It’s amazing that the Bible tells us that God entered into rest in its second chapter and yet it takes us the rest of the Bible to understand what this means or how significant it is for humanity,
Humanity was born into rest in the garden. Paradise, Eden was not a place of striving or contention but of perfect peace and harmony; creation was at rest. And yet for us it was a place of authority, a place where we could govern, rule and reign over it; name the animals and tend the garden. Humanity had dominion while walking in perfect harmony with God. It was an effortless authority that came from our maker and friend and radiated from our identity… made in His image. The image of God transfigured from within our being and commanded authority. Our authority and power was not rooted in ‘doing’ but resting!
When harmony was disrupted the first thing we lost was rest. In the garden rest carried authority and power and afterwards rest was replaced with a struggle and fight to gain authority, power and land.
We lost rest but God was still in it. Since God enters into rest in Genesis 2 this is the lens we should read the rest of scripture through. When you look to God you see rest. You see harmony, peace, laughter, fun. True rest has the imprint of Glory in it – the characteristics of God. It is creative, it is full of energy, the energy like that found in laughter. Rest is alive! Rest brings strength! Burned out people are not strong and yet there is a Spirit of Might found within Rest.
Isaiah 11 talks all about the 7 fold Spirit of God. it’s interesting that it talks about it ‘resting’ on the Messiah. The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him… Spirit of counsel and might. It then goes on to describe that His ‘resting place will be glorious’. So Christ was in a place of rest, filled with Glory and radiating the image of God to creation. His place of rest was filled with Might. It had the Dominion of Eden, the power bestowed to humanity in a previous age. All Jesus had to do was live in the resting place. Out of His belly sprung a fountain so powerful it impacted nations, it has swallowed us up. It is great what Bill Johnson says- that everything Jesus did, He did as a man.
Its a paradox because there is supernatural energy found when you rest in God. His rest is filled with energy, Paul talks about it when he says in Philippians 2.13 Not in your own strength, for it is God who is at work in you, energizing, creating power and desire to work for His good pleasure, satisfaction and delight.
Remember God is at rest, (He didn’t go from resting in Genesis 2 to working hard in Philippians 2) yet He energizes, and in this is delight, pleasure and satisfaction! Sounds good to me. In Colossians 1.29 Paul talks about the superhuman energy which Christ works within him. But don’t forget the context – He is about to go on to describe the Supremacy of Christ – God is not battling away against some equally matched devil. Christ has triumphed and is SAT on a throne (and has been at rest since Genesis 2).
There is what the mystics have referred to as ‘concentration ecstasies’. I’ve heard John Crowder talk about this, and experienced it myself; where the Spirit of God causes supernatural focus and energy beyond what you would normally be able to cope with. I have experienced times of extreme busyness in the natural, inspections at work, the pressure was on, I stayed up til 4am two nights in a row, had a second inspection the next week and yet entered a place of supernatural energy and focus that I could do everything I needed to do and had enough energy to go on to do other intense stuff afterwards and not be drained.
There is creative power available, it is found in the gold vein of God’s resting place. There is healing in the rest. The desire of God’s heart is that you enter His rest.
God desires people who will be in the place of Rest so that His Heavy Glory can rest on them like dew. Jesus lived in the Resting Place and affected the region around Him. It came under His anointing, dominion, His shadow. This is the true ‘Tabernacle of David’, or ‘David’s Tent’; the Presence at rest within humanity coming to envelope our communities in His cloud. I love the fact that through the Finished Work of Christ, the ceasing of our labours, we can see whole cities come under the cloud of His Presence.
Christ upholds and sustains all things. I love the fact that the core of your being is filled with the sound of Heaven, the voice of God. You’re a Word made flesh, God prophesied you into being. You can rest in the waterfall of God’s voice singing over you. You are God’s words that stretch into another era. Your identity reaches into eternity – into the age to come. In your identity not only is there power from the Age of Eden but from the Age to Come, since you have been made with eternity in mind. Rest in your identity, who you naturally are, the natural desires of your heart and you can access the Power of the Age to come.