Finding Rest In His Love
All growth comes from rest! If that's true then no wonder the new covenant sought first to establish us in God's love by ending any illusions that we had to earn it. It also explains why religion unwittingly pushes us away from God even while it claims to bring us closer. Wayne combs through some recent articles about the brokenness of religion as it seeks to press us into conformity and why so many people, including pastors, are rejecting our religious institutions. Then he plays an audio clip that explains the importance of love setting us at rest, which is critical to all growth--spiritually, emotionally, and relationally.
Why Do So Many Pastors Leave the Church?
Washington Post Commentary: Church Shouldn't Be This Hard
Video Clip: Why Children Need Rest from the video series, Relationship Matters
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Wow. Is this ever a confirmation of what has been developing in my heart over the past number of years. It is so against the current of church culture that I often found myself questioning whether or not I was completely off track or not. Losing my mind, so to speak. That somehow I was missing God. On the other hand, the further I moved away from “doing” in church the more at peace I became. I had time on my hands which allowed me to “see” and be with people around me. I had time to spend with God, to have time to pause. To breathe. My daughter recently said to me that when she attends church she always leaves feeling like she has not done enough. I knew exactly what she was talking about. Living is hard enough without having a long list of additional “spiritual” things to do. Where is the peace that we were promised?
I began to realize that my exhaustion and lack of peace were a direct result of not only living without boundaries and the ability to say “no” but that because my identity was wrapped up in doing the right thing “for God” – as defined by the church, and it was an insatiable bottomless pit of demand. I am so glad I got the memo that I do not have to live that way anymore.
I came across an article a few years ago (and I wish I still had the link!) where a pastor who had been trying for years to get his congregation to engage in activity in the church ended up moving to a affiliated ministry with a 9-5 work day plus a two hour commute each day. When he arrived at church in the weeks that followed, he was so tired as result of his work week that the last thing he wanted to do was engage in more activity. He was looking for rest and nourishment. Life! He suddenly realized what he had been doing in the previous years and how unreasonable his demands on his congregation had been. That really got me thinking.
I still have connections with my church and consider myself still a “member,” but I simply will not engage in the “doing” of “church”. I invite others into relationship and conversation. A two or three gathered in his name. Creating hopefully a safe place for them to be themselves without demand for behaviour modification and “shoulding” on each other. It is so much more enjoyable.
So appreciate the podcasts, I always look forward to the arrival of the next one.
Hi John, I haven’t even listened to this podcast yet…(am looking forward greatly to when I have the quiet time to do that) but in reading your comment I resonated with the part about still being a “member” but learning to leave the “doing, doing doing” part of it. I have a few good friends within the “building” so far Jesus has invited me to continue being connected with them. I also am learning to be connected while leaving the pressure of performance behind. What a process…thanks for the encouragement of your thoughts and nice to resonate with someone else. Blessings
This podcast has really hit home with me. Rest has been an issue for several years now. In my heart of hearts I know that I have a trust issue with God that was stated here. Most of it comes from the realization that I have to come to the end of myself, regardless of loss of status, loss of income, etc.
I love what I do, but the fact that I can’t do it in my own time and on my own terms, has affected every part of my physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. I know I am not alone in this. And it is definitely true in my own life, that lack of rest results in lack of growth. I find myself searching to get off of the performance treadmill, yet also searching for a way to keep the rewards that performing well enables me to obtain.
King Solomon, one of the richest men in the world in his time, says in Ecclesiastes that everything is meaningless, especially and including wealth, which he had much of. Yet I somehow think that wealth is the key to happiness. God help me.
Wow just wow!
Thanks again Wayne for sharing what was on your heart!
It so happens once again that it aligned perfectly with what father has been teaching us in the last couple days right up till 1/2hr before listening to the podcast . It was like you entered our conversation and finished it. I have been so excited about the realization that my entire journey has simply been to bring me to a place where I let or allow Father to love me! I had always been trying to love him right. I thought then he would love me. How simple and wonderful it is to crawl up in his lap and rest in him loving me!!!!!!!!!! Little broken me! I don’t worry about loving him or people anymore! It seems he gets great joy out of lavishing his love on me ! Don’t ask me how I know. I just know! Lol.
A few of the side affects are tears of joy , being in love with him , and loving others so much it hurts good! And rest of body and mind like I have never known ! How can it be so simple?
Oh my goodness!!! This is another podcast that I really, truly love! I thank God for the grace you have been given to put in just over 30 mins, what a thousand sermons, and thousands of years of playing church could never quite capture, why church always end up losing the authenticity of living in Christ.
Yes “Church shouldn’t be this Hard!” and if it is, we’ve got to be bold enough to ask the hard questions.
I’m so blessed to have the discuss we get to have on this platform, people’s openness here is so refreshing; which is so hard to get whilst “In the building”. Love all the comments too, they are podcasts too in their own right.
Ah man, that excerpt on rest was amazing. As a former lecturer and young parent this really struck home with me. Unconditional love that brings forth rest and thus more life. Absolutely amazing. Just as I began to look again at my own son and the importance or providing attention and love. Then this started to hit home in terms of my own relationship with God.
Simone Weil once said, “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity”, one can even say purest form of love. Growth and life comes out of rest which is only possible when you are secure. Oh man learning to live in His love and live within His attention really does create rest and peace.
Thanks Wayne for putting the clip about rest on your podcast, that I shared with you.
I just wrote this on the forum and thought I would share it here on the comments.
We Were Children Once
So much messed up thinking about God, Jesus and Spirit comes from how we were raised. Our childhood is the foundation of how we see the world around us, how we form and hold onto relationships. It is our beginning and it is significant whether we realize it or not.
How many of us grow up with this: I’m being good(behaviour wise), then I receive love and acceptance from my parents. When I’m being bad(behaviour wise), then I receive anger or disapprove and quite possibly punishment or separation. I the child, when I’m good, I get the loving parent. When I’m bad, I get the disapproving parent or the angry parent. This is where we learn to perform and work hard to earn love and acceptance, to prove ourselves worthy of it.
How many of us when we fail, feel rejected and disapproved of and even feel scared of God punishing us. Where does this come from, who teaches us this? This comes from the wounds and brokenness of our parents, who themselves don’t know how deeply and passionately they are loved and accepted by Papa.
And that performance game is passed onto us as little ones, that I need to earn my parents affection and attention. That I am unworthy of love and belonging, it’s something I need to earn with my good behaviour.
I am going to bash parents for failing their children? No, for they are but babes themselves, they truly and deeply don’t know how loved and accepted they are. If they did know then it would show up in how they relate to their little ones. The relationship between a parent and child would be rich and deep, overflowing with passionate emotional and psychological intimacy. Their would be such a vulnerability and trust, that no matter how a child is behaving, they would know that their parent isn’t going to reject or abandon them to their emotional storms, the parent would step into a child’s darkness and pain and pour forth their love and acceptance onto them.
There is no fear in love, so wouldn’t trust abound? There is no such thing as behaviour problems, there is only relational problems. For we are relational beings, not behaviour beings.
We were designed for fellowship, relationship, for continuous connection and attachment. That is at the very core of the Trinity. Papa, Jesus and Spirit live in such beauty and glory, such intimacy and joy, such passion and harmony.
Parenting isn’t meant to be a chore or a burden, it is a joy and a blessing, it is overflowing with life and goodness.
To think what an honor for Papa to place within your care, one of your little brothers or sisters in Christ. For you to enjoy and delight in your fellow sibling in Christ, for you to be blessed with participating in raising Papa’s dearly beloveds. That you are so favoured for Papa to entrust you with His beautiful little ones, that what a joy to be their guide and guardian, to rejoice in life and freedom with them.
That even in your brokenness and fully knowing that you the parent aren’t perfect, Papa believes in you and sees your inner goodness, He knows that you have a heart filled with love and acceptance, He knows that no matter how much you stumble and fall, you are good and beautiful. Papa see you through the eyes of empathy and compassion and you know what, He wants you to know how much He adores you, how much He delights in you, how precious you are too Him. He knows that you are fully capable of loving and accepting the little ones that are in your care. He made you to be loved and love, to be accepted and accept, it is your very nature.
Blessed are you children of Papa, small and big, young and old. All embraced by Papa, all held in His arms and on His lap.
LIFE as I have come to know it in the last 7+ years, since I’ve been able to get out and away from religion/box,,, is far, far too awesome for me to even try to put words to,,,, Wayne, Thankyou,,,, for allowing Papa to work thru you… things/comments I read here, and listen to here have fed my heart. To finally be able, truly able to relax, and rest in Father’s love, yes, that is truly were one can even see “my own” growth even. True rest is also, such a drawing to those around us. I’ve been asked many times “what do you smoke in the mornings” or “what kind of drugs do you take” because I need some of that to,, do you share ?? What can I say besides “it’s free for the taking”,,, I believe in my heart, they know what “drug” it is, and that Father knows EVERY heart as He did/does mine, He’s searching for those that will respond to Him, it’s HIS desire/job to convict/convince,,, not mine. My job is to RELAX IN HIS LOVE as has so well been laid out. This pod brought something to memory,,, a child grows the fastest, physically, while it is sleeping,,,,, witch masks PERFECT SENSE,,, He is truly an awesome Father,, DJ
Thanks Wayne, for this podcast. Listened to it yesterday and it was very timely as I wrestled with finding the words to describe the difference between working on our spiritual growth and participating with God as he works it out. Whenever I’m in discussions with people about this, they shoot back “it still requires a choice on our behalf” and in some ways they are right.
However, I can now see that when I participate with God in his work of changing me, I have no confidence in my abilities. That’s the difference. It makes the “following” easy and the burden light.