from Christ at Rest, by Hans Holbein the Younger (1519)
TO rest with Jesus in the Storm is not a passive rest, as though we are to remain oblivious to the world around us. It is not…
…the rest of inactivity, but of the harmonious working of all the faculties and affections—of will, heart, imagination, conscience—because each has found in God the ideal sphere for its satisfaction and development. —J. Patrick, Vine’s Expository, p. 529; cf. Hastings’ Bible Dictionary
Think of the Earth and its orbit. The planet is in perpetual motion, always encircling the Sun, thereby generating the seasons; always rotating, generating night and day; always faithful to the course set out for it by the Creator. There you have the picture of what it means to “rest”: to live perfectly in the Divine Will.
And yet, to live in the Divine Will is more than detached obedience, for example, like the Moon. It too obediently follows its set course… but it neither receives nor generates life. But the Earth—as though hungering for and transfixed upon the Sun—absorbs its transforming rays, converting light to life. So too, the heart truly at “rest” in the orbit of the Father and Son is one that is constantly absorbing the Light of Christ—in all its forms of grace—and converting them into good works that produce the fruits of salvation in and around them.
And here is what I mean by “absorb”: to desire, to thirst for God; to thirst for His Presence; to thirst for His Wisdom; to thirst for truth, beauty, and goodness. This holy desire, this thirst, is what makes another highway in the soul for the transforming presence of God. As Jesus said:
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. (Matt 5:6)
The word “righteousness” here connotes a desire “to submit to the plan of God for the salvation of the human race.” footnote, NABre, Matt 3:14-15; 5:6 It means essentially to be a man or woman who is after God’s own heart.
The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart. (1 Sam 13:14)
And the heart of Jesus is one that is burning, clamouring for the salvation of souls, for His was a heart after His Father’s. From the Cross, He cried out: “I thirst.” John 19:28 A branch of hyssop soaked in wine was raised to His lips, evoking the hyssop branch that was used on Passover to spread “the blood of the lamb” upon the doorposts of the Israelites. Jesus’ thirst leads him to pour out His Precious Blood for the sake of sinners… and He calls you and me to do the same—to get into the orbit of love. He puts it this way:
I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear… Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. (Matt 6:25, 33)
How can we rest in the Father if our hearts do not beat the same rhythm of love? How can we rest in Jesus if our desires are in opposition to His? How can we move in the Spirit if we are slaves to the flesh?
And so, tomorrow, we will go another step deeper into how we can hunger and thirst for righteousness, and so create a divine pathway in the heart, the fifth pathway, for the Saviour to come. Indeed, to have a “pilgrim heart” means to have a heart for God, to have a heart for God’s Kingdom, and a heart for souls. Such a pilgrim really paves the way to make God’s heart his or her own…
SUMMARY AND SCRIPTURE
If we have a heart for God, then He will begin to give us His own Heart.
Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)
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|1.||↑||footnote, NABre, Matt 3:14-15; 5:6|