Continuing from last week….
Rest in the sense I’m using it is not physical rest…it’s not kicking back and taking it easy. The rest God promises us is spiritual. He can, and will, provide physical rest…but, again, that’s not what we’re talking about now.
With God we can find rest, even in the most trying and physical draining periods of our lives. Sounds implausible, maybe even impossible…but it is God we’re talking about here.
We often fight our battles on our own. We attack the dragons of this world with, what we consider to be, a beautiful and sufficient sword. We marvel at the gleaming metal, the inlays in the hilt, we brag about the sharpness of the blade. OUR sword is ready for battle. But…there’s always a but…in battle it doesn’t hold up. The dragon’s fire melts the blade, the edge dulls on the hard scales covering the beast. The problem is, the sword was forged in this world. We created it, perhaps with the assistance of self-help books/shows, advice from friends and family, and our own designs. Some will add a few verses into the forging process…but they are more feel-good affirmations and less about the actual words – nor is it a real faith in the words. The weapon will never be strong enough to face the dragons of this world.
There is a time-tested sword available to us. By the world standards it seems a little plain. It’s old, but sturdy. It’s forged by God – which makes it a weapon that cannot fail. It’s part of the armor God supplies His believers with. The helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, the sandals of the good news, the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit (the Word of God). We’re protected by Him. Armor is an active thing, yet within His protection we find rest – even in the battles.
In our battles with dragons we can rest when we wear His armor. The shield deflects the fiery attacks of the dragon, the sword hacks through the thick scales. Sometimes it seems we stand there hacking for a long time…but as long as we are abiding in Him, wearing the armor He’s given us, we will overcome the dragon…no matter how long it takes.
I admit there are some battles I don’t understand…medical issues without answers, sudden deaths, betrayals by someone close, these are only a few. I’d love to explain every reason, every why, every “how come” that you may ask during a battle. I’d love to, but I can’t…and in the long run that is comforting. As I’ve said before…a god I can fully explain to you – the why and the wherefores – is not a god big enough for any of us, as he would be limited by our knowledge. Our God is too big to explain – hallelujah!
So we rest in His bigness, His greatness. His rest comes from peace, security, and safety. Not sure how He provides all of those during our battles…but I know He does. I know from past and recent experience. He is faithful…He is comforting…He is peace…He is rest.
He is bigger than the dragons we face.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, [Ephesians 6:10-18 ESV]