Harvest Rest pt. 3

God’s rest is not apathetic, lethargic or lazy. The Rest of God is not about doing nothing. Its not about doing something either. Some people have been caught up with trying to understand God’s rest from a point of view of ‘doing’. You can be doing nothing and be locked up in anxiety and unbelief. Likewise you can be running around doing lots of stuff and be at complete rest.

People can make comments like: “Well what are we suppose to do If God’s done it all?” and “I’m not just going to sit around, I’m a do-er of the word,” or “I’m not doing anything, He did it all for me.” That has sort of missed the point.  Get your perspective right and the ‘doing’ will take care of itself.

If you are looking at it from a place of what you should be doing or not doing you are focused on man. Focusing on man is Humanism. If you look at God you get a better perspective. We are not called to have one eye on the world and one eye on Jesus, thats squinty eyes. Hebrews 12.2 says “Fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame…” But it doesn’t finish there. It puts Jesus in context. He is not in a battle, or defeated in some ditch somewhere. Jesus “…sat (passed tense) down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Colossians 3.2 says “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” But if we look at the in context we see why:

“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth .For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

Why should we focus on the things above? Because that’s where we see victory; Christ is sat down and so are you, in Him!

He is sat down, so what? Well Ephesians 1.19-23: “That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” So Jesus is sort of sat above EVERYTHING, in charge.

“Well you can have your rest. You can be idle, apathetic and lazy while we’re praying for a breakthrough in the city.” Did we not just read Ephesians 1.19-23?  If Jesus couldn’t get a breakthrough by dying on the cross and being raised from the dead do you think you could by having prayer meetings? Lets be real, breakthrough comes by BELIEVING He got a breakthrough on the cross. The issue is FAITH. Faith in what He has done. Hebrews explains why the Israelites could not enter God’s Rest, which is the Promised Land: their unbelief. When we start to believe and rest in His power and authority over a city, we will walk in a breaker anointing for a city.

For example: I walked into a situation where about 8-10 people needed healing for various different things. I didn’t have an intercession team, I hadn’t been at a prayer meeting the previous night, I wasn’t listening to worship music. I was a bit tired, grumpy even. What on earth was I going to do? I saw Jesus with me. He showed me that I was clothed in Him. Faith rose from my heart and I knew that every single person in the room who was ill would be healed. It was easy because I had faith that Christ had got a breakthrough in the area of healing through His death and resurrection. I knew that Jesus is seated above every sickness and disease and He showed me I was clothed in Him. So by faith I entered His rest and sat in victory over that stuff. I made the sign of the cross and fair play to God everyone got healed with 1 simple prayer.

But lets take a step back. That wasn’t the first time I prayed for healing. The first few times I saw healing was in 2007. Back then I spent lots of time pacing back and forth shouting in tongues and commanding breakthrough. I fought for a breakthrough and eventually saw an outbreak of healing. But what was I fighting against? My own unbelief. I was doing warfare against the mindset of unbelief I had, which did not believe that God heals today.

“Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves.” 1 Cor 14.4. The speaking in tongues and warfare I was doing was edifying myself and bringing me to a place of FAITH so I could believe in Christ’s victory over sickness and disease. Did I defeat a demon Jesus couldn’t? No. I built up faith so I could rest in His victory. I entered His Rest by faith, which is His victory. Entering God’s rest tore down a mindset of unbelief which set itself up against the knowledge of Christ and His victory. Rest is violent.

“For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)”.

Spiritual warfare in terms of demons? I believe demons take up residence in mindsets or areas of unbelief which have no knowledge of God and no faith in His Victory.

The violent advancement of the Kingdom of God comes by rest. This is what James 2.14 is talking about: Faith without works is dead because it is not seated in Christ’s victory; there is no manifestation of His victory. And so no advancement of the Kingdom. But what does James 2.14 look like? Isaiah 40.31.  The Hebrew word for wait (qavah) literally means ‘to bind together like a cord’. It is in being bound together with Him in Rest, seated high and lifted up, that we shall mount up like eagles, run and not be weary, walk and not faint. In God’s rest there is the supernatural strength to do anything. And this is what Paul is talking about in Colossians 1.29: The energy of Christ powerfully working within him.

It says in Hebrews “For we who have believed enter that rest”. And so entering God’s Rest by Faith creates a violent advancement of the Kingdom, it is powerful and full of Supernatural energy.

So lets be clear: God’s Rest is about Faith in His Victory. It is not about doing or not doing, its about having Faith that His doing actually did something!

God’s rest is about FAITH. But what are we supposed to have faith in? His victory. Fruit comes by abiding in Him because He actually won. So lets enter His rest and put our feet up with Him who sits in Victory, with the earth as His footstool (Acts 7.49).

“In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world–just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.” True rest manifests His victory. That is the advancement of the Kingdom.

Phil Smith

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