My word/theme for this year is “Restful anticipation”. (see last week’s blog) It relates to laying aside my trying to get things done all the time to actively remember to seek, listen, and follow Jesus' lead, knowing that He makes impossible things happen and turns even our messes into miracles.
A great example of learning that process is found in the story of Sarah and Abraham and their journey to have a child and heir. Sarah was barren and ninety years old and didn’t think it was possible anymore for her to become a mother. Yet despite the obstacles God fulfilled his promise and Sarah gave birth to Isaac. (Genesis 21)
Sarah didn’t get it right all the time and made quite a few mistakes in the process but she did learn that we don’t need to know how God is going to work it out or even what He is always doing. We only need to know that He is a good God and is always working everything for our good. Sarah perhaps could have saved a lot of angst in her world if she had discovered “restful anticipation” sooner. (Genesis 16)
Restful anticipation is when we reach the point of being in a place of trust, even when we don’t understand and acknowledge that God is good and is working in our circumstances to perfect everything that concerns us.
God says, “He works all things together for our good” and when God says he’s working things out for our good you better believe He’s working behind the scenes on something amazing and exceedingly more than we could ask, think, pray for, dream or imagine. (Romans 8:28; Ephesians 3:20).
God wants us to expect and anticipate Him doing great things in and through our lives, but amid that anticipation, He wants us to experience His rest, where we know who we are and our purpose, but aren't driven by those things.
To do that, you start by allowing yourself to be still and to face what is happening in your heart deep down on the inside and what you are thinking most about. Only then, as you choose stillness and awareness, can God go to work to bring clarity, restoration, and strength to your heart.
As you learn to remain seated in that rest, everything changes. You’ll start to understand your identity and purpose in God more and how to walk in your authority. Instead of stress and striving, you’ll live in a place of strength and calm. Instead of fear and worry, rest and peace.
Today I encourage you to intentionally set aside some time to be still and to rest…even for 10 minutes a day alone, where you create stillness amid your usual motion and schedule. No phone, no technology, no noise, no interruptions. Just you, the quiet, and Jesus as you allow Him to work in you and to build a restful anticipation for good things to be released in your life. (Mark 6:31-33)
For He says, “Surrender your anxiety! Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10 TPT)
“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.”(Isaiah 30:15 NLT)
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still water. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”(Psalm 23:1-3 NKJV)
For more encouragement, you can also listen to my podcast "Going Deeper" Check out this week's episode "How to keep motivated - 10 steps to achieving your vision" live now. God has a way to see us achieve our goals from a place of rest and peace.
Prayer: Lord, I’m choosing to take time for quietness and stillness with you today. Please help me be aware of the places in my life where I struggle to be still so I can surrender them to you. I want to learn how to rest and trust you more as I anticipate good things in my life. In Jesus' name Amen.