Posted by: mikenicholsblog | May 1, 2016

rest on the Faithful One

Do you ever come to a turn in the road and sense your emotional tank is on “E” (empty)? It may not sound spiritual to admit it, but I do. As you advance in your journey, I am inclined to believe there will be many more times you will feel as though you are running on fumes. If you are not careful and intentional, you will find that your emotional equilibrium will have measurably more “tank drains” than “fill-ups”. If you have followed Christ for any length of time, you can confidently articulate key verses of Scripture which give hope. But if you are honestly struggling to not “stall out,” something needs to change. My trust is, the next few thoughts are just the journey fuel that you need.

Over the years, a friend from another century has blessed me. He feels so much like a friend because of the mentoring influence his own journey has had on mine. Hudson Taylor was serving God in China, sacrificing for God’s purpose and running on empty. At a critical time when his spiritual agony was at its peak, he read a sentence contained in a letter from John McCarthy. The words of that sentence were life changing for Taylor.

“But how to get faith strengthened? Not by striving after faith, but by resting on the Faithful One.”
(an excerpt from Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret, by Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor)

If you have ever sensed your emotions were beginning to stall-out, you can probably relate to what Hudson Taylor felt. And if that is you, consider the words of his friend a “fill-up” for you as well. In the letter from his friend, the Holy Spirit gifted Hudson a “fill-up” of fuel for the journey. The words were few, but they were powerful and life-changing.

He was trying too hard to generate faith, and not understanding that he could simply rest on the Faithful One. He possessed the principle … and stopped striving.  Rest came! Our culture is all about striving to succeed. Although we know better, “I can do it” logic bleeds into our spiritual journey. For years, I found myself working (striving) to have His rest. It was futile.  Are you willing to quit trying so hard to grow in faith? Are you willing to rest on the Faithful One? When the emphasis moves from our striving to His never-failing care for us, there is a powerful change that takes place. I call it rest!

A few pages later in the same book, the words of a non-striving, restful Hudson Taylor are penned. Over the last two weeks these words have inspired me. Read them slowly accepting that, for all Christ-followers, they can be reality!

“I am no longer anxious about anything, for He, I know, is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine. It makes no matter where he places me, or how. That is rather for Him to consider than for me; for in the easiest position He must give me His grace, and in the most difficult His grace is sufficient. —- So, if God should place me in great perplexity, must He not give me much guidance; in positions of great difficulty, much grace; in circumstances of great pressure and trial, much strength? No fear that His resources will be unequal to the emergency! And His resources are mine—for He is mine, and is with me and dwells in me.”

In Christ, our lives can reflect the same confidence and rest!

Life didn’t become easy for Taylor after his eyes were opened to the rest of God. Likewise, our journeys will continue to have twists and turns, but we are not a prisoner to the desperation of running on fumes. God’s design is not for His children to feel empty. He is willing to give us the fill-up of emotional and spiritual energy for each mile we travel. Our challenge is … will we avail ourselves of God’s provision?

Stop trying so hard to be faithful and listen to my mentor – rest on the Faithful One.


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