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Various authors share about experiencing God's wonderful presence by knowing Jesus Christ personally through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Resting In Christ

by Brian Trenhaile, last updated 28 March 2012

What are the practical aspects of “Resting in Christ?”  It has a lot to do with relationship and experiencing love in that relationship.  It also involves simply believing in and walking in the “Finished Work of Christ.”  It involves grace, the power and ability that God gives to a believer at salvation and continues from thereon in the life of a believer. 

Relationship is the foundational aspect of entering His rest.  Jesus said “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne” (Matthew 11:28-30, AMP).  These same verses are very well put in another version: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:28-30, MSG).  

A tender and thought provoking illustration of this resting relationship is presented in the following Old Testament verses:

Lord, my heart is not haughty,
Nor my eyes lofty. 
Neither do I concern myself with great matters,
Nor with things too profound for me.
Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul,
Like a weaned child with his mother;
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.
Pslam 131:1, 2 (NKJV)

Experiencing the love that God has for us is another key component of entering His rest.  The love that God has for us is there whether we are aware of it or not.   The Bible says, “But God commanded His love towards us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us”  (Romans 5:8).  So even if we are God’s enemy, He chooses to love us, how much more when we become His children by accepting Jesus as our Lord and believing that God rose Him from the dead.  The Bible illustrates this concept in the following verse:

Therefore, since we are now justified acquitted, made righteous, and brought into right relationship with God) by Christ's blood, how much more [certain is it that] we shall be saved by Him from the indignation and wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more [certain], now that we are reconciled, that we shall be saved (daily delivered from sin's dominion) through His [resurrection] life. Not only so, but we also rejoice and exultingly glory in God [in His love and perfection] through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have now received and enjoy [our] reconciliation. (Romans 5:9-11, AMP). 

Fear goes away as we experience God’s love and peace and rest come naturally.  The Apostle Johns said,  “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us” (I John 4:18-19, NASB). 

Understanding the finshed work of Christ greatly facilitates resting in Him.  The finished work of Christ in a nutshell is described in the following scripture.  Paul said “But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (I Corinthians 1:30, NKJV).  Notice that is it is a work that God has done.  It is God who puts the believer in Christ Jesus.  The finished work involves having Christ’s wisdom, which was greater than that of Solomon.  It involves having Christ’s righteousness so we can stand before God without any fear or shame.  It involves having Christ’s sanctification (being set apart, holy and pure for God in Him).  It involves benefitting from Christs redemption so we no longer are subject to the slavery of sin and death.  Paul said “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2, NKJV).

Practically benefitting from His finished work has a lot to do with personally identifying yourself with Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.  In other words “I died with Christ, I was buried with Christ, I rose with Christ.”  These are all past tense terms.  Paul put it this way “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain” (Galatians 2:20-21, NKJV).  Here the apostle has personally identified with His death and indirectly identified with His ressurection and is stating that his righteousness is by grace and not works of the law.  In essence Paul is resting in the finished work of Christ.

Are we qualified to benefit from the finished work of Christ?  Yes we are, God qualifies us to benefit from the finished work of Christ.  “Giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified and made us fit to share the portion which is the inheritance of the saints (God’s holy people) in the Light” (Collosians 1:12, AMP).  Christ finished work also qualifies us for every promise of God as the following verse illustrates.  “For as many as are the promises of God, they all find their Yes [answer] in Him [Christ]. For this reason we also utter the Amen (so be it) to God through Him [in His Person and by His agency] to the glory of God” (II Cor. 1:20, AMP).  Jesus qualified us for all the promises of God and also shares His own inheritance with us!

God wants us to be in His rest, if fact the Bible warns about not entering His rest.  The author of Hebrews states this.

“Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.  For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,  “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’” although his works were finished from the foundation of the world (Hebrews 4:1-3, ESV).

So, just be who you are in Christ, continue to embrace the relationship that you have with Jesus.  You don’t have to try to be what you already are.  Simply accept and live by God’s view and opinion about His love for you, and about who He says you are in Christ, and you will be resting in Christ.