7 Tips to Help You Rest in God

We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature—trees, flowers, grass—grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence … we need silence to be able to touch souls. ~ Mother Teresa

We have three dogs, ten-pound (plus!) bundles of energy and enthusiasm. We enjoy them a lot, often laughing out loud at their antics. But we’ve also learned a lot from watching them and caring for them.

Our pups are either full-on or full-off; running wildly through the house or yard, wrestling sumo-style with each other or, suddenly, sound asleep in their favorite spots. They love to play and eat, but a major portion of every day is spent resting. They don’t apologize when it’s time for another nap. They just walk away from whatever they were doing, curl themselves up, nose-to-tail, and go to sleep.

For people, however, rest requires a conscious decision … or several of them. Think about it. You have to decide to turn off the TV and walk to the bedroom. Nothing automatically transports you there—teeth brushed, PJ’s on. Then, you have to crawl in bed, close your eyes and quiet your mind. Nobody does it for you. It’s up to you.

Entering God’s rest requires a series of decisions also. You have to set aside other possible activities and make time for God. Hopefully, you do that at some point every day. For me, it’s morning before the day gets busy. I get up before Ed and spend an hour or so with a cup of tea, my Bible and other teaching materials. It’s a wonderful time of prayer and contemplation. I’ve found that the more time I spend thinking about particular Bible verses, the stronger my faith gets for that specific promise. I’ve also found that when I let time with God slip away, so does my faith.

Worry is always nearby, hoping to intrude on God-time. The devil hopes to tempt you much as he did Jesus, by getting you to take your focus off the promises of God and pick up your cares and woes. Don’t do it! Instead, here are some tips from our pups to help you rest easy in God’s loving care.

Sit! Our dogs don’t listen well, but the one command they obey is ‘sit’. They stop chasing around and plop down. In a minute or so, they’re peaceful, having forgotten whatever got them riled up in the first place. Well, God wants you to sit down, relax and let him take care of you.

Ed likes to sit with the pups in his lap, all snuggly and close. And [God] … hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:6) God said “Sit!” Where? With Him! How awesome is that? Create a mental image of God’s loving arms wrapped around you. Sense His warmth and love. Feel the peace. Relax into Him, trusting Him to hold you snuggly and close, and to keep you from all harm.

Stay! Stay means to stop doing something or to take up residence, to lodge or dwell somewhere. God has a place for you to stay. He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty (Ps. 91:1). When we tell the dogs to stay, we intend for them to get quiet and settle down. God wants the same for you; settle down in the secret place of the Most High. Cast down negative imaginations, thoughts and worries and stay in Him, trusting His protection and provision. Our dogs don’t worry a bit. They know they’ll be taken care of (spoiled, if you want the truth!). God wants to spoil you too, if you’ll stay in faith, believing His promises.

Be Quiet!  One of the three is yappy, barking at every strange noise. If I don’t take control, the other two join in. Soon, it’s almost impossible to restore peace. “Be quiet!” is quickly followed by “Sit, Stay.” I have to get their attention in order to get them to settle down.

God wants to the same for you.  But whoso hearkens unto Me shall dwell safely and shall have quiet from fear of evil (Prov. 1:33). You cannot find rest until you stop reciting all your problems. Be quiet. Get peaceful. This is your responsibility. You will not hear God’s voice unless you hush. Then are they glad because they are quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven (Ps. 107:30).

Trust. Trust comes easy to puppies. They know we’ll feed them, give them a warm place to sleep, protect them and love them. No worries! Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding; in all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths (Prov. 3:5-6).

If you’re trusting with ALL your heart, there’s no room for doubt, worry or fear. God has said He’ll feed you, protect you, love you, supply all your need and give you the desires of your heart (Ps. 37:4). All He asks of you is the same thing we expect from our dogs, love and trust. For we who have believed do enter into rest, … (Heb. 4:3).

Get excited! The dogs prance and wiggle riotously when they see us, whether we’ve been out of sight for two minutes or two weeks! It’s wonderful, knowing they love us and are excited to see us all the time. King David understood that too. His relationship with God excited him so much that David danced before the Lord with all his might (2 Sam. 6:14). The Bible says the Lord inhabits the praises of His people (Ps. 22:3). If you’re excited and praising God, there is no room for worry or stress.

 Sic’em! The dogs love this one. “Sic’em!” is guaranteed to send them, barking, toward the door and down the sidewalk … to a closed gate. (Ah, but it was fun to watch.) They were so ready to defend their territory against any enemy, imagined or not. In their minds, they are Great Danes, undefeatable and brave, despite their small size.

The phrase, “by faith” only appears in the New Testament. Yet Paul’s letter to the Hebrews reiterates how the Old Testament patriarchs overcame their most dire situations ‘by faith’. From Noah to Moses, Joshua to David, and dozens more, faith in God was the key to victory. Sic’em in faith language means releasing your faith through faith-filled words against all of the devil’s attacks. God declared you more than a conqueror!

Love unconditionally. It doesn’t matter if we’ve just yelled at them, or been too involved in other things to pay them any attention. They are always ready to love on us with puppy kisses and wagging tails. Dogs don’t know how to hold a grudge. They are rather like God, who forgives ALL our iniquities (Ps. 103:3) God is Love, and He can’t be anything else. For Thou, Lord, art good and ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy (ps. 86:5).

Love looks past all the pain and loves anyway. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things (I Cor. 13:7), just like my pups. Nothing matters to them except to love us and love on us.

Entering God’s rest means giving up control of your circumstances and, by faith, allowing God’s good plan to work in your life. As you abide in Him, trusting Him with all your heart, you will find the rest of God. Soon, you will be able to say, like David, Therefore my heart is glad and my spirit rejoiceth; my flesh also shall rest in hope (Ps. 16:9). Think about my pups the next time you feel yourself slipping into worry, or fear. They never do either … and neither should you. Instead, Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him (Ps. 37:7).

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