed, not to fail. How you respond to life’s difficulties determines the outcome of your victory. If you dwell on carnal things you will set yourself up to fail. A carnal mind cannot obey the things of God because it is not in touch with the mind of Christ. But if you rest in His presence, He will reveal to you His wisdom. The wisdom of God is the mind of Christ for every situation.
If you will take the opportunity to thank God for the answer and be patient to wait upon Him with praise and thanksgiving, you will be rewarded with His living presence- that of peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, “For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Ro. 14:17).
Truth faith rest in God knowing that “all things turn out to the good to them that love the Lord to them who are called according to His purpose( Ro.8:28). They key for all things to turn out to the good to them who love the Lord is to wait upon the Lord until you know His purpose. Once the heart of God is revealed to you, you can move forward with the understanding of what He wants to accomplish in you and through you. This is the righteousness that is fulfilled by those that walk after the Spirit. (Romans 8:4)
How we respond to life’s circumstances and situation, will determine whether we inherit the blessing of whether we still need to learn the lesson. Gifts are given, but the fruits of the Spirit are formed through everyday life’s situations.
How you respond to others and the trials and tribulations that you go through, are the tests that God has given to you. Learn to steward these moments of opportunity by learning to enter into His rest. The enemy’s purpose is to take you out of the heavenly realm by causing you to become carnally minded so that you will operate in the flesh.
For if you live after the flesh, you shall die, but if you live after the Spirit and you mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God (Romans 8:13-14).
However, you can rest assured that the Spirit of Truth will always lead you to the truth and to the one who can keep you on the path of life – the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Learn to rest in God and when these things take place in the moment of need you will find the peace of God will prevail. The peace of God is the linchpin to His presence. It is also the peace of God that crushes Satan under your feet and the love of God that wins the victory, for God’s love never fails. It is from the place of His presence that you war with His divine nature.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. (2 Cor. 10:4).
Warriors of the cross are called to do battle from the presence of God. Don’t try to format a plan beforehand. Just rest in God and He will keep you safe in His hands. To be pulled out from the presence of God to engage in warfare with others, whether it is mentally or openly, leads only to defeat and the divine opportunity for victory.
King David understood the power of resting in God. He declared that even in the presence of his enemies, God set a table before him who anointed his head with oil as he feasted at the Lord ’s Table. (Psalms 24:3) When you find your rest in God, even during the most severe crisis, in the presence of your enemies you will overflow with the peace, love and joy of the Lord. His nature never changes. Our choice is to abide in His nature from the place or rest, or to rely upon our fallen nature that we tend to trust.
And as King David declared, he who abides in the secret place shall abide under the wings of the Almighty. “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: “My God in Him will I trust.” Psalms 91 is the word for the hour.
In our Father’s love and mine,