I long to be transformed by rest, to live by faith in the finished work of Christ. I don't want to be motivated by fear or shame or a works mentality.
What does it mean to rest in the finished work of Jesus? to as Alan Kraft puts it in "Good News For Those Trying Harder" " To rest in the constant love of our Savior brings a transformation of soul that frees us to love, to obey, to worship, to give-but not out of a sense of duty but desire. Such is the power of living by faith."
Rest by definition implies a life of ease, however it's harder to rest than it is to try to keep ourselves in a busy frenzy. It's a battle that rages everyday within, two enemies to rest are self sufficiency and self righteousness. Our small group is going through the book of Galatians and in Galatians 3:3 Paul states that the battle is with our flesh or our sinful nature, "After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?"
Alan Kraft speaks about this dilemma very nicely here, "the flesh is not simply that part of us that wants to do evil but rather is that part of us that wants to trust in our own effort and ability to please God." Galatians 5:17 goes on to describe the battle in detail, it's not about good or evil winning in our lives but more about whom will we trust.
Alan goes on to give some practical advice as to how to trust God instead of ourselves, "But when we choose to rest in Christ's ability-to trust in His love towards us and His power in us-The Spirit is freed to exert His influence in our lives." Faith is the most important component here, Galatians 5:6, it's essential.
I truly long to experience the rest of faith and leave behind the Pharisee who's trying to work his way into a relationship with God and break the binding chains of legalism!