Apologetics · CEC · Philosophy · Religion

Am I Resting in the Father? – Father Michael Birdsong

Am I resting in the Father?

All throughout the scripture we read about saints who felt during certain times that thought they would be better off dead or as some put it cut off from the land of the living. David even wrote in one of his Psalms, “My soul clings to the dust.” Job cursed the day he was born. Who knows exactly what they were going through during this time but it is obvious it was a very dark time for them. Yet, when we read about these times during the lives of the saints the end proved to be a better time. How? They entered God’s rest.

It is my prayer that when you read this article that you have one thing settled in your heart and spirit.

“The Father desires you to enter his rest and he desires to give you times of refreshing.”

Psalm 62:5-8 (New International Version)

5 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.

In this verse we see that David speaks to his soul, his mind, will and emotions to find rest in God alone. Did you notice what I just said? David spoke the word of God to himself. The book of Hebrews tells us that the word of God is a two edged sword. Not only does it pierce through the darkness, it also pierces our own hearts to aid us in the remembrance of the word of God he has spoken over and about us. He acknowledges to himself that from God alone come his hope, joy and peace. He acknowledges in God is his rest.

The word rest here means; a time of refreshing or renewal. Also another biblical word for rest is peace or quiet.

There are basically three types of rest that I see in the scripture:

1. Rest from physical Labor.

2. Rest from enemies

3. Rest in the comfort of salvation or peace in the Lord.

Some examples in the scripture would be:

(Exodus 23:12) “Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female servant and the stranger may be refreshed.

(Exodus 33:14) And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

(Numbers 25:12-13) “Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace; {13} ‘and it shall be to him and his descendants after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel .'”

(1 Kings 8:56 ) “Blessed be the LORD, who has given rest to His people Israel , according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses.

(Isaiah 30:15) For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”

(Isaiah 32:18 ) My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places,

(Ezekiel 37:26-27) “Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. {27} “My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

(Matthew 11:28-30) “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. {29} “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. {30} “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

In Hebrews chapter 3 & 4 we can read once again about a promise of God’s rest and entering into it. But for the sake of time I will cover the 3 main points.

1. The promise is still available to all. (Through the work of Christ.)

2. The good news of it has been preached to many, yet many do not enter. Why? Let us look at Hebrews 3:7-11.

Hebrews 3

7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you will hear His voice, 8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years. 10 Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.’ 11 So I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest.'”

In this scripture we can see the reasons we do not enter God’s rest:

  • We have lost focus or become spiritually deaf.
  • We have hardened our hearts.
  • We have entered rebellion.
  • We acknowledge the works of God but deny the power of it in our own lives even though we have seen God’s work.

3. The third main point is it has been available from the foundation of the world. Let’s get this settled in our hearts, God desires your presence. See the scripture below.

Ephesians 1

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world,

Hebrews 4

2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. 3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: So I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest,although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

So, why are we talking about the word rest and why do we need it. The Father has shown me three main reasons.

  1. There are times that we need to be silent before God to hear him. We are too busy to enter into personal times of personal worship before the Father just to simply “Be,” Meaning a non-distracted time that we can simply listen to the voice of the father and truly see the Father around us in our daily lives. I truly believe that if you take the time to do so He will reveal Himself to you in such a way that there would never be a reason for you to ever doubt him.

See the below scripture:

Zephaniah 1

7 Be silent in the presence of the Lord GOD; For the day of the LORD is at hand, For the LORD has prepared a sacrifice; He has invited[d] His guests.

  • We can actually miss our invitation to commune with the Lord.

2. Our Spirit, Soul and body needs time of renewal and refreshing. One way to achieve this is through confession, personal confession with your priest so that you can receive counseling and encouragement, not corporate confession as on the Lord’s Day.

Acts 3:19  (New International Version)

19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.

3. Avoid burnout. We can be too busy within our daily lives that we do not take the time to communicate with the Father. That is the main reason why we are to rest in the Lord. Here are a few questions that you should ask yourself:


  • Have we lost enthusiasm?
  • Have we lost the desire to do God’s work?
  • Has my words lost power?
  • Have the things of the church become a ritual?
  • Do I see Christ in the Church?
  • Is it easier for me just to stay at home?

If you have answered yes to any of these you are heading toward a spiritual stagnation. You need to enter into God’s rest and allow the Father to give you times of refreshing in his presence. Let us begin now dear saints and enter into the rest of the Father and become refreshed. Allow that spark to ignite in our hearts once again. Allow the Spirit to break the dam and allow the river of life to flow once more in our hearts.

Yours,

Mike Birdsong+

This is an article written by Father Michael Birdsong.  This article is posted by request of the author who is a regular contributor on this blog. JZ Holloway

frmike@charter.net

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2 thoughts on “Am I Resting in the Father? – Father Michael Birdsong

  1. The last paragraph says that if someone says “yes” to any of “these” they are heading towards spiritual stagnation. I assume that the “these” being referred to are the items bulleted beginning with “have we lost enthusiasm” and ending with “is it easier to stay at home?” If that is not the case, then I retract any further question. If it is the case, then I wonder why “seeing Christ in the church” leads to spiritual stagnation? Shouldn’t we want to see Christ in the Church? Shouldn’t we be saying yes to that? Please explain why saying yes to this leads to spiritual stagnation.
    peace.

  2. Thanks Dan for your correction. The question was for those who DO NOT see Christ in church anymore. You are right we should see Christ in our church.

    Guess I should proof read a little better???

    Mike+

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