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Rest In God or Tough Love? It’s Your Choice

How I chose God's tough love instead of obeying and resting in God. You can choose better! Part 2 of 5 in the blog series "Rest In God, Reach Your Destiny." By Jamie Rohrbaugh | FromHisPresence.com

Yesterday, I wrote about how I used to worry about fulfilling my destiny. I talked about how the Holy Spirit stopped talking to me once, and how He let me go through a season of hiddenness.

Finally, I talked about my miserable failure to rest in God, and how He finally gave me a revelation from Hebrews 1-4 that fixed these problems.

Today, I’m going to share the first part of that revelation. (I’ll unfold part of these awesome truths in each of this week’s blog posts.)

Are you ready? You’re going to love this!

The setup:

You already know that God brought me into a period of discipline. (Read below for more sordid details about that.) Well, when He finally had my attention, He taught me about rest from Hebrews 1-4.

Basically, the first two chapters of Hebrews tell all about how trustworthy and powerful God is, and how we can and should believe His every word.

The third chapter tells us how the Israelites made God really angry when they were headed for the Promised Land. The Israelites basically refused to believe in God, so He said something I would translate like this:

{insert one raised eyebrow here}

“Oh yeah? You don’t trust Me? You won’t believe in Me and rest in Me, knowing that I will take you into the Promised Land, like I promised?

No problem. I’ll prove Myself to you. Here, wander around in the wilderness for 40 years. That will give you plenty of chance to learn firsthand that you can trust Me. And since you don’t want to rest in Me, I won’t give you My rest. This time of discipline will be JUST PLAIN HARD.”

Whoa. Tough love on God’s part.

Frankly, the Israelites drove Him to it. Unbelief seems to have been their biggest pastime, and God loved them too much to let them continue in their sin. They had to be disciplined because they were so stubborn.

So God gave His people 40 years in the wilderness to learn to trust Him. It took them long enough, but they finally learned. By the time their 40 years of wandering were over, they were a trusting, worshipping nation of believers (for the most part anyway).

How this applies to you today:

God expected the Israelites to rest and trust Him while He delivered them into their Promised Land.

God also expects you to rest and trust Him while He delivers you into your Promised Land.

The Bible says that God did not offer His rest exclusively to the Israelites. God’s rest is actually available to you today. Any person who believes in God can rest in Him.

Hebrews 4:6-10 tells us:

Start-quoteSince therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said:

‘Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.’

For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.”

That means that, if you will trust God, YOU can rest in Him.

To put it bluntly, Daddy God gets downright upset if we WON’T rest in Him.

Hebrews 4:1 explains this very clearly:

Start-quoteTherefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.”

God commands us to rest in Him and TRUST HIM. It’s an explicit command, and He takes it personally if we disobey.

But I have disobeyed His command over and over.

When I got all freaked out about my period of hiddenness, I was not resting in God. I couldn’t trust that God would bring me through the whole thing all right.

When I was going through my financial storm, and worried so much about how I would reach my destiny, I wasn’t resting in God either. I thought I had messed everything up, and God would never be able to use me. I thought I had squandered my destiny.

So, like the Israelites, God let me go through some tough times where I had no choice but to learn that God would be faithful to me. I went through such a valley that I thought I would die, and I knew that only God could bring me out of that valley alive.

But bring me out He did. And when He brought me out, I was totally changed.

I’m not saying I’ve arrived, but God did such a work in my heart during those storms. Now, I can truly say that I am resting in Him most of the time. I’m much more stable now, emotionally and spiritually, than I used to be. God disciplined me to get a lot of that junk out of me. It was tough love, but He taught me to rest.

Which do you want? Rest or tough love?

Even though I chose tough love, I don’t recommend it as the best way. God will prove Himself faithful, but we can have a lot more fun if we don’t force Him to sentence us to the wilderness to learn how faithful He is.

Choosing to rest in God is definitely the way to go… the first time. 🙂

So how do you start resting?

You rest in God by trusting Him. You say:

“Papa, Your Word says You’ve got this all under control. I know Your Word is true, so I refuse to worry. I thank You that You are taking care of me. I know that You love me. Please help me to rest in You and enjoy my day today while you work everything out for my good.”

That is rest. You start by deciding to rest, and asking God for help. He will help you, and you will get better at it over time.

Resting is trusting God. Resting is believing that He will perfect EVERYTHING that concerns you (Psalm 138:8), and refusing to worry about it (Philippians 4:6). Resting brings peace to your heart and joy to your day.

Are you in a place, like I was, where you are worried and upset? If so, will you hear His voice today, and enter His rest?

If this series is ministering to your heart, I’d love to hear about it. Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Image courtesy of Joanna Penn on Flickr via Creative Commons license. Image has been altered and graphics added.

Read all the posts in this series!

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18 Comments

  1. This is exactly what I’m going through, I needed to read this. Thank you so much for this post.

    1. I’m so glad it encouraged you, Angela. I hope you check out the whole series! And I pray things will get better for you soon!

  2. Thank you for this story I can def relate to it right now

  3. Thanks Jaime!
    this really spoke to my Heart as I was asking Daddy why I was feeling or sensing Him in our intimacy times as I had before.. this is so powerful to me what you shared. Daddy loves us!!!!

  4. Butterfly Tyler says:

    I’m in this season, I heard God tell me he does not want me to worry about anything. I’m trusting him but I’m so use to being in control and making moves on my own I feel the need to go ahead of him. I pull back after I realize it. Waiting is the issue for me. Thank you for this article, because I don’t want tough love. I don’t want to be wandering in the wilderness. I know better. The appointed time will come re: my destiny. I will just keep resting in him until then. Thanks again..

    1. Hi Butterfly. Yes, this is a tough thing, but it’s worth it to learn how to rest. It doesn’t mean we do nothing; it just means we follow His voice in obedience and rest in the fact that obeying Him is enough for us today, and He will work things out in the big picture. We just trust and obey, and abide in His love. It’s an amazing place to be, even though it takes some getting used to, for sure!
      Thank you for sharing and for reading!

  5. Ruthie Oliver says:

    I just read your post on Resting In God. I believe that this will really help me. I went through one of the worst things in my life this year, in the loss of my youngest daughter on June 20th. For a while, I thought I wasn’t going to make it. But reading your post #2 have renewed me to keep moving forward. I missed part one.

  6. This is so helpful ! I have been in rest and set apert for 2 yrs. Now . after a wbile i finally realized what God was doing ..although at times i felt frustrated and worthless !! However i do see the changes in me becsuse of this..I feel im comming out slowly ! Thank you for sharing your story !!!

  7. Kudakwashe says:

    Thank you so much for this series Jamie. I often find myself trying to play double roles of being ‘god’ and being me. I try to help God out by doing only that which He can do and in the process i get frustrated, i try to shorten the times.

  8. joseph d schiavone says:

    As usual Jamie, God’s timing is impeccable. I was just writing a study I am doing on “The Finisher”. And How we have this urge to always finish everything. We become “Martha Martha” right? But Mary rested at Jesus feet. Aha, here is the rest we long for !!! I borrowed one or 2 of your lines to add to my study. But you will be well spoken of. Christ’s love Jamie, and thank you.

  9. Victoria Gonzalez says:

    So. Timely. Literally G-d just said this to me in the bathroom and I came back and got your email and read it. Amen.

  10. Hi Jamie. Your blog reminded me if the song ‘Trust and Obey for there is no other way to be happy in jesus but to trust and obey.
    I’ve been going through testing for the last 4months. Sleepless nights but have reminded that God neither slumbers or sleeps. It is a faith walk and resting in Him but it isn’t easy.

  11. Hi Jamie, thank you much for this series. I feel it was written just for me. For the past nine months I’ve been going through such a turbulent storm. I’ve been worried a lot about my future. I thank God who has spoken to you to tell us that He shall perfect EVERYTHING that concerns us. He says we should not worry about anything. I pray that He may usher me into His rest as I put all my trust in Him whilst waiting for His perfect timing.
    May God bless you and your family Jamie. We love you.

  12. Thank you Jamie for the timely Word! God has been ministering to me about this and glad that I have a chance to finally REST!!

  13. Kimberly Walker says:

    Thank you so much Jamie I’m definitely in this place! This helps so much!

  14. I am so glad i received this post, its like you read my situation. Thank you so much for putting my mind at ease. I will rest on GOD and give him control of my life. In Jesus name, Amen Thank you

  15. Desiree Custis says:

    This series is rite on time . I’m so use to being in control trying to make it happen on my own . I’m in a season where God is telling me to trust him .

  16. Indeed it is speaking to me right now, I was always trusting God , but these past 3 years has been very stressful, and I allowed fear to come into my life, I have been praying for to really help me, that fear turned me very very anxious, that I developed very high blood pressure, I had to take medicine for it to come down, I just started the medication , I really don’t want to be on blood pressure medicine, my job is very stressful, I have been fighting anxiety, rebuking it, and also having bad reflux acid, because of the hernia, today it was the day that I said I can’t carry on like this , and asked God to please take this fear away.
    I never read emails anymore, but today I red one of your emails and wow, I needed thus, I need to enter His rest, but I’m also asking to show me how to enter His rest, as I don’t know anymore.
    I will keep on reading it really opened my eyes.
    Thank you
    Daniela Dos Santos

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