I just got home from a great weekend in Castlegar, BC, Canada. Thank you to all the hungry hearts in the Kootenays! God is good and His New Covenant life and GRACE is increasing in the earth! Henry Schmidt and I were blessed to be a part of what God did this past weekend with you all.
Life is about living with LIFE. God is LIFE! Jesus said that eternal life is to know God and Jesus Christ whom He sent. There are many things to do in life, but in order to do things in a life-giving way we must find ourselves living with LIFE and in LIFE!
When God created Adam there were many things that were yet to do in the earth. The earth needed someone to work the ground. The animals God created were to be named by Adam. Adam was to till and cultivate the ground. Before any of these things could be done, Adam had to experience the Sabbath rest of God in the earth and in his life. God formed Adam from the dust and He breathed in him the breath of life. This was God resting in Adam’s life. God planted a garden in the East, the place where the sun rises each day. It was there that Adam was to know the life-giving presence of God that inspires God-given purpose in every season of his destiny. The garden resided in a place that represented every new day to come. The sun does not really rise in the east, the earth simply rotates toward the sun and thus every day there is a new day. The earth bows to the direction of light and life and night becomes a new day. It looks like the sun rises, but the earth really moves towards the light and darkness vanishes each and every day. I believe that the garden of Eden was a place of turning towards God each and every day.
In the same way, the immovable One welcomes us to come to Him each day. We don’t need to pray for light to come, we just need to know we are good with Him and we can come to Him each and every day. Our day begins with the light of Christ. The Sabbath rest of God in our lives leads us to the place of knowing Him for the beginning of each and every task in our lives.
God told Adam to name all the animals. God didn’t tell him what to call them, but trusted Adam in what he would call them. Mankind is still finding species under the sea and in lands of the earth that need names. If you ever research this, you will find that many new species are discovered each year. There are many things in the earth that need to be given an identity. God trusted Adam to give identity to creatures that didn’t have an identity yet. Adam was to go tell the animals who they were, implying that is some way they didn’t know. Whatever identity Adam gave them; God was good with it.
Genesis 2:19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.
God wanted Adam to be creative with naming the animals. Adam could only do this if his day began with God resting in his life and he resting in God. Insecure people cannot give secure identities to things in the world. A secret to giving identity and purpose to the things we do is to first find our identity and purpose in God.
Even at the flood, God started again with mankind from a place of rest. He started with a man named Noah, a man whose name meant rest. God was good with Noah. Noah was righteous in his generations. God trusted Noah with the future of the world, because God could rest in his life. Noah wanted God! He was willing to do whatever God wanted him to do, because God was in his life. Noah didn’t build the ark to get God’s presence in his life. He had God’s presence in his life. His great grandfather Enoch had walked with God and one day he had simply gone to be with God and did not return to the earth. Noah was familiar with the story. His grandpa Methuselah knew very well what his father Enoch had done and he was alive to the days to the flood. Methuselah was alive until the year of the flood. I think he died before the flood, maybe the day before. Perhaps the son of God’s friend, Enoch, had to die before God could flood the earth. Maybe the rain could not come until Methuselah died. I think this is a testimony of how important relationship is to God. He desires to live with us, walk with us, and to show us His glory in all things.
Sabbath is a recognition that God rests in our lives. We can go and do wonderful things when we know that God is with us. Jesus is our Sabbath. Concerning the things of shame, He said it is finished. Concerning the things of future, He said we have only just begun. He told His disciples to go and make disciples of all nations, to submerge them into His identity. He told them to teach them as He had taught them. He said He would be manifestly with them always. These things are true for us today! Go! Go! Be! Disciple nations! Submerge them into His identity. Teach them! Disciple them! He is with us! He is resting in our lives. He didn’t say to go out and evangelize so He will show up in revival. He is revival and He is with us.
If we get a revelation of the Sabbath and this culture of honor it will change everything in our lives. It will change our marriages. When we understand the honor of the Sabbath we will know that every day of our marriage begins with the reality that God rests there. As husbands and wives we can be secure in our relationship with one another, because God rests with us. We can give identity to our children, because we know who we are.
There is no reason to go anywhere to discover who we are. If we travel the world to find out who we are, we may never discover who we are. We cannot travel from the place we are to discover what is already there. What gives us clear vision of who we are is an understanding of who lives with us. God lives with us. We can be alone, but never be alone. If we don’t know that God rests in our lives, we will find thousands and still be alone. We can do many jobs and be lonely. We can go to many countries and be lonely. But if we find Him we can be alone or in crowd anywhere and never be lonely. The secret is God resting in our lives. It will change our ability to be parents to our children and covenant partners in our relationships. We are already the substance of who we are and only when God rests in our lives can we fulfill who we are. We can name many animals and do many things. We will give identity to what we touch in this earth. To give identity we must first have identity. Our true identity comes from God resting in our lives.
When God rests in our lives we will never be lonely and we never need to go anywhere to find out who we are. Doing things doesn’t determine who we are. Who we live with determines who we are. There are many things we have to do. There are many animals to name. There are many places in the world that need identity, but the only way we can give them identity is if we let the One who gives identity to rest in our lives.
The Pharisees were all upset with Jesus understanding of the Sabbath. Didn’t Jesus know? You’re not supposed to work on the Sabbath. The Pharisees thought that the Sabbath was all about man not working, but in the original Sabbath man had never done any work to rest from. The Sabbath wasn’t about resting from work, but about experiencing the presence of the One who gives life for every situation that needs life. Man was not for the Sabbath; the Sabbath was for man. Man was not striving to rest. The Sabbath was God’s first gift to humanity in this earth beyond the gift of life. The knowledge that God lives with man was a gift given and God was not asking that anything be done first. God’s presence comes at Sabbath as the will of God in our lives and He doesn’t ask for anything to be done yet. He isn’t asking us to do anything and He is not interested in doing anything yet. Man’s day begins with God not interested in doing anything yet.
God, what do you want me to do today? God says, I just want to rest with you for a moment. I just want to be with you. When He does that, blind eyes open! Sick people get healed! The Pharisees misinterpreted that. They thought these things were jobs, but they were simply the result of the presence of God resting in the life of Jesus.
We have all kinds of names for God; God the healer, God my banner, God my peace, or God my supply. These are all Old Covenant concepts of God. Yes, He can do all of these things. Let me make this very simple! Who is God the healer? He is our Father! Who is God our banner? He is God our Father! Who is God our supply? He is our Father! Where does our Father live? We are His house! He rests in us. The Sabbath is holy! We are holy! God lives in us! If we get a revelation of this, we will shift from thinking in terms of the Old Covenant to those of a New Covenant. When we come together instead of asking God to come to us it will be a release of God through us. God rests here! We are not waiting for the end of some religious service for God to rest. He was resting in our lives when we entered and He is resting in our lives when we leave. We are a place where God rests. These things are discovered in a culture that honors the Sabbath rest of God in their lives.
Ted J. Hanson