Last Christmas holidays I read the book ‘The Power of Peace’ by Mirjam van der Vegt. Take a moment to catch your breath. Not growing in royal thinking or spiritual power for a while, but in tranquility and peace. Realizing again that these Royal things (renewal of mind, God’s power on my life, sanctification and trust) arise from and are fruits of this one thing: ‘being’ with God.
It’s been almost four years since I ended up in a burnout. During the therapy sessions it became apparent that there is an internal saboteur living within me. In charismatic circles I would be allowed to come forward for liberation. However, this internal saboteur was not a demon but just me. I drove myself completely crazy. It could always be more and always better. It was never good enough. Perfect for a sales organization but destructive to my identity. Although I have put this time behind me, the internal saboteur still visits regularly. I then give him a cup of coffee and then have an intense conversation and encourage myself to renew, convert, cleanse and change. What I actually do is give water to the fruits instead of the tree. Against all knowledge. Could it perhaps be due to the performance society we live in?
God invites us into the rest in which He Himself rests. On the seventh day, when God had completed His work which He had made, He rested (Genesis 2:2). Have you ever imagined what this looked like? How did God rest? Did he go to sleep, binge watch Netflix, play a game of FIFA or go for a walk? I don’t think any of them do. God looked at His work, saw that it was very good, and He rested in that. God rested in the fact that it was very good. He looked at what He had made and was satisfied. No urge for improvement and innovation, but finding joy in what is.
In Hebrews 4, God invites us into His rest: ‘ There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered His rest has also rested from his works, just as God has rested from His. Let us then labor to enter into that rest, so that no one may fall by following this example of disobedience.” In addition to the invitation to rest in God’s rest, there is also a warning in this text. The writer is referring here to the Israelites. They too have been invited to enter God’s rest, but time and time again they have continued to expect their own work and achievements instead of appealing to God’s work for and in them. And that cost them dearly.
It is finished
With all our shortcomings, all our stumbling and struggling (being human), we tend not to give ourselves rest until we are perfect. We continue to believe in the lie that says: ‘you are not yet good enough’. But when Jesus cried out, ‘ IT IS FINISHED!’ He meant this. There is peace between you and God. You’re approved.
Do you dare to be unfinished?
God paid everything in Jesus to let you share in His rest. No matter how unfinished you are in your own eyes. You may look at yourself together with God and rest in His peace. Rest in His finished work for you. Rest in the fact that it is very good, that you are very good! In Christ you may rest and say: ‘I may be unfinished because I am good enough. I rest in who I am and not in what I do.’ To let God do His work from that peace and let you grow in the way He has in mind for you.
Do you want to grow in this truth? The brand new growth course ‘Growing in your identity in Christ’ will start in March. Together with Arie de Rover I will take you on a journey of discovery to the transcendent riches of grace that God has shown you and wants to continue to show you in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:7). Register directly via this link .