Return, Rest, Be Quiet, Be Confident
Isaiah 30:15b, "...Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength..."
If you've never read the book of Isaiah, I would strongly encourage you do! There are numerous amounts of verses in Isaiah that talk about God desiring to have His people return to Him. He desperately desires them to come back and follow and serve Him once again! However, God is a gentleman and will not force His people to obey Him. He will discipline them out of His great love for them, but when they repent, He is there waiting with open arms to have His people close to Him again.
If you've been following my blogs recently or even reading some of my posts on facebook, it has been clear to see that the place I've found myself in lately has been a difficult one. I've been struggling a lot between what I desire and what God desires, and even as I type this devotional, the battle rages on.I've made up my mind to follow God, yet I still find myself struggling at this point to wait on God and His timing for me.
I love the verse above! "...Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength..."
I've read this verse before, and the two words that really catch my attention are "quietness" and "confidence". Today, I am also captured by the word "resting". All three of these words are not words I would describe as my attitude lately.
I've returned to God, but now comes the more difficult parts. They all have to do with patience and trust.
The last thing on my mind lately has been rest. I've been trying to keep myself busy and going all the time to try to escape the moments of quietness where my mind has the opportunity to wander and for me to begin feeling lonely. I've been going out of town often! Between LA and Bakersfield and going to different places in town, I am not home very much at all. What I'm finding, though, is that no matter how much I run, I still come back to the realization that I can't run from what's going on in my heart. I have to face where I'm at and stop running. I have to start resting in God.
Next comes the quietness part. This is challenging to me because, like I said, I like to keep going to keep my mind off of my circumstances. I would like to have my mind on everything except the real issues I'm facing inwardly.
Lastly, I now am supposed to also be living in confidence.
Wow!!! Do you see how this verse can be challenging in the middle of discouragement?
As I read this verse and try to see it through what God is telling me to do, though, I see a whole different picture.
After returning to God, we are instructed to rest in Him. To rest in God doesn't mean that all of our troubles go away. It also doesn't mean that we curl up on the couch with a dozen donuts and a couple chick flicks and tissues either. What this means is that we find rest in our souls when we begin resting in God. When we rest in God, we can finally have peace back in our hearts that no matter what the outcome of our circumstances may be, we know that God's bigger. When we stop focusing on our problems and we begin focusing on God, our problems fade in comparison. We must stop looking at what we want God to do for us, and we must begin focusing on His character. God is our Prince of Peace. He is our Comforter (my favorite!!!) He is our Refuge! He is our Savior! Only when we begin resting in God will we be saved.
Saved from what?
I don't believe that eternal salvation is what this verse is talking about. I believe this verse is talking about being saved from defeat. Whatever battle we are facing, the only way to be saved is in returning to and resting in God.
Now comes the quietness part.
What I can tell you from the last few weeks of trials is that quietness isn't something I've done well in. I've rehearsed my problems to the point of beating a dead horse. I've told God how He should fix my problems, and in all honesty, this has just ended me in more frustration and bigger messes! I don't have more peace from my lack of quietness. What I have is more anxiety in my heart from not being quiet and resting in God's perfect plan.
A verse that I'm reminded of right now is Psalm 46:10a. which says, "Be still, and know that I am God!"
We must be quiet... be still... and rest in knowing that God is God.
Finally, we must find strength in confidence. When I talk about confidence here, I am not talking about confidence in ourselves. If I were to look at myself for confidence right now, I would go into a pity party of all the reasons why I fall short. No, what we must have confidence in is God. I am weak... but He is strong! I see storms raging... but He is the calmer of the storm! My world seems to be so uncertain... but He holds my world in His hands! I must have confidence in God! I must be confident that although my life is too much for me to handle, nothing is too big for my God!
I don't know where you find yourself at today. Perhaps you're on the mountain peak of life and everything seems grand. If so, I encourage you to praise God! Perhaps you're in the valley low, though, and if so, I encourage you to hold onto Isaiah 30:15! I encourage you to return to God and begin resting in Him! I also encourage you to find strength in quietness and confidence! Whatever you're facing... whatever your journey looks like in this moment... God is right there with you. He wants you to call out to Him and find what you're looking for in Him. What you and I are going through isn't a surprise to God. He knows where you're at, and He knows how to get you from where you're at to where He wants you to be.
Are you ready to start walking with God on your journey again? Me too!
Dear Heavenly Father,
I find much comfort in Isaiah 30:15. As I read this verse, I see how You really will take care of me if I will allow You to. I praise You that You want a relationship with me! I praise You that I don't have to go through life alone. Please, Lord, help me to be able to rest in You again. Help me to find strength in quietness and confidence. Let my heart be at peace once more, and each day I pray I am getting closer and closer to where You want me to be. Thank You for never giving up on me!
In Jesus' Name.
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