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Give it a Rest

This blew me away at lifegroup the other night. Hacking through the 1st half of Acts 11. Peter returns to Jerusalem after the Gentile, Cornelius, has the Holy Spirit fall on him and gets baptized. He is immediately set upon by Jewish Christians for daring to mingle with a Gentile. So Peter recalls the whole story, and it says at the end of his telling of it, his critics “quieted down.”

What we found interesting is that this same Greek word is used in Luke 14. Jesus is out walking around on the Sabbath, following by a bunch of lawyers and religious leaders looking for Him to make a mistake. Jesus sees a man suffering from dropsy in front of him. He turns to the religious types and asks them whether it is lawful to heal on the Sabbath. The scriptures say that they kept silent. “Kept silent” is the same word as “quieted down” in Acts.

In Luke 23, after Jesus’ crucifixion, the women saw Jesus’ tomb and how His body was laid. And they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath, it says, they rested according to the commandment. The word “rested” is the same word translated “kept silent” and “quieted down.”

Putting these all together, what do you get? Maybe resting in the Lord has a lot more to do with shutting up for a change. Before the God of all the Universe, the Creator of all things, the One who sees the end from the very beginning, the Merciful and Just God who knows us better than we do, perhaps we’d be wise to be as savvy as the Pharisees and just give it a rest. Realize we have nothing to say that really matters. There’s no defense we can make. No excuse that works. No argument that sounds wise. No plans or strategies that impress.

Maybe we should just give it a rest. Maybe if we shut up, He’ll have a chance to talk to us. Maybe He’ll tell us what to pray for. Maybe He’ll tell us how to pray for it. Maybe He’ll rip our hearts open, as He did mine last night, and show us areas of us He doesn’t yet posses but wants to.

So, for 13 minutes last night, we just allowed Him the opportunity to have His way, to have the floor, our hearts a quiet pool to stir with his finger. To be truthful, we didn’t find it easy. Maybe the joy of transforming lives will give us perseverance. So, we’re writing down what we heard. Our boldness move next week is to share that.

Dangerous stuff.

Dwaine Darrah
McLean Campus Pastor

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