Haven

kelowna harbour IMG_0493

 

It’s so easy for us to turn the things God designed for pleasure into a task. As soon as someone says to me, “You have to…” it begins to feel like a burden, a chore.  I think we’ve done that to prayer – and especially corporate prayer – as well. Instead of thinking that we are privileged to spend time in the presence of the ultimate lover of our souls who brings us together in relationship with Him and with each other, we talk about scheduling meetings and getting down to the work of prayer. We bring our agendas and have our lists that must be covered in well-worded presentations. Okay, time to drop the pleasantries and get down to work.

Even our times of worship can turn into hurried rituals of sound checks, singing songs, or genuflecting, or waving incense or flags, or lighting candles, or shuffling the two square foot pew-side hokey-pokey, whatever, trying to think of ways to get God in the mood to respond to us (or manipulate our own emotions to be in the mood to worship and pray. It’s hard to tell sometimes.) Why does it sometimes feel like one more thing to check off the to-do list before we can get on with the program?

What if the Lord just wants to sit on a deck chair beside us and be welcomed into our conversation? What if Father, Son and Holy Spirit want to welcome us to sit with them and be part of their conversation? What if entering his rest is realizing that he is not hurried or anxious or stressed like we are? What if worship is enjoying him in that place of rest?

What does it mean to enter his rest together?

So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God. For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. So let us do our best to enter that rest. (Hebrews 4:9, 10 NLT)

9 thoughts on “Haven

  1. I love this. I once experienced your ‘what if’ when a friend and I were sitting in a coffee shop talking quietly about Him. He turned up. We both realised, with shock, at the same instant that His presence had joined us. No, we couldn’t see Him, but our spirits leaped at His presence just the same. It was tangible, it was powerful and it was real. No one else in the coffee shop that day knew about it, but there were three of us sitting together at that table. He was enjoying just being with us and we were basking and adoring Him, – at a table, in a coffee shop, in a country town in Australia.

    The only thing I can compare it to is the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. He was attracted by their conversation. That day as we sat talking we were, I guess, worshiping, spontaneously, verbally sharing how wonderful He is, how much we longed for Him, the amazing things He was doing for us. And without warning, unexpectedly, there He was in our midst, just as He said. I have never forgotten that day, and never will. Even after we had to leave, the fragrance of His Presence stayed with both of us for hours, days.

    This story is something I rarely share. It was, and remains to me, sacred. It’s one of those rare pearls we’re meant to be careful where we ‘cast’. Your post reminded me today again of that beautiful event. You are right…worship is enjoying Him in that place of rest. And He enjoying us. Why do we complicate it?

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  2. The Lord has given me the word “rest,” for this year and has me living rest. When we rest with him, we enjoy his presence and do not strive. He has told me to unload all the “shoulds” and rest in his finished work. I am learning that more gets accomplished resting than in busyness doing many important things.

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    1. My previous attempts at unloading “should” has usually resulted in it being dumped back on my head. I thought I had learned this lesson before, but I hadn’t seen how daring rest can be when busyness has been held in such high esteem in my culture all my life. Some of the older translations of Hebrews 4 say “strive to enter his rest.” An amusing oxymoron.

      Continue to enjoy His Presence. I hope to join you more fully soon.

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      1. Yes, Charis, sometimes too many “shoulds” come to a screeching halt. I have found that if I don’t rest and continue at my frantic pace, something will occur to make me rest. Much bette to step aside and make the one who is the main one, the main one in my life. No more letting others’ agendas rule my life! God first!

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