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UNVEILING THE SPIRIT OF REST
Stats: 4,476 words / Reading Time: 22.38 mins

Published: Thursday, 16th September 2021

By: Benedicta Apeh

UNVEILING THE SPIRIT OF REST is read 710 times on CentreNDL.org 710
  

UNVEILING THE SPIRIT OF REST

Another Dimension and Operation of the Spirit of God

We will be considering some verses which we must keep in mind as we go on,

Matthew 11:28-30 says, Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart: and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.

We will be considering the first sentence in that verse, “Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” So, the invitation is to those that labour. As we go on, we will know if you and I should consider accepting this invitation or not.

Zechariah 4: 6 says, So he answered and said to me: This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might nor by power but by My Spirit; says the Lord of hosts

“By My Spirit says the Lord,” talks about the Spirit of God. Not any Spirit.

I am sure many of us have experienced the Holy Spirit as the Spirit that comforts, teaches, directs, listens, helps, reminds, lives inside us, convicts us, as the seal of God upon our lives unto the day of redemption, and as the evidence of the power of God in our lives and so on. I believe if we are asked, we can say in what numerous ways we have experienced the workings of the Spirit of God in our lives.

For the sake of those that are Christians and still say something told me, “Don’t go there! and that was how I escaped danger”. I was in the exam hall, I forgot what to write in that question, something reminded me. I was sleeping, something woke me up if not I would have missed that contract. It’s not something. He is someone. He is the Holy Spirit. He is the Spirit of God.

The bible says in 1st Corinthians 6:19 that “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”

Two things we must note from that verse is as that long as you are a believer, the Holy Spirit is in you and is from God. He is resident inside of you and I. He lives there and is operational as long as you make it conducive for him. Reading through that 1st Corinthains 6, there was an issue that was being addressed in that verse, because somehow that temple can be made unconducive or filthy for the Holy Spirit to dwell in.

The Spirit of God was promised to us by Jesus and the bible says no longer will laws be written on stones but in our hearts. We can love God and do the right things because we have the Spirit of God inside of us, telling us what to do par time. The Spirit is God distributed to each and every one of us at the same time. It’s amazing!

So, please do not continue to short change yourself and underutilize the powerfulness of the Spirit that you carry. That means you do not know the manner of Spirit that you are of. That’s why we search for answers in so many places while we can get the answer from within. He is not a forceful Spirit and will not enforce his will on you. That’s why we must deliberately talk with and fellowship with him. Make the temple continually conducive for him. Let’s continually engage the Spirit of God residing inside of us for maximum profit.

Now for many of us that have experienced the Holy Spirit in different dimensions, in fact we can testify to the many ways and benefits of engaging the Spirit of God. So, this study will yet unveil another dimension of the Spirit of God that we must not miss, which we must experience if we will actually experience rest in our lives.

And the “rest” we are considering from that scripture, Matthew 11, is not about sleeping from morning till night, doing nothing. And also, to find rest as a believer, you have to accept the invitation of Jesus to come.

 

WHAT IS REST?

I found several definitions of rest in the dictionary but the one that best suits this study is, Rest could mean relief from exertion; a state of quiet and relaxation. That exertion talks about using up physical and mental effort.

 

DO I LABOUR? DO I NEED REST?

That’s a question we will be answering by the help of God

Matthew 11:28-30 says, Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart: and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.

We will be highlighting that beginning part, “come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest”

Only a person that labours requires rest. If you have nothing that is tasking you, draining your energy, then there is no need for rest. We must note that there is a strength you expend when you labour. In fact, when you hear labourers in our day, you know that the job they are doing is not an easy task. Not everyone can even engage in such jobs, it takes a major chunk of strength to be a labourer. And when they have to refill, that is eat to renew their strength, they eat well, that means they eat a large amount so they can have the strength to continue.

There is a strength required for life’s journey, physical, spiritual, mental, financial, etc. all kinds of strength at different times. Many of us might not work as most labourers we see around us, pushing trucks, carrying blocks and all that. But we labour in our minds, we labour in the place of prayer, we labour in different ways.

I am sure at one time or the other, we have sat in a place for few hours cracking our brains, to find answers to something or tidy something up, prepare for something and at the end of the day we are exhausted, and we say, “I didn’t even go anywhere oh! I was seated in one place.” You laboured in your mind! This shows that labouring is in different levels. You don’t have to carry blocks to labour. So, let’s not restrict labour to those we see around us doing some heavy-duty jobs. If there is any good thing we must bring forth, there is an energy required, a labouring so to say. We labour over our children, labour over our marriage, labour in our jobs, why? Because there is a significant progress or result we want to see.

When the bible says, come unto me all ye who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. We must pause and ask ourselves, Is Jesus talking to me? Do I labour? Do I exert physical and mental effort? Than I need this rest that Jesus is talking about.

On a lighter note, For women that are pregnant, and want to deliver, you will hear labour room, right?  They need to bring forth and it requires a certain amount of strength, energy. Same way in birthing purpose and destiny, there is a strength, a labouring to birth it so you need to come. If not, you are going to burn out or be tired.

Why do people rise, become influential and then fade away, they just go down for one reason or the other, its because they lacked a particular strength at that time, perhaps the strength of character, maybe their financial strength went down. They have exerted and exhausted all their mental and physical effort, nothing left in their reservoir but if you  and I will rise stay up there, relevant year after year, we need to come, accept the invitation.

So, I will leave us to answer that question, do I labour? Do I need rest?

 

Let’s go back to that Zechariah 4 that we read in the beginning

Zechariah 4: 6: So he answered and said to me: This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might nor by power but by My Spirit; says the Lord of hosts.

This is the Spirit of Rest we are being introduced to in this verse. So, there is a Spirit that by his power and might, you can do things without exerting or exhausting your physical and mental effort. But by my Spirit! But by the Spirit, your power and might will not produce tangible and lasting results. That is a state of rest, relief from exertion, relief from exerting energy, relief! That’s the state of rest. Where you get things done, you are running and not getting weary, you are walking and not fainting. We could say you are soaring. When a bird soars, the bird does not flap his wings anymore, he just relaxes, spreads out his wings in the air, uses the wind to move. That wind can be referred to as the Spirit of God in this context. You just spread out your wings and glide, move. Not by power or by might.

This is a different dimension of the Spirit of God, which is rest. The Spirit of God is the Spirit of Rest. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Rest.

When Jesus says come, I will give you rest. He is saying, let me release to you my Spirit. Let me give you my Spirit. The Spirit of Rest. One who will give you relief from physical and mental effort. The Holy Spirit defined it for me as “effortless effort”. Are you doing the things you should do? Yes! But you are not burning out! That’s the state of rest.

You are in partnership with this Spirit of Rest. This Spirit of rest is a river that never runs dry, he doesn’t burn out. He causes you to continually soar, effortlessly. Will you be doing something, carrying out your work and responsibilities? Yes! But not burning out. We need this Spirit of rest to be activated in our lives so you can soar daily, continually. Accept this invitation. You will be gliding through the storms like there is no storm, because you are moving on the wings of the wind, the Spirit of God.

“Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Let me give you my Spirit, the Spirit of Rest, who not by your power nor might but by this same Spirit gives rest from your labour. Where your might and power cannot accomplish much, let the Spirit of God, the Spirit of rest be your energy, your life’s fuel.

I want us to see another example of the Spirit of God being the spirit of rest

Ezekiel 2:1-2 says, And He said to me. Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you. Then the Spirit entered me when He spoke to me, and set me on my feet; and I heard who spoke to me.

The Spirit entered me and spoke to me, did we see that the Spirit entered me and I jumped up? No! He set me on my feet. The Spirit of God raised me up. There was no effort on my part so to say, his own power and might lifted me up. He set me on my feet. That’s effortlessness.

The bible says, not by works lest any man should boast. Not by your effort. There is a Spirit you need for effortlessness, for relief, for soaring. The bible says if you faint in the day of adversity, that means you strength is small. That means, the Spirit of God inside of you or on you is underutilized or neglected. You have not embraced that “rest dimension” of the Spirit of God that Jesus offered and talked about. When Jesus said I will send you an helper, what was He going to do, render you help for what? Effortless effort!

 

HOW DOES THE SPIRIT OF REST OPERATE?

Here, we are going to see rest in another perspective. From scriptures, we will see that when the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God was going to manifest in someone’s life or in a place, He either filled the person, filled the place or rested on top of the person.

For the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God to function in any area or dimension of your life, He needs to rest, He needs to land, He needs to reside, He needs to inhabit. That’s how he can profit you maximally. The Spirit of God is the Spirit of rest and He needs to rest in order to function. He needs to settle down. We will see that from scriptures

That passage, 1st Corinthains 6: 19 that we read, The Holy Spirit is said to dwell in every believer, every child of God who are temples of God. At the end of Jesus’ ministry, before he was going to be crucified, when he said he was going us a helper, was the helper going to be floating in the air, hovering, no! he was going to rest, inhabit, stay in temples of God, settle if he was going to function like he should.

Let’s go back to the beginning,

Gen 1: 1-3 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

To hover means to float in the air, to move in an uncertain manner. The spirit of God was hovering, he couldn’t land, there was no place to land. It was not suitable for landing, there was no place for him to rest so he kept moving on the face of the waters. It was not conducive. He could not manifest.

Did we see the Holy Spirit being mentioned that he did anything at that point? No! He needed to land to function, to rest. What we saw in the verses after that in Gen. 1 was “and God said, and God said, and God said.” The Holy Spirit couldn’t function like He should.

 

Matthew 3:16-17 says, When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water, and behold, the heaven were opened to Him and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Can we see the Spirit of God resting here? did he hover? No! if Jesus was going to do his ministry with ease, was going to carry out his assignment well and effortlessly, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God needed to rest on him for the assignment so he could do it soaring, resting. You are running, accomplishing great things but you are not weary, you are not fainting. We know that the Spirit of God dwells in the child of God, but at different times in scriptures he needed to show up again and again, to do what? To rest again, settle again and give rest from labour.

Acts 2 : 1-4 says, when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues , as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. An they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Did we see, sat upon each of them? The Spirit of God had to land, settle, to rest on them, can we see that in our bibles? And what did that produce for them, effortless speaking. Peter that ran away out of fear in the past, took the front row in speaking. They just spoke, they just soared and the Spirit of God prevailed in his might and power. They exerted no strength and energy there. They didn’t need to over flog the matter or be too persuasive, the people that were listening to them, turned to God.  3000 souls in one meeting! What did they even say? But the words were carried on the wings of the wind, projected by the Spirit of God with no effort of theirs.

I am sure many of us that engage in evangelism know that even to covert one soul, one man, is not an easy task, of your own strength. You can preach with all your might, use all kinds of words and methods to make the person understand and change his or her ways, visit the person a  thousand times, show the person the love of God in all ways, even give the person daily transport to attend church services, cook lunch for the person, you will be pouring water into basket without the Spirit of God carrying the words you say, you might continually labour over that person’s life in vain.

Jesus had told them in Acts 1 to tarry. So, that means they tarried. That means they were not just sleeping, eating, drinking, No! they were labouring in prayers, waiting. Jesus had said come all ye who labour and he kept true to is word, they laboured and the Spirit of Rest descended.

There is an effortless effort you will experience in our life as you allow the Spirit of God who is the Spirit of Rest to continually dwell and rest in and on your life.

 

 

WHAT WE MUST DO?

  • Accept this invitation to come. Take responsibility to say, “Jesus I labour so I come.”
  • Embrace this Spirt of Rest that Jesus offered us.
  • Stay consecrated. Romans 12: 1 says, I beseech thee therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. There is a consecration for the Spirit of Rest to dwell. For the disciples they had to tarry because the Holy Spirit is a gentle Spirit, he doesn’t dwell anywhere. The place has to be conducive. For him to come, you need to prepare the place for him to come. For him to refill, to settle on you, you need to desire and accept his invitation to come. David said, do not take the Spirit from me, why? The Spirit of God can be taken away.

Once again, we are supposed to come daily, many of us have been filled but we need a refilling in order to enjoy rest depending on what kind of labour we are in and what kind of rest we require. It is an invitation, come all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. I will give you my spirit, the spirit of rest. Depending on the strength and rest that we need, we need a continual rest, infilling. Marital strength, financial, mental, name it. Come unto me all ye who labour and I will give you rest. Not by power but by might but by my Spirit says the Lord.

I pray the Lord will help us in Jesus name, Amen

 


Thanks for the gift of your time, I am Benedicta Apeh!

Feel free to share your thoughts or testimony in the comment box below. I promise to respond to them as soon as possible!


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Word of Confession: (Optional)

Lord Jesus, I confess to you that I have sinned against the LORD God - in the rebellion of my heart, I have disappointed your expectations on my life. I have fallen from Your grace and followed wrong influences around me. Today, I retrace my steps back to you - and I ask that in your mercy you accept me as your son and give to me (again) the promise of the Father - the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please, come and make my heart your home, and from there rule in the affairs of all men. In Jesus Name I have prayed.

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I am a student of Christ, one who loves to see people understand and take their place in Christ, ultimately fulfilling their life's purpose and assignment.  I am therefore on an assignment to encourage, nurture and impact lives through teaching, mentoring and writing.


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