life and faith living with M.E

Entering His rest by listening closer to God

There’s something special about listening for God’s voice. And there is something infinitely precious when God speaks so hearts can hear Him. Then He draws us close to His beautiful, compassionate, and loving, Father-heart.

When I received ‘Listen’ as my one word last year, I spent all year trying to hone the skill. Although I still ended the year feeling awed and amazed when God whispered to me.

There wasn’t a predictable pattern. God cannot be boxed. He is calm and loving but also gloriously wild and free. The Spirit goes where He wills.

Most times, I sat expectant with Bible, pen and prayer journal at the ready. At others, He spoke during the mundane, messy moments of my day, whenever He had something vital to say.

Practising the art of restful listening

The more we practise the art, the more we become accustomed to God’s voice, and better able to discern it above all others.

Those times of quiet listening bear inward fruit. They teach greater inner restfulness, peace, and patient endurance so we can grow strong.

Although, after praying for several days, I was no nearer hearing God’s ‘word’ for me for 2015 than I was before. Various thoughts played themselves out in my head then slid silent away. Eventually, one word made its presence known more strongly than the others.

And I was quick to reject it as a mis-hearing, because it felt wryly ironic to be hearing ‘Rest’ shaping itself as my defining word. Especially while laid up in bed with an unwanted Christmas gift of a ferocious flu virus!

Yes, there was no mistake. Far from being simply my usual state as an M.E and chronic illness sufferer, rest would become a strong feature of the year ahead too.

Only, I had to appreciate its nuances more than ever before. Because rest means different things to each one of us but it’s vital that we get enough.

rest - girl resting - rest quote (C) joylenton @wordsofjoy.me

What kinds of rest results from listening to God

At this early stage I can already see the type of rest God has in mind for us is so much more than a Sabbath break in our week. It’s more than ceasing from physical activity, putting our feet up, taking a nap or being on vacation.

His plans for us are complete, holistic, changing from the inside out. I sense rest is no exception. My soul needs to learn how to rest easy in His word, truly believe who it says I am in Christ, lean peaceful on His love and grace.

Maybe I will discover how to actually live like I’m freed from guilt and anxiety. Perhaps I will discover how to stay rooted and grounded in faith. And develop trust that replaces tension. Because we can rest in the finished work of Christ, rather than relying on self-effort and works.

Let’s seek to rest in seeing ourselves as pre-approved, deeply loved and called to make a difference.

My main rest priority

It feels as if my main priority is physical rest right now, as I seek to recover from the horrible flu symptoms. Because I need to try to claw back some precious energy. Perhaps priorities will loom larger when I’m not so exhausted.
My soul craves deep rest and my body cries out for it too. Also, my mind desperately needs it. One way or another, I hope and long to more fully enter God’s rest.  
One thing I am certain of. As God gives me inspiration and strength, I aim to be sharing the journey here. You will also find me writing about it over at ‘Poetry Joy’, just as I did with 2014’s word ‘Listen’.

Here’s a ‘Prayer for Rest’ that you can take and make your own. Feel free to pin or use as you need to:

 

Over to you:
Have you had benefits (as well as challenges) from listening to God?Has God given you a new word to ponder over for 2015?

As always, I really appreciate and welcome your input here and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

8 Comments

  1. CynthiaJSwenson 4th January 2015
    • Joy Lenton 6th January 2015
  2. Trudy Den Hoed 5th January 2015
    • Joy Lenton 6th January 2015
  3. Marcie 7th January 2015
    • Joy Lenton 8th January 2015
  4. April Yamasaki 8th January 2015
    • Joy Lenton 8th January 2015

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