The Rest of Faith 4
21 July 2013
Exodus 33:14 “My presence will go with you and it will give you rest”
· So many people live in constant turmoil, anxiety, fear, striving – no rest in their soul. God promises to give us rest: Rest is a gift of God received by faith – trusting Him. Rest is connected to the presence and activity of the Holy Spirit in our lives and our relationships.
Romans 14:17 “The Kingdom of heaven….. is righteousness peace and joy in the Holy Ghost”
· Whatever disturbs our peace or joy should get our attention.
· Activating sensitivity to the Holy Ghost and response to His presence is key to rest.
Key Passage: Luke 2:41-50
2. Why God Sometimes is Silent
Luke 2:41-43 “Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem and Joseph and Mary his mother did not know it”
· Jesus was silent about His plans. He did not tell them what He was doing!
· Jesus was entering a new season in His life – He did not speak or explain it.
(a) Familiarity Can Lead To Presumption
E.g. Marriage: The most common problem is communication.
“You didn’t tell me”; “I assumed”; “Well I thought”
· Luke 2:43-44 “Joseph and His mother did not know it, but supposing Him to be in the company went a days journey…”
· Note: Jesus was silent – they supposed He was still with them.
· It was an annual event to go to Jerusalem; it was a custom or habit.
Presume – to take for granted, to assume to be
true, to assume without proof.
(b) Why God Sometimes Is Silent
2 Chronicles 32:3 “God withdrew from him (Hezekiah) in order to test him to know all that was in his heart”
· Sometimes God is silent about the things most important to us. Why?
(i) To Reveal What Is In Our Heart Deuteronomy 8:2
God’s silence exposes and brings to our
awareness or condition, priorities, values.
(ii) To Humble Us Deuteronomy 8:2
· We have a tendency to go our own way, to operate independently, to live in our comfort zone.
· Habits and routines are good but can lead us to familiarity and presumption.
We constantly need fresh challenges to keep us dependent
(iii) To See If We Will Apply What We Have Learned Deuteronomy 8:2
· God is constantly teaching us, changing us – His plan means ongoing change.
· He wants us to learn to walk by revelation and wisdom (applying the Word of God).
· If you collapse under pressure and challenge your personal foundations are not strong.
· In seasons you do not hear from God – do what He last told you and walk in the principles of God – prayer, thanksgiving, praise, fellowship.
· Mary and Joseph went 1 day without Jesus then experienced and acute sense of loss and anxiety.
3. How to Recognise the Presence of the Holy Spirit has Lifted
Luke 2:48 “So when they saw Him they were amazed, and His mother said to Him: “Son why have you done this to us? Look your father and I have sought you anxiously”
(i) Anxiety – Loss of Peace
· The presence of God brings with it a peace and loss of His presence brings anxiety.
· Mary revealed she was anxious but sorrowing from on road: to go down.
· She was tormented in her mind and emotions.
· Philippians 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing – peace of God will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”
(ii) Irritability –Loss of Love
· Mary was irritated at Jesus – why have you done this to us?
· She was angry at Jesus and resentful at how He had treated them.
· 1 Corinthians 13:5 “Love – is not provoked (irritated, stirred, sharpened)”
(iii) Lack Clear Thinking - Confusion
· Mary did not understand what Jesus was doing.
· They were amazed…. Why have you done this to us? They did not understand.
· She accused Jesus of treating her unfairly – she took it personally.
· Stresses in life can cause us to turn inward, focus on self, blame others.
· 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear but a spirit of power, and love and a sound mind”
· When the Holy Spirit rests upon us our thinking is clear and we react in clarity.
4. Returning to the Rest of Faith
Luke 2:44-45 “They sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances, so when they did not find Him they returned to Jerusalem seeking Him. Now it was after 3 days they found Him.”
· They were so preoccupied with familiar – they did not realize Jesus was not there.
· They had to go back to where they lost Him (if lost axe head 2Kings 6:6 Where did it fall?)
(i) Repentance (“They Returned”)
· Repentance – Melanoia = change of mind
· Repentance – recognise have made a mistake, failed and admit “it was wrong”.
· People tend to be defensive rather than admit “it was wrong” and change.
· Repentance is foundational to walking with God – admitting wrong thinking and actions.
· 1 John 1:9 If we confess (say the same as God does) will forgive!
(ii) Pursuit of God –(“They Sought Him”)
· Their focus was not on pursuit of peace but on pursuit of Jesus.
· They wanted to reconnect with Jesus Psalm 27:4
· It took 3 days to find Him – they persevered determined to find Him again.
We can pursue Jesus by re-establishing times
of prayer, fasting, worship.
(iii) Openness to Fresh Revelation
· Their familiarity with Jesus caused them to miss the change in their life.
· He now was at an age where He would come under tutors for His destiny.
· They were astonished, they did not understand, they did not ask questions.
· We must move towards what God is doing, not react and move away to familiar.