Troublesome Topic: Rest Creates Intimacy

Be Quiet – God Uses a Quiet Voice

Remember the story of Elijah at the mouth of the cave (I Kings 19:9-18)? God told him He would “pass by.” There was a great wind, but God was not in the wind; there was an earthquake, but God was not in the earthquake; there was a fire, but God was not in the fire. This is interesting because wind and fire are symbols for God’s Spirit and His purging power, respectively, but in this case that is not how God manifested Himself. Then came what could be translated as an “imperceptible whisper,” or a “voiceless voice.” The story of Elijah demonstrates that God’s voice is often so quiet that it is hardly a voice at all.

It should stand to reason that if God often uses a quiet voice, we need to be quiet so we can hear Him. We need to eliminate distractions so we can hear Him. If you are being loud and rushed, all you will hear from God is silence. Unfortunately, many believers live their entire lives hearing only silence from God, and they never come to an understanding that rest is what will make it possible for them to hear Him.

Actually, we probably don’t want God to use a strong voice to get our attention; that would usually mean some type of strong action that would land us in the hospital or cause us to find ourselves standing over the casket of a loved one. God will use strong means to get our attention when He has to, but it is much better to learn to hear His quiet whispers.

Many believers in America do almost all their praying on the run. These believers fail to realize that “the secret of praying is praying in secret.”

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“John the Baptist’s training was in God’s University of Silence.”

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Silence is almost unknown in American culture, therefore, one must work even harder to find it. There is nothing wrong with praying while on the run if we have also had sufficient quiet time alone with God. But there is something terribly wrong if all we do is pray on the run. Most likely the majority of the time spent praying on the go is spent asking God for help of some kind. Once again that has its place, but if that is all we do, our prayers accomplish little more than demonstrating our self-centeredness. The only conclusion is that most Christians in America are not spiritually healthy! They may make it into heaven, but they are not well connected to God.

Rest is a choice, a discipline, and it should become a habit. We cannot have a healthy relationship with God if we do not practice rest. 

God Craves Time with Me, Do I Crave Time with Him?

“The Sabbath is far more than a diversion; it is meant to be an encounter with God’s delight.”

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Find a special place for worship, (surrounded by the beauty of nature is good when possible). But more than just a special setting, discover an attitude that says “this is a special activity, deserving a special place.” Schedule a special time for rest. Schedule time for a daily Sabbath, a weekly Sabbath, and also a yearly Sabbath.

Rest Creates Intimacy

If you want to know God, then schedule time to “be still.” Ps. 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.”

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How can I live for God if I am not enjoying time with God to find out how He wants me to live? My wife, Audry, says it this way, “I am only as strong as the strength of my relationship with God. He is the ultimate source of ultimate strength.”

God’s favorite illustration of the spiritual life is marriage; this is the most intimate relationship we can know on earth. God chose that relationship as His primary example to highlight the issue of intimacy.

Mt 11:28-29 says, “Come to me all you who are weary from toil and who are over-burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, then you will find rest for your souls because I am gentle and humble in heart.” 

When Jesus said, “you will find rest for your souls,” think in terms of both connectedness and refreshment. The refreshment for our souls comes as a product of greater connectedness to God.

The next lesson is Jesus Celebrated with His Creation on the Sabbath of Creation Week



Leonard Ravenhill, Why Revival Tarries, p. 8.


Leonard Ravenhill, Why Revival Tarries, p. 106


Dan Allender, Sabbath, p. 12.

4: “Be still”

The Hebrew verb used here actually means “relax, or sink down.”  I have chosen to leave it the way it is normally conveyed in English, “be still” because for many of us relaxing means to do whatever we want. For many people this means watching a game on TV (I can’t honestly use the word “relaxed” to describe guys when they are watching their favorite team play ball), watch a movie, eat a snack, listen to music, call or text a friend, or something like that. These activities do not fit the meaning of this Hebrew word for “relax.” The word also means “to cease from striving.” When we stop trying to force things to work out our way, God can begin to do what He wants to do, or He can communicate with us. But He seldom communicates with us in the middle of a secular movie, during a ball game, or when we are texting a friend about the frustrations of our day.