I recently came across a quote on a sticky note I had placed in my bible long ago. It said, “When you fully believe what God’s word says, then you can enter into his rest.” ~Foundations for Christian Growth
That quote says so much that I’m not sure where to begin. Let’s start with “fully.” When I really stop and consider this, contrary to what I might say of the top off my head, or on the spur of the moment, I conclude that I do not fully believe Him. Ask yourself, do you?
The answer is simple. We find it in Matthew 7:16-20. We’ll see it in the fruit we bear.
For example, Joshua 1:9 says, “be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Lamentations 3:25 says, “The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.” And Luke 12:7 tells us, “But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” The most common and clear of passages is Luke 11:11-, which says, “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”
Those are just a few passages where we find that God is on our side; he wants good things for us. And for the most part we believe it. But then…..
A bad medical diagnosis, the death of a loved one, any number of things can rock our world. Suddenly we find ourselves face to face with the reality of life. BOOM! We’re hit! It shakes us. It causes us to teeter out of balance, sway back and forth, and perhaps even fall down. Some might view this as being weak in faith. I view it as real and normal. Proverbs 24:16a tells us this is so. “For a just man falls seven times, and rises up again.”
God knows all about our fears and weaknesses. Why would he have talked about it so much in his Word if he thought we’d never struggle with it? In fact, he told us through Paul the Apostle that “His strength is made perfect in our weakness.” The key (as Proverbs 24:16a says) is to rise up again.
God is less concerned about our falling than he is about whether or not we rise up again.
If I fall, does that mean I’m bearing bad fruit and I don’t fully trust God? Certainly not! It’s when we don’t rise back up again that our good fruit begins to rot. It is in the “rising up” that our good fruit shows.
Did you ever consider that our loving Father allows us to “fall down” just so we can learn to “rise up again”? How else would we learn?
It is through the very process of falling and rising that we learn to fully believe and fully trust Him.
The more we “rise up”, the more we learn. The more we learn, the more we grow . Then, and only then, will we understand that it is safe to rest in Him.
I remember hearing David Wilkerson tell the story of when one of his sons was a baby. Late at night, David tiptoed into his sons room to check on him before going to bed himself. He was overcome by affection for his baby son, and he reached into the crib, picked him up, and cradled him in his arms. As he stood there gazing at his beloved son’s face, David said the Lord spoke to him and said, “drop your son.” David shook it away, thinking he couldn’t possibly be hearing right. God spoke to him again, “drop your son.” David couldn’t believe it. Again, the third time, “drop your son.” By then, David was beginning to realize that he had, in fact, heard correctly. He adamantly responded back to God, “NO!” David said, “I can’t do it Lord. I can’t and I won’t.” David said the Lord spoke to him one more time. He said, “neither can I drop you, my son.”