The Rest of Faith 4

21 July 2013


1.      Introduction

Exodus 33:14 “My presence will go with you and it will give you rest”

·       So many people live in constant turmoil, anxiety, fear, striving – no rest in their soul.  God promises to give us rest: Rest is a gift of God received by faith – trusting Him.  Rest is connected to the presence and activity of the Holy Spirit in our lives and our relationships.

Romans 14:17 “The Kingdom of heaven….. is righteousness peace and joy in the Holy Ghost” 

·       Whatever disturbs our peace or joy should get our attention.

·       Activating sensitivity to the Holy Ghost and response to His presence is key to rest.


Key Passage: Luke 2:41-50


2.    Why God Sometimes is Silent

Luke 2:41-43 “Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem and Joseph and Mary his mother did not know it 

·       Jesus was silent about His plans.  He did not tell them what He was doing!

·       Jesus was entering a new season in His life – He did not speak or explain it.


(a)     Familiarity Can Lead To Presumption

E.g.  Marriage: The most common problem is communication.

“You didn’t tell me”;  “I assumed”;  “Well I thought

·      Luke 2:43-44 “Joseph and His mother did not know it, but supposing Him to be in the company went a days journey…”

·      Note: Jesus was silent – they supposed He was still with them.

·      It was an annual event to go to Jerusalem; it was a custom or habit.

·      Presume – to take for granted, to assume to be true, to assume without proof.

(b)     Why God Sometimes Is Silent

2 Chronicles 32:3 “God withdrew from him (Hezekiah) in order to test him to know all that was in his heart”

·      Sometimes God is silent about the things most important to us.  Why?

(i)  To Reveal What Is In Our Heart Deuteronomy 8:2

·      God’s silence exposes and brings to our awareness or condition, priorities, values.

(ii)  To Humble Us Deuteronomy 8:2

·      We have a tendency to go our own way, to operate independently, to live in our comfort zone.

·      Habits and routines are good but can lead us to familiarity and presumption.

·      We constantly need fresh challenges to keep us dependent upon Jesus.

(iii)  To See If We Will Apply What We Have Learned Deuteronomy 8:2

·      God is constantly teaching us, changing us – His plan means ongoing change.

·      He wants us to learn to walk by revelation and wisdom (applying the Word of God).

·      If you collapse under pressure and challenge your personal foundations are not strong.

·      In seasons you do not hear from God – do what He last told you and walk in the principles of God – prayer, thanksgiving, praise, fellowship.

·      Mary and Joseph went 1 day without Jesus then experienced and acute sense of loss and anxiety.


3.    How to Recognise the Presence of the Holy Spirit has Lifted

Luke 2:48 “So when they saw Him they were amazed, and His mother said to Him: “Son why have you done this to us?  Look your father and I have sought you anxiously

(i)  Anxiety – Loss of Peace

·      The presence of God brings with it a peace and loss of His presence brings anxiety.

·      Mary revealed she was anxious but sorrowing from on road: to go down.

·      She was tormented in her mind and emotions.

·       Philippians 4:6Be anxious for nothing – peace of God will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”


(ii)  Irritability –Loss of Love

·      Mary was irritated at Jesus – why have you done this to us?

·      She was angry at Jesus and resentful at how He had treated them.

·       1 Corinthians 13:5Love – is not provoked (irritated, stirred, sharpened)”


(iii) Lack Clear Thinking - Confusion

·      Mary did not understand what Jesus was doing.

·      They were amazed…. Why have you done this to us?  They did not understand.

·      She accused Jesus of treating her unfairly – she took it personally.

·      Stresses in life can cause us to turn inward, focus on self, blame others.

·      2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear but a spirit of power, and love and a sound mind

·      When the Holy Spirit rests upon us our thinking is clear and we react in clarity.


4.   Returning to the Rest of Faith

Luke 2:44-45 “They sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances, so when they did not find Him they returned to Jerusalem seeking Him.  Now it was after 3 days they found Him.”

·       They were so preoccupied with familiar – they did not realize Jesus was not there.

·      They had to go back to where they lost Him (if lost axe head 2Kings 6:6 Where did it fall?)


(i)  Repentance (“They Returned”)

·      Repentance – Melanoia = change of mind

·      Repentance – recognise have made a mistake, failed and admit “it was wrong”.

·      People tend to be defensive rather than admit “it was wrong” and change.

·      Repentance is foundational to walking with God – admitting wrong thinking and actions.

·      1 John 1:9 If we confess (say the same as God does) will forgive!


(ii)  Pursuit of God –(“They Sought Him”)

·      Their focus was not on pursuit of peace but on pursuit of Jesus.

·      They wanted to reconnect with Jesus Psalm 27:4

·      It took 3 days to find Him – they persevered determined to find Him again.

·      We can pursue Jesus by re-establishing times of prayer, fasting, worship.

(iii)  Openness to Fresh Revelation

·      Their familiarity with Jesus caused them to miss the change in their life.

·      He now was at an age where He would come under tutors for His destiny.

·      They were astonished, they did not understand, they did not ask questions.

·      We must move towards what God is doing, not react and move away to familiar.