1 John 3:19-24

Often, there is a phrase or two in the Bible that jump out at me.  I like to tuck them away and keep them close, ready on the tip of my tongue, strings of my heart, top of my mind.  “Set our hearts at rest in his presence” is one of those phrases.  I know how it feels to be both well rested and ill at ease.  I like rest much better!  His presence has a way – unlike anything else – of bringing rest.  The rest may not entirely be physical, but if we can abide in spiritual and emotional rest, we can get by until that next good nights sleep. 

Daily, we can feel condemnation  – one such reason why feelings are not the gateway to rest!   On those days we can take heart in knowing that God is greater than our feelings, than our mere humanly hearts and that He knows everything.  The good, the great, the bad, the downright ugly.  He knows it all and still, lovingly, invites rest.  I love the contrast here.  If we are not condemned, then we shall stand confident!  But not in our own  efforts, but rather in our gracious God.

 “Receiving from him anything we ask,” interesting.  Are God and Santa Claus alike?  Do I merely make a list of requested items and if I am on the nice list, with my littler heart sitting at rest in His presence, then I get what’s on my list?  I had to mull on this one for a while.  The second part of this statement is just as important as the first – “because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.”  Our hearts are most at rest in his presence  when we respect that presence with wholeheartedness in keeping His commands and doing what pleases him.  Keeping commands is equated with living with God.  You can do one without acknowledging the other.  But, good news!  We don’t have to go it alone.  There is a constant encouragement to both look to and maintain obedience to these commands from the Spirit.   There is continual battle between good and evil.  With a focus on God’s commands and abiding in them, we can abide with Him amidst that battle and find rest. 

{Meditations on 1 John 3:19-24}