Sunday, July 28, 2013

Rest...less or Rest...Lest

I have spent the last 10 days going non-stop here in Africa.  Today was the first day that there was scheduled time to slow down and decompress.  The team prepared to go white water rafting this morning on the White Nile and I was excited about going, but instead was awakened by the Lord impressing on my restless heart, Rest Lest.  I wasn't sure what the Lord desired to teach me, but I knew I needed to pass on the rafting and seek time alone with the Lord.  It was actually surprising how brief the moments were the last 10 days that I have had alone with the Lord.  All of our time had been rich in the Lord, but it was always together with others.
It has been an incredible trip filled with seeing God do miraculous things on a near daily basis.  It has been a trip that has been most humbling and rewarding to me, having the opportunity to be used to bless Morris's church in Mbale by pointing them to the beauty of the holiness of Christ, being used to share the gospel and see lives changed by the power of Christ, and having the high honor of getting to preach the first Sunday in the church we planted a sermon pointing to a foundation of grace for our lives and the church.  Through all of this I have seen God working on each team member and through each team member, but I felt as though God had not done any major overhauling on my heart this trip.  I longed for God to break up any hard places in my heart.

Hosea 10:12 Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.

There was finally a break through, light penetrating though a tiny pinhole in my heart.  There had been a recurring theme popping up that we should "Rest In God", but the impact never went to the depth I believe I needed or rather God desired.  I spent the morning reading Ecclesiastes and even taking a nap with prayers on my heart and scripture in my thoughts.  It was ok, because I had time to rest.  In time the Lord opened my eyes to see that I am usually resting on my own strength, resting on my own understanding, resting or better said, "TRUSTING" in my own abilities.  When I do this, I am the one who receives the glory and yet I was created by God with the chief end to bring glory to Him.  When I trust in and rely on myself I am actually robbing God of glory.  It is as if I am marching into the treasury of heaven and robbing from God's treasuries of glory.  Satan desired God's glory, Adam and Eve desired it, and so do I.  Ouch!

I will be flushing out more that God began opening my eyes to in the days ahead, but to start the journey into better understanding "Rest in God...Lest we rob Him of glory" lets look at some verses to set our course.

1Cor 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1Peter 4:10-11 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:  whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.  To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Rev 1:5-6 To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom of priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Eph 3:21 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Rev 7:12 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Rom 11:34-36 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?  Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?”  For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

The early church founders understood this when they coined the Latin phrase Soli Deo Gloria - Solely To God Be Glory!

This challenges me and convicts me that I am untroubled by my robbing from God.  Add it to the list of 10 commandments that I break daily.  The more I seek the Lord the more I relate to Paul's words in Romans 7, "who can save me from this wretched body of death?  Thanks be to the Lord Jesus Christ."

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