In this message, we learn how to live a lifestyle of rest.
It’s time for the Valley Creek family to make our next missional move. A missional move is when we take our next step so that someone else could take theirs. Our next special move is birthed out of Acts 1:8, when Jesus says to His disciples, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, into all the ends of Earth. Our Acts 1:8 missional movement includes leveraging the exceptional location God has given us in Flower Mound. In response to what God has been doing among us, we are expanding our existing building to include a 1,500-seat worship center. We are also retrofitting existing space for larger children, student and group gatherings. Construction is well underway and will be in our new worship center this fall. We believe God has called us to move into the neighborhood at Denton as another part of our Acts 1:8 missional move.
20% of those attending Valley Creek live in it. We desire to serve their neighbors and friends with the life-giving, spirit-filled, Jesus-focused church like Valley Creek. God has given us an amazing location at Highway I35 and Loop 288. Renovations will be complete. And we will begin bringing grace and truth within this fall. The third element of our Acts 1:8 missional move is planting churches in India. We’re investing in a strategic partnership with Pastor Koshy as he leads the first ministry school for church planters in New Delhi. This school will develop 25 church leaders a year. The first students will graduate and start their church plants this fall. We are excited about our family’s next step as we respond to God’s call in Flower Mound, our Jerusalem, Denton, our Judea and Samaria, and India, the ends of the Earth.
An exciting quick update for you. So, those of you that are new, that’s what’s been happening around here. Update for the rest of us, here’s where we’re at, Flower Mound, we are 90 days out from moving into the worship center. Okay?
So, only 90 more days of having to deal with a dirty building, parking issues and all that kind of stuff. So, you guys have been amazing. Thank you for being so gracious. Thank you for making this your service time, the 10:30 is full. We have to turn people away last week here in the middle of summer. So, thank you for making this your service and being a part of the board. 90 days out from getting to move into there. By the end of October, we’ll be in the new worship center. Then, they’ll come in here and they’ll turn this into children’s space, which will be really quick. So, everything in Flower Mound is going great. You can see the progress on the building. It’s amazing. We’re creating more space for more people to come to know Jesus. So, Flower Mound is awesome. Denton is in motion. Everything is under construction. We’ll start that campus by the end of 2013. Here, later this fall, we got a great launch team. A couple 100 people that are committed to go and make that happen.
So, if God is stirring on your heart to go and be a part of that, it’s a great group of people to be a part of. And then, in India, our ministry school for church planners, the first 20 some students are almost all the way through the school. And by 2014, they’ll be going out into places of India to plant churches, all because you were willing to take your next step so somebody else can take theirs. So, I want to say, church, well done. Okay? Let’s keep taking our next steps. Let’s not get tired. Let’s not get fatigued. Let’s be excited. Let’s keep fulfilling our commitments that we’ve made to the Lord. The giving has been amazing. And so, I’m proud of you for giving to the Lord. For those of you who are new, we’d invite you to sow into this harvest with us. God is doing a great thing, and we want you to reap that blessing in your own life. And then, let’s prepare our hearts, okay? Because God’s about to do a whole lot of great stuff in this place. And we want to be prepared to receive everything He wants to do in us and through us in the days to come. Okay? You with me on all that? So, that’s a great update. Exciting things happening around here, and it’s because you are taking your next steps.
All right. We’re in our series called, Rest. And we’re taking a couple weeks to just talk about this concept of rest. And we’re breaking it down into three things, work, rest and play. And we said last week that as followers of Jesus Christ, we should be the most restful people on the face of the earth because we get to rest in the finish work of the cross of Jesus Christ. And so, what we’re trying to do is take work, rest and play and have a different perspective that be transformed, the Bible says, by the renewing of your minds. Have a higher view of each of those three things. And last week, we talked about work. And this week, I want us to change our perspective on rest, in and of itself. So, if you have your Bibles, turn with me to Mark 6 and 1 Kings 19. Mark 6 and 1 Kings 19. Here in Mark 6, Jesus has sent out the disciples two by two to go and do ministry. And the reason he sends them out in twos is because ministry is always meant to be relational.
You’re not supposed to go do a ministry on your own, be a lone ranger, we’re supposed to do it together in relationships in community. So, Jesus sends them out two by two. And after they’ve gone and done the ministry, they’ve come back to Jesus. And we’re just going to look at three verses here. So, pick it up with me. Mark 6:30, “The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going, they did not even have a chance to eat. He said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So, they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.” Three verses that I think are incredibly profound, incredibly powerful, and that I think, really capture the heart of the gospel message. See, I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about this or not. But the gospel is a message of rest. The gospel message, it’s a message of rest in relationship. Everything about the gospel is rest. We get to rest from sin, rest from striving, rest from approval, rest from people pleasing, rest from religion, rest from trying to do it on our own.
It’s rest in relationship. That is the gospel message that Jesus offers to us. And what I love about these three verses is I think they are really a great snapshot of our lives. Break it down with me and see if this sounds familiar to you. Verse 30, “The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.” They come to Jesus, and they want to talk about the things that they have done. I think a lot of times, we want to come to Jesus and tell him about all the great things that we have done, all the accomplishments that we have in our lives. And then, in verse 31, it says, “Then, because so many people were coming and going, they did not even have a chance to eat.” Okay. Whose life does that sound like? Come on, be honest. Right? Our lives are full. There’s so much happening, so many people coming and going, so much stuff coming in and out of our lives that we don’t even have a chance to eat. We don’t even have a chance to stop and take a break. Our lives are so full. They’re full of good things and bad things.
Things God wants to be there. Things we’ve chosen for ourselves. Our lives are full of activities and events, and gatherings, and commitments, and work, and sports, and hobbies, and activities, and our kids. Sports and work, and hobbies, and activities, and commitments. We got to fix the car. We got to fix the house. We got to go here. We got to do there. Our lives are so full that it feels like people are coming and going so much that we don’t even have a chance to stop and eat, to take care of ourselves. It sounds like our life, doesn’t it? I think our lives are so full that the moment we say we’re going to do a series on rest, everybody’s excited to come in and hear about rest because we all want to figure out how to find the rest that we don’t know how to find on our own. But what I love about what Jesus does is he cuts through it all. He cuts through the stress and the chaos and the confusion. And here’s what he says, the rest of that verse, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” You see, Jesus invites the disciples. And He invites us to come and rest in him, to rest in relationship.
And I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about it like this or not, but rest is only found in Jesus. It’s only found in Jesus. It’s not found anywhere else in this world. You see, what’s really interesting to me is what Jesus doesn’t say right here. Sometimes when you read the Bible, I would encourage you to look at what is not said that often teaches us a lot. It’s really interesting what Jesus doesn’t say. The disciples come back, they’re stressed out, they’re tired, they’ve worked hard. And what Jesus doesn’t say is, he doesn’t say, “Hey, guys. You’ve done so much. And you’ve done such a good job. And I know you’re tired and you need some rest so why don’t you go ahead and just take a vacation? Why don’t you go to the Jordan River for a while, enjoy the beach and the sand and the in the river and all that. So, just go and take a vacation for a while. And we’ll get back together.” It’s not what he says. He didn’t say, “Hey, guys, I know you’re really tired. Why don’t you just go and veg out? Figure out whatever you like to do. Just go and do your own thing.” But no, He didn’t say that. He didn’t say, “Hey, guys, let’s take a break from changing the world for a while, so just go home. And I’ll call you in a few months. We’ll get this thing of changing the world back together.”
That’s not what He says. He says, “I know you’re tired so come with me by yourselves to a quiet place, and get some rest.” Because rest is only found in Jesus. And yet, for some reason, we think it’s found everywhere else. We think rest is found in possessions. That if I could just have the right stuff, I would live a really restful life, right? Just get all the right stuff, my life would be at rest. And a lot of us, we think rest is found in personal time. And if I could just have a vacation or get some time off of work, or just go do my hobby, or just get away from these kids for a while, if I can just have some personal time in my life, I would be restful. Some of us think rest is found in prescriptions. That if I could just get the right medication to numb this pain or this brokenness in my life, everything will go away. Listen, rest is not found in that stuff. It’s found in a person, and His name is Jesus Christ. It’s the only place rest is found. I mean, have you ever gone on a vacation and come back from the vacation and felt more tired after the vacation than before the vacation?
Come on, right? Yeah. It’s because rest is not found in a vacation. And there’s nothing wrong with a vacation. And we need vacations, but rest is found in Jesus. And so, it gives us the standing invitation for all people at all times to come away with him by ourselves to a quiet place and get some rest. To rest in relationship. And it’s in that place where we learn to live a lifestyle of rest. Listen to this. Isaiah 15 and 16 says, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ Therefore, you will flee. You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’ Therefore, your pursuers will be swift.'” You see, God invites us to this place of rest. And He says, “In rest is your salvation and your strength, but you would have none of it.” In other words, we said, “No. We’re going to do it our way, God. We’re going to find rest on our own.” And it says, “So, we will flee off on horses. We will run. We will just make it happen in our own life.”
And God says, “That’s fine. You want to flee on horses? Flee away. You can run as fast as you want to run. But just so you know, your pursuers will be swift.” In other words, God says, “The faster you run in this life, the faster life will chase you down.” And you know what that feels like, don’t you? The faster you get caught in that chaos vortex of trying to make it happen by your own, the faster it feels like life is catching up with you and tearing you back down. But Jesus offers us a better way. He offers us rest. And He doesn’t just offer us rest from things. He offers us rest for things. And this is what I really want to show you today. We think rest is from stuff. If I can just rest from work and stress, and burdens, and activities, and sin, and religion, if I can just rest from all that stuff, life will be great. That’s great. But that’s like 101. God wants you to rest for things to receive everything he has in store for you. In fact, if you think about Jesus on this earth, that’s why Jesus rested.
Luke 5:16, it says Jesus often withdrew to lonely places to pray. If you ever read the Gospels, notice how much Jesus rested. He was like the most rested dude ever that walked on the face of… I want to be like Jesus because I want to rest like that. He withdrew, why? He didn’t need to rest from things, did he? Jesus didn’t need to rest from sin and stress, and worry, and fear. He rested for things. Because see, Jesus knew the secret. That it’s in rest where we get to hear the Father’s heart and get to know the Father’s voice. It’s in rest where you get to hear the Father’s voice and you get to know the Father’s heart. That’s what He invites you to rest for. That is a higher view of rest. And when you understand that you’re resting for something, hearing His voice and getting to know His heart, you will be able to rest from all the things that stress you out. Are you with me on that? Okay? It’s a different perspective, a higher view. And so, here’s what I want you to do. Hold your place there and flip to 1 Kings 19.
And let me try to unpack it. Okay? 1 Kings 19. Listen, we think that rest is all about just getting away from the stuff. Really, what the Bible invites us to is resting for the things that God has in store for us. And so, two points I got for you. It’s in rest where we get to hear His voice. In rest, we get to hear His voice. 1 Kings 19, story of Elijah. You’re familiar with this story. Elijah has this incredible victory. He defeats 450 prophets of Baal, amazing mountaintop experience. Queen Jezebel now wants to kill him. So, Elijah is on the run. He’s running for his life. He’s stressed out. And God invites him to this place of rest on Mount Horeb. Pick it up with me in verse nine. “And the word of the Lord came to him. ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’ He replied, ‘I’ve been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put the prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.'”
Okay? That sounds like one stressed-out dude, didn’t he? He’s stressed out. He’s anxious. He’s restless. He has no peace in his life. “The Lord said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord. But the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake. But the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.” God invites Elijah to this place of rest on Mount Horeb. And when he’s there, this big wind comes ripping through the mountains. And it cracks everything open. Breaks the rocks apart. But God wasn’t in the wind. Then an earthquake comes and it shatters through the mountains breaks everything open. But it says, God wasn’t in the earthquake. And then, a big fire comes in and it tears through the mountains, but God wasn’t in the fire.
Then came a whisper. A still small voice, and God was in a whisper. You see, God most often speaks to us in the still small voice, not in the spectacular. It’s often in the quiet whisper that God is communicating to you and I. And when somebody is whispering to you, what do you have to do? You have to quiet yourselves and lean in. If you want to hear what He have to say. Now, if we’re honest with ourselves, we don’t want God to speak in a whisper. We want him to speak in spectacular. Come on, right? We want God to literally write a message in the clouds in the sky, “Joe, yes, you should marry her. God.” Right? “Okay, I can’t miss that one. I got it, God. She’s the one, I got it.” Right? Or like, you got your iPod in and you’re going for a walk or for a run, listen into some tunes, and you’re going down the road, you got your song on. And all of a sudden, it’s like, God breaks and he said, “Hey, Tom.
Yes, God here. Hey, I just wanted to get your attention. Yes, that is the job that I have for you. I’ve showed you that. How many times I have to tell you, Tom? I don’t want you to miss it. So, I figured I break in on your iPod so that you know that it’s me. And oh, by the way, Tom, this is a great song. I’ve been waiting to tell you this until the song finished up because it’s one of my favorites.” Right? Like, we want God to speak like that in the spectacular. But the reality is, is that God most often speaks in a whisper, in a still small voice. And it’s in rest where we can actually hear it. You see, I’ve learned this truth in my own marriage. Okay? Guys, maybe this is a familiar story, reality for you. I’ll come home after a long day. And we’ll be sitting in the living room. And I’ll be doing something on my phone. I got the news on. My kids haven’t seen me all day. So, one kid’s climbing on me. I’m throwing a ball with the other kid. And Colleen has been alone all day with the kids, so she wants to talk. So, she comes into the living room and sits down. And she’s got a lot to say, so she starts sharing it. But the reality is, is there’s so much going on my phone, listening news, playing with the kids, trying to listen to her. That honestly, I really am not listening to anything that she’s saying.
And she just keeps talking. And she just keeps talking. And at some point, she realizes I’m not listening so she just stops talking. The only problem is, is I haven’t realized that she stopped talking. Guys, how many of you know that’s a bad moment? Right? It’s really bad. And I remember one time that happened, and Colleen just stopped and she didn’t say anything for a couple minutes. And finally, I realized she wasn’t talking. And I looked at her, and she had just been staring at me for three minutes. She’s like, “Really?” Like, “Really? Yeah, really. I’m sorry.” And so, I looked at her, and this is what she said. She wasn’t mad. She wasn’t angry. She just said, “Hey, Johnny.” She says, “I don’t want to talk at you. I want to talk with you. So, when you’re ready to listen, turn all this stuff off, let me know. And we’ll have a great conversation.” You see, my wife wanted me to value her voice. She won’t to talk at me, she wanted to talk with me. And I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about it like this or not. But God doesn’t want to talk at you, He wants to talk with you.
He wants you to value his voice, and turn it all off to focus in and listen to what He has to say. That only happens in the quiet. And a lot of us will sit here and will think, “Well, I don’t know how to hear the voice of God.” Like, “I need God to write it in the sky because I have no idea what God’s voice sounds like. I don’t know how to hear his voice.” Listen, can I tell you? If you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, you know how to hear his voice. You know how to hear his voice. John 10:4 says, “His sheep follow him because they know his voice.” His sheep. If you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, your sheep follow him because they know His voice. That verse tells us two things. Number one, that God still speaks today. And number two, that you can hear his voice. God still speaks today. And you can hear his voice. And the greatest example I can give to you is this. When you are born on this earth, when you are physically born, you are born with the ability to hear in the physical. Right? When you were born, you were born with the ability to hear.
You don’t have to learn how to hear, you were born with the ability to hear. You needed to learn to tune into your father’s voice. You’re born with the ability to hear. You just needed to learn to tune in and cut out all the distractions. Well, when you’re spiritually born again, when you’re spiritually born in Jesus, you’re born with spiritual ears. You’re born with the ability to hear in the spiritual realm to hear God’s voice. You don’t have to learn how to hear God’s voice. You need to learn to tune in to the father’s voice. You don’t need to learn how to hear, you just need to learn to turn in into your father’s voice. You have spiritual ears. When you were born again, you spiritually are able to hear. And so, it’s not that we’re unable to hear the voice of God. It’s that our lives are too loud and busy to hear the whisper. And that’s why we rest. You see, every day we make ourselves available to the voices of this world. In fact, right now, if you’ve got a phone in your pocket or phone with you, you’ve made yourself available to the voices of this world. We carry around a phone so the voices of this world can get ahold of us at any point in time, Facebook, text message, Twitter, emails, phone calls, whatever it is.
We carry around that phone. And a lot of us, we carry it around so much because we’re terrified of missing out on what somebody in the world might want to say to us. Listen, we got to make ourselves available for God’s voice and be terrified of missing out on what God might want to say to us. That’s why we rest. I mean, have you ever see somebody on their phone? World War III can be happening around them. And they have no clue because they’re locked into the voices of the world coming through to talk to them. So, we got to get with God. Because one word from God can change everything in your life. 1 Samuel 3:10, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” Speak, Lord, I’ve turned it all off. You don’t have to talk at me, I want to talk with you. And I’m listening. But the reality of it is this. I think we’re afraid to rest because we’re terrified of the quiet. I think we’re afraid of the quiet. I think we’re afraid of what you might hear in a quiet moment.
I think we’re afraid of being alone. I think we’re afraid of what God might ask us to do. I think we’re afraid of having to be obedient with what he now just shared with us. I think we’re afraid of having to look in the mirror of our own hearts in our own lives. I think we’re terrified of the quiet, so we keep our lives busy. So many people come in and going that you can’t even rest. And we complain about being busy. “Oh, I’m so busy. I’m stressed out. Too much going on.” But the reality is, is we keep it that way because it’s comfortable. It’s what we know. We’re comfortable in that environment. I think we’re terrified of the quiet. I think we’re terrified of the quiet. Some of you are like, “Dude, don’t ever do that awkward silent pause thing again.”
I’m just saying, I don’t like that. We’re afraid of the quiet. And we miss out. Because God says the most profound things in the midst of the quiet.
It was in a quiet place where he told Moses his name, “I am the Great I Am.” It was in a quiet place when the woman caught in adultery, who was about to be stoned to death, thrown to the ground. After all of her accusers had left her and Jesus a quiet moment, and in that quiet place, Jesus looked at her and said, “Woman, I do not condemn you. I love you. Now go and leave your life of sin and follow me.” It was in a quiet place where Jesus told the disciples in the Last Supper about the Holy Spirit, what the Holy Spirit was going to come and do in their lives. It’s in the quiet place where God says the most profound things. It’s true in my life, it’s true in your life. And in fact, I want to ask you a question this morning. What profound thing might God be wanting to say to you that you just can’t hear because you’re not willing to go to that place of rest? To listen. He’s got great stuff, profound things. When he told that woman caught in adultery, “I do not condemn you. Go and leave your life of sin,” it changed the rest of her life.
What word does God want to say to you in the quiet place? It will change your life.” Come with me by yourself to a quiet place and get some rest.” Rest is only found in Jesus. And God’s voice is the loudest when our hearts are the quietest. Okay? It’s in rest we get to hear his voice. And the second thing is this, in rest, we get to know his heart. We get to know his heart. Look at verse 13 again. “When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.” Elijah hears the whisper. He pulls a cloak over his face, and he leans in. He draws near. He presses closer to intimacy. See, I know some of you are thinking, “Why does God speak in a whisper?” God speaks in a whisper because whispers always lead to intimacy. And God is more interested in you knowing his heart than you getting that answer to that big question that you want Him to answer.
So, it’s in the quiet place where He whispers to us. And in that whisper, we lean in. And we drop near. And we come to this place of intimacy. And we get to know His heart. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Be still and know that I am God. Which means, there are some facets of knowing God that can never be pursued that can only be received. There’s some realities of knowing God that you can never pursue. You can never chase. You can never discover. You can never find. You can never make it happen in activity. You can only receive it in the midst of the quiet, “Be still, and know that I am God.” You see, I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about it like this or not, but rest is the foundation for authentic intimate relationships. Okay? Rest is the foundation for all authentic intimate relationships which is why Jesus would invite the disciples and why he invites us to a quiet place.
Because you’ll never be able to build intimate authentic relationships in busyness, in doing, in chaos, in activity, in work, it’s in a quiet place. In fact, I would say, think of your relationships right now. Again, every relationship in your life, and I would bet that the relationships you have the most intimacy and authenticity with are the people you regularly rest with. I would bet in your life, if you just examine it, the most authentic intimate relationships in your life are people you have casual conversation with, that you sit and have a long cup of coffee with, that you go for walks with, that you just are together with no agenda. The best relationships in our lives are with people that we regularly rest with, because it’s in rest where you’re yourself. And you open up your heart and your life, and you take off your mask and you stop pretending. You stop performing. No fear, no control, no agenda, no ambition, just yourself. And you talk and you laugh, and you share, and you open up your heart. Ladies, it’s where you take off your makeup. And you don’t care that anybody sees you. Guys, it’s where we stopped competing and comparing with this pride of trying to one up each other, and you just are.
It’s in the quiet place where we get to know and be known. It’s not an activity. It’s not in work. It’s not in busyness. Rest is the foundation of authentic intimate relationships. Which means, if you’re not regularly resting with the relationships in your life, you probably don’t have authenticity or intimacy. You’re probably like ships passing in the night. You might be in a marriage where you’re doing a lot of stuff together. But man, you’re certainly not authentic and intimate because you don’t rest together. Which means, if we don’t regularly rest with Jesus, we’re not going to be authentic or intimate with him. You see, I was thinking the best example I can come up with this week as I was thinking. Right now, there’s a whole bunch of people in here. And I could invite you up here. And you could stand here. And for 30 minutes, you could literally talk about my wife, Colleen. There’s a whole lot of people in here that know a lot about my wife, Colleen. They could get up here. And for 30 minutes, you could literally sit up here and talk all about her. You know about her. You could tell me that she has red hair and that she went to Hope College. And she’s from Chicago. And she has two kids.
And she is married to me. And this is what she does. And this is what she likes. 30 minutes, no problem. You can talk all about Colleen. But then, I could get up here. And I can talk about Colleen. And what I would say would be totally different. It would carry a different weight, a different authority, a different depth. Why? Because I don’t know about Colleen, I know Colleen. I can tell you about her dreams, her desires, her passions. I can tell you about the things that make her cry, the things that bring joy to her. I can tell you about the things God’s been speaking to her. I can tell you about the prayers she’s been waiting on God to answer. I could tell you all kinds of things about the heart of my wife. Because I don’t know about her, I know her. And the reason I know her differently than anyone else in this room is because I’ve rested with her. We’ve gone on long walks. We’ve sat on the couch late at night. We’ve had conversations. We’ve gone on vacation. We’ve rested. And it was in those moments of rest where she shared with me the treasure of her heart.
She doesn’t share the treasure of her heart with me in the busyness, in the chaos, in the running around of life. It’s in the quiet moments of rest where she reveals to me the deep things inside of her heart. And one of my fears is that we have a whole generation of Christians rising up that know all about Jesus, but don’t know Jesus. That could get up here and for 30 minutes tell you all about Jesus. “Oh, yeah. He’s the Son of God. He saved the world. He talked about this thing called the kingdom. He came, and he lived a perfect life but he died of a horrible death on the cross. And then, he rose.” You can say all about Jesus, but we don’t know Jesus. We don’t know his dreams, his desires, what makes him happy, what grieves his heart. We don’t know Jesus. We know all about Jesus. And that terrifies me that there’s a generation of Christianity rising up like that. But listen, Psalm 103:7 says, “He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel.” He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel.
Which means, Moses knew God’s heart, Israel knew his hand. Moses knew the heart of God. It was revealed to him. Why? Because Moses rested. He knew God’s dreams and desires, and hopes, and all that stuff. Moses knew the heart of God. Israel knew the hand of God. They knew the deeds. They knew what God did in their life, but they didn’t know the heart of God. Think of the Pharisees and the disciples. Do you realize the Pharisees knew more about Jesus than the disciples did? They knew all the prophecies, all the Old Testament stuff, all the Scriptures. They knew about Jesus, but the disciples knew Jesus. Why? Because the disciples rested with him. And it was in the quiet moments that Jesus revealed himself and taught us the understanding of the parables and his dreams and his desires. It all came in the quiet. You see, God’s heart is a treasure that is revealed to those who are willing to quiet themselves. To treasure has only given to those of us who are willing to go into a place of rest. And he is constantly inviting you there.
Okay? Are you with me on that? Okay. Can I bring this all together? Three of us are like, “Yes, we can bring it together.” Let me bring it together. I know you’re thinking. Okay. Let me bring it all together. Luke 10. You’re familiar with this story. This is quick. It says, “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he had to say.” It’s in rest we hear his voice. “But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She was overwhelmed, stressed-out, anxious, running around in the chaos land. She came to him and ask, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to help me.'” It’s amazing how offended we get at people who are in rest when we’re stressed out, isn’t it? When we see somebody in life, and they’re just happy walking through life, man, God’s good. We’re like, “Who are you, man? That ain’t right. I need some of that.” We get offended. Right? “‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her.'”
See? Jesus says, “Mary has chosen me. She’s chosen rest. And Martha, you can’t take it away from her.” Do you realize when you rest in Jesus, no one can take it away from you? The reason we struggle finding rest is because we think it’s in a vacation or personal time or owning the right things, or all this stuff that can get taken away from you at any point in time by a circumstance or a situation. When you rest in Jesus, no one can take it away from you. And so, Martha needed to rest from some things. Mary was resting for some things. She was hearing his voice and getting to know his heart. And listen, if you’ve been in church for a while, you’ve heard that story and you know all about it. But here’s the deal. This week as I was studying in John 12, okay? So, that’s Luke 10. That’s what happens. Jesus invites Martha to come and sit and to rest. He invites her into that place of rest. But in John 12, which most scholars believe is a year later, okay?
A year later in time, catch this story. Luke 10 has happened. Jesus has invited Martha to sit. She had that moment. A year later at John 12:1-3, “Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’s honor.” Are you ready? “Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume, she poured it on Jesus’s feet and wiped his feet with her hair.” A year later, and Martha is still stressed out. A year later, Martha’s still overwhelmed. A year later, Mary’s still sitting, resting at his feet. You see, Martha never got it. Mary never lost it. Martha never responded to the invitation to come and rest.
Was she a follower of Jesus? Yeah. But she didn’t embrace the rest that he offered. I wonder how many of us sitting here today have heard a sermon just like these multiple times in church. And we’re still stressed out today because we’ve never responded that Jesus is invitation to come away with him by ourselves to a quiet place and get some rest. You see, I know a lot of you right now, you’re thinking, “That’s great, John. But how?” Right? We want the how, we’re right around this part of the sermon. You get to like the how, what’s the one, two, three how? Well listen, I could give you a one, two, three how, okay? I could say something like set a place, set a time, have a plan to go and rest with Jesus, right? Or I don’t know, do your priorities or get some things in… Or I mean, I could give you all kinds of how. Can I tell you? You don’t need the how. You don’t need to how. Let me close with this. When I first started dating my wife, Colleen, nobody had to tell me how to get along with her.
Think about it. Nobody had told me how and nobody had to convince me to want to do it. I would wake up at five in the morning to go to her house at 5:30 to have a cup of coffee with her so I could drive to Denver to go to school and work all day. I just wanted to get 30 minutes with her before the day started. And it was never too early to get up and go meet with Colleen. I knew exactly when she got out of work. And I would make sure I was there to pick her up so I can take her out for dinner. And we could go spend some time together, and just talk and hang out. I would make sure on Saturday, I had nothing else going on so I could pick her up and we could go for a hike in the mountains. So, I could be with her in a quiet place and hear her voice, and get to know her heart. Nobody had to convince me to want to do it. And nobody had to tell me how to do it. I couldn’t wait to do it. It just happened because I desired to be with her. And what I think we so often want to do in the American church to say, “Give me the how.” I’ll give you three points. You could write them down. Let’s be honest, you close your journal. You’ll walk out of here. And tomorrow you’ll wake up, and you’ll be in the Martha chaos stress bowl of trying to figure out life. And you’ll never look back at those three points out, because it’s not about a how it’s about a who, and His name is Jesus.
Rest is found in him. And we have to desire and want to go to the place that he invites us to, to just rest. Listen to His voice, and get to know his heart. You see, we want the answer of resting from something. But when you start resting for something, all of a sudden, the resting from just disappears. When you rest for hearing his voice and knowing his heart, the resting from, it takes care of itself. And it goes away, because you’re with Jesus. Mary had the same problems, Martha did. Only Mary had a much more peaceful, restful life because she heard his voice. And she got to know His heart. “Come away with me by yourselves to quiet place and get some rest.” And then, it says, “So, they went.”
Will you go? So, Lord Jesus, right here right now in this quiet moment, we invite the Spirit of the Living God to just speak to us. What’s the Holy Spirit whispering to you right now? What is He bringing up as we’ve walked through the Scriptures together? For some of you, he’s just saying, “Man, I just want you to listen. I got some great things I want to say to you. I don’t want to talk at you, I want to talk with you. So, you come to a quiet place with me so you can hear.” Some of you Jesus is saying, “Man, I want you to know my heart. And there’s so much of the treasure of my heart that I want to release and reveal to you. But you got to come to that quiet place with me.” Some of you walked in and you’re stressed and worried, and anxious, and burdened with all kinds of things.
And Jesus says, “I know. I know. I know. But the answer is not found in the things of this world, the answer is found in me.” And when we would get to that place where we let go of the how and focus on the who, you would be amazed at how fast the how takes care of itself. So, Lord Jesus, I just pray that you would give us the desire to want to be alone with you. That you would light a passion in our hearts to seek you, that we may find you. That we would be like Elijah and draw in, press and close to hear the whisper and get to know your heart. Jesus, thank you for the gospel of rest in relationship. And may we choose to walk in it with you to go to a quiet place and find the rest that only you can offer. Lord, we love you, and we need you in this moment. If you’re here and you need prayer for anything, we’re going to have people up here to pray for you.
Maybe you need prayer for rest, prayer for healing, prayer for just chaos in your life. Let these people pray the rest of Jesus over you. If you’re new to Valley Creek, I’d love to invite you over here to guest central, I’ll be in there with some of our leaders. We just want to introduce ourselves to you and tell you that we’re glad that you’re here. But I pray you go to a quiet place this week and rest with Jesus. I love you. Blessings.