I recently finished a book about knowing God in our innermost being. The secret of serenity in hectic times is something the whole world is seeking and not finding unless it finds Jesus Christ. Once His Spirit resides within us, peace of mind, a feeling of security of being “held” becomes a reality.
Moses had more reasons than any of us to feel insecure, restless, and afraid. He had no home of his own for years, yet knew a sense of “home-ness” in his heart. And he was able to sing a song about peace of heart and mind that only God, who is our refuge, can give. Here is a piece from the book that I hope blesses you and reminds you of this truth, as we all begin an uncertain year with plenty of reasons to need a sure and certain inner refuge.
THE DWELLING PLACE. A prayer of Moses the man of God.
Psalm 90:1 says: “Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.” See Rev 21:3: “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them.”
A refuge incorporates the same idea. “The Eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms” Deut 33:27.
“He that dwells” incorporates the idea of sitting down and having a rest, not just physically but spiritually, too. Christians are tired inside. Have you noticed? The world without Christ is on its feet. There is absolutely nowhere for its soul to sit down. That’s why you can be sure the soul of an unbeliever is pacing up and down within, weary of it all. It should not be so with us.
We who profess to know Jesus Christ as Savior, Lord, friend and brother, empowerer and lifter of our head — we of all humans inhabiting this little swinging planet — should testify to having found an inner resting place. We Christians should be sitting down, while the rest of the world is standing up!
Does your soul need to sit down? To “dwell in Him” means that we are the ones whose souls are in repose and know how to rest in faith and take the weight off its feet.
Years ago when I was working with kids outside the church, a boy who had recently come to Christ was in my house with a group of his friends, and we were studying the book of Hebrews. The book was new to them and to me! We were all trying to get to grips with it. We only had the old King James Bible in those days, and so we were struggling with the Old English words. Trevor, a new convert to Christianity, haltingly read from the book of Hebrews, Chapter 4: “There remains therefore ‘a rest’ to the people of God.” What did this mean? Trevor wanted to know.
I did my best with this, coming, I am sure, far short of the correct interpretation. We struggled to describe the “rest” of faith in the heart for the Christian. In the end Trevor said, “Maybe it’s like when Jesus came into my life. It was as if I’d been holding my breath all my life, and then I let it out!” I think Trevor had caught the idea of inner rest and peace well. He was talking about the “dwelling” or the sitting down of the soul in repose.
There was so much to discourage those new Christians, whom the writer of the book of Hebrews was addressing, so much turmoil outside their troubled lives. But inwardly, it was very obvious to those watching that they were “resting” in their relationship with Christ. Someone has said, “Discouragement is a tired soul with nowhere to sit down.” The believer in Jesus ALWAYS has somewhere to sit down!
This reading led me to have a “conversation” with Him who is my dwelling place.
“Lord,” I said, “I’m weary in well-doing!”
“Sit down my child.”
“I don’t know how! I run so fast hither and yon, and I may be sitting down on the outside, but I’m standing up on the inside!”
“I see you! Tell your soul to settle down on the Steps outside The Front Door. We will talk of these things.”
And so I told my soul to stop rushing around frantically and listen to Him. It took awhile. But in the end, as I saw it was no good and I was going to stay there with Him for as long as it took to realize His presence, it joined me. It has to, you know, we are sort of attached! Finally it just stopped! What a relief.
“You’re dwelling,” He said!
“I know! Dwelling is rest realized internally, isn’t it Lord? A rest that only You can bestow. Thank you!”
In that moment, “we,” me and my soul, knew it was just as He said it would be. He indeed is our “dwelling place,” and we were “home.”
Do you know this rest? Talk to Him about it. Ask Him to help you to experience Him as your dwelling place.
Copyright 2011 Jill Briscoe Used by permission
What does your daily schedule look like? Is it full of errands and events? Sometimes we become workaholics and worriers, filling our days with too many tasks and constant concerns about things we can’t control rather than taking time to focus on the most important thing of all. In this message, Jill uses the example of Martha to show us instead how Jesus would want us to fill our time.All Sermons by Stuart, Jill & Pete Briscoe