02 Feb 1999

The Meaning of Resting in God

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and in trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
"In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and in trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.

You said, 'We will flee on horses.' Therefore, you will flee!
You said, 'We will ride off on swift horses.'
Therefore, your pursuers will be swift!.
A thousand will flee at the threat of one;
at the threat of five you will all flee away,
till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop,
like a banner on a hill."
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
He rises to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for Him!

Many of God's children do not rest because they do not see how they could afford to do so, not because they do not need to rest or do not want to rest.

After the creation of a good world, God stated that He rested. Subsequently, through Moses, He gave clear orders to rest one day a week. Is this just for our physical, emotional and mental needs so that we could worship Him together? What does worshipping together mean anyway? Is it not to acknowledge to the whole universe that Jesus Christ is King of Kings?

Too often, in our hectic competitive world, we take the means of grace such as the baptism, Lord's supper, fasting, service, giving and keeping of the Sabbath as duties to be fulfilled so that we could please the Almighty God. But we often forget that we are so absentminded and preoccupied with activities other than with friendship with Him, that the basic reason, I believe, that God gave us the grace of rest is that we will recall that He is God and we are not.

We need to remind each other that, as mere created beings, we depend on Him totally for everything, for life itself and for that wonderful reconciliation with Him. The world will still keep turning if we stop and rest BECAUSE it is He who holds it up...not us.

Often, we are like the little boy who keeps carrying his heavy bag of potatoes, still on his feet, while he rides in a lorry to market. Christ's invitation to rest in Him, therefore, is a reminder that we can and need to rest in Him who is in charge and has fulfilled all God's demands on us. We cannot fulfil them anyway. So, let's let go of the potatoes and sit restfully with Him in His lorry.

Remain in Jesus said:

"I am the true vine, and My Father is the gardener...Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me...

As the Father has loved Me, so I have loved you. Now remain in My love. If you obey My commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have obeyed My Father's commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that you joy may be complete. My commandment is this: love each other as I have loved you."

John 15:1-12

When a word is repeated in Scriptures, God wants us to pay special attention to as in Deuteronomy where we are urged to keep repeating His words to our children.

In the above 12 verses, the word "remain" appears seven times. Another name for "remain" is "abide", which means, "to live permanently".

Therefore, ReconRe hopes that our Gethsemane Retreat Centres will be little corners where some of those who minister God's truth and grace to others through teaching, preaching, pastoring, counselling, writing, singing, composing, choreographing or serving people will find a degree of solitude and silence to wait upon the Lord and rest in Him....far from the maddening crowd!

Guests will be welcomed as individuals, married couples or small groups. Rules and guidelines will be provided for the use of the place. Retreat guidance and pastoral counselling will be available on request though you may also organise your own quiet retreat with your own leaders.

Further, training seminars for pastoral counselling, quiet retreats and the creative arts will be conducted from time to time.

Renewal of the Mind

Paul urged,
"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will."

When times are good for us, few care to look for God's will for their lives though God has not forgotten that He has His will for us. But when we suffer for any reason, we begin to ask desparately, "HOW do I know His will? It is so hard!

Why doesn't He come down from heaven and speak to me?" We begin to doubt His ability to help us and even blame Him for all our troubles.

Yet, Scriptures repeatedly tell us to renew our minds with His word, to get to Know Him through the reading of His thoughts conveyed in words to us. Then, His word becomes the radar for us as we undergo the vertigoes of life's imperfections.