The phrase "resting in God" means to give the Lord absolute control over our lives and futures. This shows God that we fully trust in Him and His purposes for us.
Only God knows the future, and He alone is in control. That's why we need to learn to surrender to Him and give Him our worries, just as Jesus taught us in Matthew 6.
Stress is always connected to an area of our life that we have not yet surrendered to God. Often, we experience stress because of the struggle that exists between our flesh (our fallen, human nature, which we continue to battle against in this life) and our spirit (our inner being, made alive in Christ). If we do not surrender a particular area to God, it becomes a heavy burden to us.
When we rest in God, we can have peace and joy in any circumstance, knowing that He is taking care of our needs as we continue to do our part—whatever comes under our human responsibilities. The greatest blessings come when we rest in God's love, goodness and faithfulness.
Casting Our Care on God
The Bible speaks of God's rest when it says, "Cast all your care upon Him, because He cares for you" (1 Pet. 5:7). What does it mean to "cast" our cares or anxieties upon God? It means to relinquish our worry, recognizing that we don't need to resolve matters in our own strength. We can place our absolute trust in Him to work on our behalf. If situations in our business, church, work, family or health are causing us stress, we must immediately commit them to God.
We should know that as long as we hold on to our worries, the enemy will increase the pressure against us, bringing these concerns to our mind over and over again and creating an oppressive pattern of stress. When we enter into such a cycle, that is when stress becomes a spiritual issue.
One of the evidences of demonic activity in a person's life is impatience, lack of rest and lack of sleep. If the enemy manages to rob us of our peace—and with it, our sleep—stress becomes inevitable. Little by little, a lack of rest opens the way to demonic activity. As we give ourselves fully to God, cycles of stress can be broken.
Jesus' Yoke Is Easy
Jesus understands what we are going through. That is why He said, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me. For I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light" (Matt. 11:28–30).
When we follow a path that is the opposite of God's will, we carry a very heavy burden. Even our thought patterns adapt to the burden we carry and prevent us from seeing a way out. But today, Jesus tells us, "Give Me the burden that the world has placed on you or you have taken on yourself—the burden that oppresses and enslaves you—and in return, I will give you My 'yoke,' which is easy, and My 'burden,' which is light."
Times of Refreshing
The apostle Peter said: "Therefore repent and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord" (Acts 3:19).
We experience times of refreshing or rest by remaining in the "presence of the Lord," because it is in His presence where we find all we need. In Psalm 23, David describes the Lord as a good Shepherd, who provides everything necessary for His sheep so they will not have anything to worry about. The book of Psalms also reveals that, in addition to rest, being in God's presence gives us joy: "You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures for evermore" (Ps. 16:11).
Signs of Resting in God
There are three unmistakable signs that we have entered into the rest of God:
- We have peace. When we repent of our sins and receive God's forgiveness, He fills us with His peace. When we give God our burdens, He lifts them from us and gives us His peace. When we surrender our will to Him, He fulfills His will in our lives and immerses us in His peace. The peace we receive is not just a peace in which there is an absence of conflict. Instead, it is a peace that elevates us above any conflict and leads us to transcend the natural and live in the spiritual.
- We worship God. Heartfelt worship arises from being in a place of intimacy with God. When we are living in God's rest, we do not worship Him only when things are going well and we have no problems. Rather, even in the midst of the harshest storm or the darkest night of our life, we choose to give Him the place of preeminence and worship Him in that place of rest.
There are times when we may start to worship God in the flesh, doing it in our own strength with our mind, body or emotions, because stress is controlling us. However, seeing our genuine desire to worship Him, God will send His Holy Spirit to come and help us to worship Him "in spirit and truth" (John 4:23-24). When this happens, our stress fades away as we enter into the rest of God's presence.
If you are facing situations that cause you stress, you urgently need to enter God's presence. When you go to your Source, He will remove every burden, because in His presence, there is total provision.
- We continuously allow God to be in control. Jesus' sacrifice opened the way so that all who believe in Him and confess Him as Lord and Savior of their lives can enter into God's presence. When we are in the presence of the Lord, nothing that might happen around us or in the world can cause us to enter into a cycle of worry or fear, because we know that God is in control.
When we are stressed, we cannot see, hear or discern what is happening in the spiritual world; our spiritual senses are blocked, and we only perceive what is occurring in the natural realm. However, when we enter into the rest of the Lord, we live in continual anticipation of seeing the next thing that God will do. We do not conform to the impossibilities declared by natural minds, but we faithfully expect the Lord to act. The greatest miracle we can experience is to see God do what is impossible for us.
You will not see how God is acting in your favor until you commit to resting in Him, releasing your worries to His care. This is not something that is achieved overnight; it takes time and persistence to change the way we handle problems and to understand the full meaning of "resting." In one sense, resting in God's presence makes us spectators of what He is doing.
However, this doesn't mean that we are to be indifferent as we wait for His intervention, because He desires that we participate in His purposes. Rather, it means learning to daily live by faith, always expecting the "something new" that He will do.
Edited excerpts from Stress-Free Living, © 2019 by Guillermo Maldonado, published by Whitaker House. Used with permission.
Active in ministry for over 20 years, bestselling author apostle Guillermo Maldonado is the founder of King Jesus International Ministry—one of the fastest-growing multicultural churches in the United States—which has been recognized for its visible manifestations of God´s supernatural power. He is a spiritual father to 400 churches in 70 countries, which form the Supernatural Global Network. He is also the founder of the University of the Supernatural Ministry (USM). Apostle Maldonado has a doctorate in Christian counseling and a master's degree in practical theology. He resides in Miami, Florida, with his wife and partner in ministry, Ana, and their two sons, Bryan and Ronald. Visit whitakerhouse.com/book-authors/guillermo-maldonado/.
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