One of the things which is lacking in so many of us is this rest, or, to put it the other way, the things which characterize us so much are fret, anxiety, uncertainty, and all those things which are just the opposite of calm assurance, quiet confidence, the spirit and attitude and atmosphere which says all the time, ‘Don’t worry, don’t fret, it is all right.’ One thing our great enemy is always trying to do is to disturb that, destroy that, rob us of that, churn us up, fret us, drive us, harass us, anything to rob us of our rest or to prevent us from entering into rest.
It is the rest of faith, not just the rest of passivity, indifference, carelessness. There is all the difference between carelessness and carefreeness. There remaineth, there is still to be had, there still obtains, there still exists, there is still preserved a rest for the people of God. Every day brings hundreds of ways in which there is the opportunity to stand into the rest of faith, into that faith in the Lord which brings rest. It may be an incident in daily life, yes, in many, many ways every day, you and I can so lose our poise and our rest and our quiet confidence as to lose out spiritually, and the Lord lose much, so that it is proved that somewhere faith has been lacking, and with it the rest has gone. That is one side. It is a challenge to us, a real challenge. The thing that matters is the inner man.
We say, ‘If only the Lord would deal with this physical matter or these circumstances or this something else! It is all due to that. That is the cause of it, the reason for it.’ That is our way of reasoning, but it is not the Lord’s thought at all. The thing is deeper down than that, and it is simply a matter of believing God; resolute faith, confidence in God. The Lord is trying to get us out of our variable and varying soul life where we are at the mercy of all our feelings, thoughts and reasonings and all that kind of thing, into a realm where, in spirit, we are steadfast. That is the point upon which it is all fixed in the Psalm. “Their heart was not steadfast with Him” (Psa. 78:37), and around that the whole of their forty years is gathered. The key to this is spiritual; tested by every other line, every other means; it is a spiritual matter ultimately. To be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inward man (Eph. 3:16) is the answer to it all. The other may then give way; at least, we shall gain ascendancy over the other if it is not removed.
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