Kingdom Principle: Resting of the spirit is different than resting the body or soul…. The spirit of a person is rested when they are moving in the flow of the Holy Spirit.
This post has been updated – read it here.
Faith can often seem like a constant stance against the flow of the culture. Here the emphasis is not about being against the culture, rather it is about being in the flow of the Spirit. If we take two steps forward and one back against the direction the Spirit is leading, then all steps are counterproductive to our rest and renewal. The body is “charged” by sleep, nutrition and through short-term bursts of adrenaline and endorphins. The soul is charged by the love languages – as outline by Dr. Gary Chapman – (Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time) – The Soul needs the body to express itself – therefore the rest of the body and the rest of the soul are deeply intertwined. In the Scriptures we find references to the Lord giving us rest for our souls. (Ps. 62, Jer. 6:16, Matt. 11:29) This rest is absolutely essential and a renewing gift of the Lord to give us the capacity to function in this world. However the rest of our spirit is a very different concept. In fact our spirit does not need to rest in the above mentioned ways – not is it renewed by anything in the world or by the actions of others. Simply put it does it need to be “shut down” to recharge. Our spirit is always awake and alert. The “rest” of our spirit is an action from the outside – our spirit is rested or restored when the Spriit of God rests on us. (Num. 11:25, Ps. 51, Isa. 11:2)
We see this most clearly when a person has the ability to be motivated by the leading of the Spirit which compels and motivates them. Jesus was not looking for or in need of the food of this world nor rest of the night for his body, nor was He longing for the love languages as defined above. (The Love Languages are a great tool and often referenced concept by myself when dealing with relationships – this demonstrates the concept of dividedness that relationship can bring and take our focus off the Lord (blog 2 wks ago; “When is it time to stop fighting to save your marriage”). When you are in an intimate and committed relationship your soul is engaged and you must recognize the need and power of love language for one another. Jesus’ spirit was fully rested in the power of the Holy Spirit. His body and soul were completely submitted unto the spirit – therefore the body and soul were empowered and directed by the spirit not the other way around. If you feed and rest the body and soul in order to function, then the body and soul hold the reigns of your function for the Lord. If you find rest and renewal of the Spirit – the body and soul will find renewal as well. This is key to conversion for the Kingdom as the story of last week’s blog highlighted.
Paul was compelled to preach to the ends of the earth, but when the Spirit said no – he stopped, when the Spirit said go – he went – even unto chains and death. Jesus was able to walk away from the praise and recharging of the soul to be in solitude with the Spirit. For the Spirit rested on him –and that was His renewal.
So how do we rest our spirit rather than yielding to the needs of our body and soul? First we recognize that the body and soul need to be rested and we acknowledge that need, but we do not seek to meet those needs at the expense or exclusion of the spirit. To rest the spirit is to be in-sync and flow with the Spirit of God; in this place, time stops, our body does not fade, our emotions are not subjected to approval of others. It is the Lord who does the work of the Spirit, not ourselves, yet we are the participants in this great work. To rest our spirit we must give up our need to get the credit for the work that is done and we must renew our hope in the impossible. When we work with our hands and abilities and build upon our relationships and strengths the outcome is good and God is blessed as are we. But when we follow the work of the Spirit and build upon connections of the Spirit the outcome is eternal and our life is super-charged beyond our comprehension or ability.
Questions to guide us on this quest to rest our spirit:
- How have I allowed love languages approach to bring rest to my soul and the soul of loved ones, rather than investing in the growth of the spirit of my closest relationships?
- Am I involved in anything that cannot be done or completed without the Spirit of God making it so? If not, what might God lead you into where his Spirit can be made known to you? If so, where are your trusting in the work of your body or soul rather than the Spirit?
- Do you find pleasure in the same things that bring pleasure to the Lord? – If you don’t know what brings the Lord pleasure – spend more time in the Psalms.
- What am I saying no to – at the leading of the Holy Spirit that my body and soul selfishly desire to say to?