Our Spiritual Rest

What Spiritual Things Do We Have as Christians?

Galatians 5:16

DATE:  30 Sep, 2007  AM                                                                                                                                                                                              

PLACE: BBC Ballincollig


I.       Introduction (Galatians 5:16,17)


A.     The Christian leads a double life – one that is both Physical, and one that is Spiritual

B.     The two lives are against each other – they go in exactly opposite directions

C.     They both want their own way – but only one is best for you!


1.      The Physical life is visible, emotional, mental, tangible and temporary – the flesh

2.      The Spiritual life is invisible, yielded, trusting, intangible and eternal – the Spirit. To be led of the Spirit is much more than just emotional feelings and mental understanding. It is being led by the Holy Spirit, not your own thinking, feelings, or habits!

3.      Before a person is born again, their physical life is in full operation, but their spiritual life is dead and empty of God - filled with only drink, and drugs and demons and death!

4.      That’s why a person desperately needs to become born again – with eternal life put into that Spiritual part of their life!


D.     We easily understand THIS world we live in – we see it, hear it, taste it, feel it. We KNOW what we see!

E.      I am focusing on the Christian’s OTHER Life– the Spiritual life that we have! That part of our life that makes our physical, and emotional burdens a whole lot easier to bear!


1.      People have so many problems with their health, homes, minds and their hearts – and no amount of drugs or drink will repair any of it

2.      We need to take a good look at that part of us that is eternal, and much more important than how we look, or feel, or where we live, so that, when yielded to, our Spiritual life will strengthen our Physical life


II.    Background


A.     Ever been stressed-out? Pressed out of measure? Felt overwhelmed? Anxious? Frazzled? Unable to sleep? Hmmmm. Sounds like a normal day in our lives doesn’t it?


1.      That’s the flesh deciding for you whether you can rest or be at rest

2.      There is a spiritual rest that can make up for and overwhelm any physical unrest – it is Christ’s rest (Isaiah 11:10; Matthew 11:28,29)



B.     What kind of rest did Jesus have?


1.      An ability to sleep in a deadly storm (Matthew 8:24)

2.      An ability to just walk away from a mob who wanted to throw Him off a cliff in Nazareth (Luke 4:28-30)

3.      An ability to stand up to the personal attacks of hundreds of Pharisees, Sadducees, Lawyers, Scribes, Soldiers, and sceptics of all kinds!

4.      And an ability to think of others when He was in the most intense pain imaginable on the cross!


C.     Who wouldn’t “kill” to get something like that in their life!? To be able to be at rest, not uptight, but rather relaxed, and unwound, instead of wound-up so tight they snap at the slightest problem!


III. Message – Our Spiritual Rest (Hebrews 4:9)


A.     Rest was Offered in the Old Testament (Hebrews 3:15-19)


1.      Israel had only known slavery for 400 years in Egypt - bondage

2.      God had sent Moses to lead those people out of Egypt not by war or by weapons, but by the blood of a lamb!

3.      Once free, they were to head for their promised land – Canaan land, which is where they are now in Israel!

4.      But as they went through a time of testing in the wilderness, they halted – they just couldn’t go forward! They had a hard time believing God

5.      And an entire generation, except for Joshua and Caleb and their families, died outside of God’s will.

6.      They missed something called, “God’s Rest” – get that term!

7.      Their children got it though – amazing how a child can grasp things that an adult can’t! Their children went forward and experienced not only great victories in their lives by faith, but the experienced great rest too!


B.     God Promises US a Rest Too (Hebrews 4:1-3,6)


1.      Things in the Old Testament are there to teach us and encourage us about eternal truths

2.      There are three kinds of rests:


a.       Physical Rest (Mk 6:31; Exodus 23:12)

b.      Emotional Rest (Matthew 11:28,29)

c.       Spiritual Rest (2Cor 2:13; 7:5,6)

d.      Oh how we need ALL three! Not just physical, or emotional, but spiritual too! Funny how the world offers fun, and companionship, and “get-aways” but cannot help you in your spirit!


3.      What is Our Spiritual Rest?


a.       It is NOT the absence of troubles (John 16:3) – Israel had plenty of troubles in the wilderness – from enemies attacking, to lack of water and food, to delays, etc!

b.      Real Rest is the ability to relax, and stay at peace even though you are IN troubles! Surrounded by them, even buried by them!

c.       We often feel overwhelmed (Psalm 55:4-8) – admit it! Christianity is not about NOT having problems; it is about RESTING in the midst of those problems…


1)      Whether in a hospital bed

2)      Or in a bad relationship

3)      Or being in debt

4)      Or being alone!


d.      God’s great and glorious Spiritual Rest is available to every believer (2Tim 1:7)


4.      Why is it Hard to Rest?


a.       Not working hard ruins you (Eccl 5:12). Your body NEEDS work, hard, strenuous work – THAT kind of stress is not bad when it is physical!

b.      Sin blocks your ability to rest (Psalm 38:3; Isaiah 57:10,20,21)!!! Here is a big reason for so even many Christians not being able to sleep, or to pray or read their Bibles (Psalm 95:10,11)

c.       Rebellion to God’s word will keep you up at night (Isaiah 28:12,13)

d.      Worry, Anxiousness, Fears will consume you (2Corinthians 2:13)

e.       Bitterness, Anger, Holding a grudge hurts YOU (Proverbs 16:24)

f.        Arguments leave you wiped-out (Proverbs 29:9)

g.       Wrong Child Training (Proverbs 29:17)


5.      The Key Problem – Unbelief (Heb 4:6)


a.       Belief for salvation doesn’t mean that we automatically believe for rest! You had better believe on Jesus Christ to save your soul from hell! But Jesus does not want to only save your soul – He can save your sanity too!

b.      We need to fear missing out on God’s rest that an entire nation missed out on!

c.       It IS however, available to us (Hebrews 4:9)!


C.     How to “tap into” that rest… (Hebrews 4:9-11)


1.      Attitude – meek and lowly in heart! “Unwilling to complain!


a.       THAT’S why the majority of even strong Bible believers are stressed out to the max – because they haven’t come down off their thrones, and stopped judging and condemning, and trying to control everything around their lives!

b.      The right attitude is one of hiding in prayer under the shadow of God’s wings!


2.      Relationship - Jesus is Our Rest (Isaiah 11:10). Do you personally know and love Jesus Christ?

3.      Getting Right with God and Others brings Rest (Isaiah 30:15; 32:17,18)

4.      Look Forward, not back (2Thes 1:7). The people who are most able to face the future have settled their past – they have learned from it, and moved on.

5.      Make Time for Rest


a.       Physical Rest – Saturday is supposed to be your day of rest, SUNDAY we are supposed to work for the Lord! Regular times for sleep, for family. Force yourself to be on a disciplined schedule. Your body will adapt

b.      Emotional Rest – prayer time - casting all your cares upon Him! Not casting them at your enemies, or your families, or your workmates! Listening to God speak from His word, instead of always thinking and scheming, and worrying, and complaining!

c.       Spiritual Rest – leaning on the spiritual reality that ought to be more real to you than your physical troubles!!! If God is not worried, then neither should we be (Zeph 3:17)!


6.      Fully trust in the Lord (Psalm 37:3-8, 23,24, 37)


IV.  Concluding Thoughts


A.     Oh wouldn’t you like to be able to sleep and rest? People would give EVERYTHING they own for the ability that God has given to every believer!

B.     But it happens ONLY to believers! To those who are born again!

C.     Without any focus on growth in those areas of our life that are spiritual, then  the physical, and emotional areas are going to take over – like weeds take over a garden that is not tended to!

D.     This is a Believer who is under the dominion of the Lordship of Jesus Christ, instead of the dominance of the flesh!


Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland