I was recently praying for the Discipleship Training School that I am staffing, asking God where we are at mentally and spiritually as a school. More than that I was curious about what He wants to teach us and where He wants to take us. It’s such an incredible privilege to be able to partner with God on a journey, knowing that He doesn’t just lead us without our input and without partnering with us. Jesus put it this way in John 15:15, “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” Jesus calls us friends and then qualifies who a friend of God is; we know what God is doing and are being joined with Him in His plans. He reveals His plans so that they are no longer a mystery to us. So, on this particular night I was asking God to reveal what He is doing and what He wants to do.
This is what He said, “You can hunger and thirst for me, but also have rest.” Think about times when you are physically hungry, I mean really hungry. The only thing you can think about is food. There are a number of questions that probably run through your mind: When did I last eat? When is dinner? What’s for dinner? Is there a snack I can eat right now? Hunger involves your whole body. Yes your stomach is growling, but your whole body is affected as food becomes more and more important in your mind. This is what hungering for God looks like and what it feels like. He becomes just as important (if not more) than food. Hungering and thirsting for God needs to be a whole body experience, not just a mental exercise. On a deeper note, I believe that it starts with our heart position towards God. We need a moldable and soft heart so that He may start to change us and reveal Himself to us in new ways. Out of this heart position, it can affect our whole being.
So, how does hunger and thirst correlate with rest? We first need to define what biblical rest is. The first place we see rest in Scripture is when God rested on the seventh day after He made creation. We need to understand that we were created to work out of a place of rest, not towards it. God created the world and then out of that rest we started working. Rest is not sitting in a big comfy chair, reading a book and drinking coffee or watching a sports game on a Sunday afternoon after a long week at work. Rest is state of being. It’s a place of intimacy with the Father. It’s knowing who you are and knowing who God is. Hebrews 3:7-11 gives us an excellent example of NOT resting. It says in verse 7-8, “Today, if you hear his (God’s) voice, do not harden your hearts as in rebellion.” Then God says in verse 10-11, “They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.” He says these things and then says, “They shall not enter my rest.”
nce we know who we are as God’s children, and then who God is as a good Father, we then can be at rest. Once our hearts are soft, making sure to listen to God and follow His ways, we get to enter into His amazing rest. Remember: rest is not an activity, it’s a state of being. It’s a place that everything else flows from, even hungering and thirsting after God and His righteousness.
By Jason LaLone