Rest in the Lord by Pastor Don Moore
This is a transcript of a sermon preached by Pastor Don Moore of Living Word Chapel, West Hurley, New York on 1/3/10
I have slightly edited it to make it easier to read – what is in [brackets] is what the congregation says. I made some of the major concepts bold.
Amen.[amen] You may be and get your Bibles. Let me see them. Lift them up, come on, lift them up. This is [this is] the Word of God [the word of God] in my hand [in my hand] in my heart [in my heart] in my mouth [in my mouth]. I love [I love] the Word of God [the Word of God]. Come on, I love [I love] the Word of God [the Word of God]. I love [I love] the Word of God [the Word of God]. Amen.
I want you to look at two Scriptures with me. And then we want to talk. And I want you to start with Psalm 37. Psalm 37. If you don’t have a Bible, you can look under your seat or look on with the person next to you. Psalm 37. Are you there yet? [yes] If you’re there, say, “I’m there.” [I’m there]. If you’re not, say, “I’m working on it.” [I’m working on it]. Well, more people are working on it than are there. Ok, Psalm 37.
This is one of my favorite Psalms, and I’ve never looked at this aspect of it until yesterday when seeking the Lord, He said this was, this is a good topic, why don’t you present this to the people for their listening. So I want you to begin with me, we’re only going to read seven verses, but I want you to hear it as the Lord speaks it.
Psalm 37:1-7 “Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.” I want you to read verse 7 with me. You ready? Come on. “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.”
I want you to look at the first line of that passage. In verse seven it says, “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him.” Today I want to talk to you about that word, rest. R-E-S-T. As I went to sleep, I was thinking about it. And in the middle of a dream, the Spirit spoke to me and gave me one of those things, you know, what do they call them when they put a letter with a word. [acronym] acronyms for it. So, I want you to write this down. And we’ll go through it and be blessed. Rest. R-E-S-T.
The first word, “R” is to RELY. To rely.
Let’s go to the book of Matthew in the 11th Chapter… Matthew, Chapter 11. There are two verses in Matthew, Chapter 11 that are of great importance to us. We want to see if we can’t gather this in. Verse 28. Matthew 11, verse 28. And it reads, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls…”
These passages speak of this rest that God has for us. When we look at the long history of God speaking to His people, from Genesis to Revelation, we have to honestly admit that God, when He started the whole thing off, was concerned about rest from the beginning. For He made everything and on the seventh day He rested. Isn’t it interesting that rest in the seventh day, the number seven itself, echoes down through the pages of history, and tells us that that rest, Lord have Mercy! That that rest is provided for us by God in that He rested also in His own day. He got to the seventh day and He said, “Everything is now complete and my work is finished, guess what? Let’s rest.”
It’s interesting to me that at this time period here, in these quote, “Last Days.” The one thing that the World is taking away from us is our ability to rest. We are driven people. We are so driven that we are never quite satisfied or at peace enough to rest. I was speaking to a friend and I just asked him, you know, “Well, when’s the last time you went fishing?” And he said to me, “Who’s got the time to go do that?”
And I watch and I see that very seldom are we able to sit down and do nothing. Nothing looks like this. We get something to drink, get something to eat, sit in front of the TV, and find something that is stimulating to the point of excitation. So we very seldom ever rest. We’re usually looking for a movie that is dramatic or drama, is going to emotionally affect us to tears, or affect us to celebration, or is going to bring us to high blood pressure of battles, of life and death. Or, we’re going to go on the shopping channel and look at what we don’t have, and get frustrated, trying to figure out how we can find it. [laughter]
And yet we would say, “What did you do today?” We would say, “I rested.” You liar! You did not. [laughter] You looked for ways to get diversion and ways to get excitement.
And what’s wrong with our marriages? People don’t know how to rest in their marriage, so they look for some stimulant outside of it. I actually had a woman sit in my office and say, “I want out of this marriage.” And I said, “Why?” She says, “Because it’s too peaceful. There’s nothing going on.” [Oh! What in the world? Nothing going on?] And I said, “Baby doll, do you have any idea how exciting it’s going to get if you divorce this man?” [laughter]
She said, “What do you mean?” I says, “Well, you know, your economics are going to be affected. Your sex life is history.” I says, “You’re just going to go through a lot of turmoil. Do you need that?” “Well, aaah, well aaaah, well aaaaa…he’s boring.” I said, “Well train him.” [laughter] “Teach him how to jump rope or something.” [laughter] I got a kick out of that. [laughter]
But we’ve forgotten the art of resting. We look at recreation of, you know, let’s go to Disneyland and lose our minds. Let’s run around and stand in line and, what is the excitement about getting on a roller coaster so that you feel like you just lost your gut? [laughter] We don’t know how to rest. We don’t know how to just do nuttin’ To just cool, you know, even some of the books. I don’t see how anyone can call reading a Stephen King novel resting. [laughter] I’m relaxing. Have you ever looked at these romance novels? [laughter] You know, Jesse, isn’t that his name? Something. I don’t even know. I just see people reading these things and getting all excited. But we don’t know how to rest.
God gave us the Sabbath to rest. So the devil invented Sunday football. [laughter] And when that wasn’t enough, they moved all the little league games on to Sunday. Did anybody notice this? [yes] The devil doesn’t even want you in your church where you might just relax and go home happy. Well, I’ve got to dump my Pastor. Why? He doesn’t get me excited…. You know, he’s not entertaining. I leave church at peace. It’s not the way it’s supposed to be. I should be agitated! [laughter] What??? We should be able to rest.
Men are a problem when it comes to resting. They don’t know how to do that. A lot of men have forgotten how to just play. One of the joys, one of the greatest joys of my life when my kids were little was just sitting. I would just go in the living room and sit on the floor. And they would just come and roll around and we’d laugh, and play. And my wife would say, “What are you doing?” I would say, “Doing nothing.” And we were, we were doing nothing but it sure was fun. [amen] I don’t want to wrestle with them now cause they’re bigger and stronger than me, but you know, they don’t know that, though. [laughter] There’s just some things as a father you don’t tell your kids.
So this word, rest… God has given us the Sabbath so that we would learn to rest. He has given us salvation so that we would come into a relationship that we could rest in Him. He’s going to give us Heaven so we can rest from our labors. Rest is essential.
They did a study many years ago, of giving a culture. They developed a culture where people would not be able to rest. They gave them an 8 day work week. And you know, the Beatles had a song about it. Eight days a week. What we have in this culture, they did it, they went to a village in Mexico and tried it. And they didn’t give the people a seventh day rest. Within 30 to 60 days people were having nervous breakdowns and mental struggles and all kinds of problems broke out because they didn’t know how to rest.
I was a professional workaholic. I worked seven days a week, all the time. And I’m not bragging about it. It was the stupidest thing ever. Not only did I work seven days a week, but I worked two and three jobs during those seven days a week. And I had all the justification for it. I was doing it for my family. They didn’t know who I was. [laughter] I’d come in sometimes to eat and they’d go, “Who is this guy?” [laughter] My wife would just make food and put it in a plastic container and she’d be standing by the stove, and as I was going out the door she would just, put it out.
You know, there was a song in those days. The guy’s in Boston, he gets on the train, and he’s stuck on the train forever. [Charlie and the MTA] “Charlie and the MTA.” (singing) “He never returned, no he never returned, and his fate is still unknown. Poor Charlie, he may ride forever, neath the streets of Boston, he’s the man who never returned.” The guy got on the subway and didn’t have enough money to get off. So his wife would run down to the station as the train passed by, she’d hand him food to go through.
You know, we have ridiculous scenarios like that that we do. We’re working, we’re working for a reason. We’re working for a goal. We’re working for a purpose. And we have to ask ourselves, is that what God created me for? [there you go] Did God create me to be a workaholic? Did God create me to destroy myself? Why do men and women have affairs? It’s usually because they’re working so hard, watch this now. They’re working so hard that they needed a diversion and distraction. And then they make bad choices… Rest.
“R” rely upon. Who do you trust tonight? Who are you relying upon? There’s probably maybe only two people out of this vast crowd that’s here today that could possibly really say, “I have absolutely no financial worries.” I absolutely have no financial need. But for the most of us, most of us have needs and the bills are going to come. And we have bills to pay on a regular basis. We have rent or we have a mortgage. And we have these needs. I’m not saying that you don’t have needs, I’m saying that in the process of life, who are you relying upon for life? Not just to meet your finances or your bills. Who are you relying upon for life? Who are you trusting in and relying upon? Who are you placing the weight of your life upon?
I can remember being younger and feeling that I had to be a success. And that I had to be a success for the different reasons I defined, success. And then I realized, wait a minute. There’s something about this thing called Christ living in me… [hah, I know] That if Christ is living in me, might it be that He wants to rest with me sometimes? [come on] I had a really hard time a few years ago when I realized that financially we were at the place where I could buy a boat. And I really thought boats were really expensive, this boat was only $6000, which you know, you can get a used car for that. So I bought a used boat for that. You know, I felt guilty getting on the boat and doing nothing?… I could always think whenever I got on the boat in the water, I got this boat to rest and relax with my wife, and I’d get on there and just feel so guilty that I needed to do something.
And then I began to look around the harbor, and do you know what I saw? I saw everybody that bought a boat, they bought their boats to work on their boats. And they’d be down there every weekend working on the boat. After awhile, I would go down there and I would say, well maybe I’m supposed to work on the boat. [laughter] And so, I’d bought all the sponges and the sticks and all the other stuff, [laughter] and I’m down there, and I’m scrubbing the hull of the boat, and waving at the people scrubbing the hull of their boat and looking over, and my wife is downstairs and she’s doing the carpet, and she’s doing the curtains, and she’s wiping down the cabinets, and she’s whatever, whatever.
And it just dawned on me, wait a minute. It took awhile not to feel guilty that I got it. Now I’m feeling guilty that I’m not working on it. And I says, “Am I crazy?” I saw that I’m scrubbing, I saw this guy walking down, “Hey what do you do?” He said, “I work on people’s boats.” I said, “Good. Cause I’m through working on mine.” [laughter] “Come over here. Clean this boat, and I’ll see you later, because I bought it to rest on it.” [amen]
I’m talking to somebody here. Some of you bought timeshares, and you don’t use them. I had a lady say to me, “Pastor Don, I’m too busy to use my timeshare.” I said, “Well, give it here.” [laughter] I’ll find a way to rest. Because why? At some point you have to say, “Who are you relying upon?” Well, I want to rely on the LORD to get me through from point A to point B. [amen] I want to rely on Him to give me a God idea as to what I should be doing for money, or how to do it for money. Who are you relying on? Are you relying on the Lord to put you in position to promote you? And give you God ideas to move forward with it. Who are you trusting in? Who are you relying on? REST. To rest means to rely upon God who is greater than you because He will lead you. You all know that one about He’ll guide my steps. What’s wrong with those verses? He’ll light my path. What are those all about? Those are about relying on God to get a God idea.
We sat around the table and there was a question around the table, and it said, “To discuss dreams and goals.” Dreams and goals. One young lady came up with a beautiful answer. She said, “A dream is what you, a dream is what you think about or dream about or fantasize about, that comes up. And a goal is what you decide to do about what you dreamed about.” [amen] I thought that was a beautiful thing. But when you’re dreaming, what are you relying upon to bring you from dream to identify it as a goal? … Did I just lose you? You’re looking at me funny.
In other words, there are many things we dream about, but at some point, when does that transfer into this is now a goal? Well I want to just offer. How many are born again believers? Guess what, the One who’s to point out if your dreams becomes a goal is God. [yes, amen] He’s supposed to tell ya, that’s a dream, but now go for it. He’s the one that’s supposed to set your sail in the right direction and say, “Go for this now.” Because why? “If you rely upon Me, I will bring it to pass for you.” [hallelujah]
The next one is “E” for easy. Easy. And I thought about it. I’m in the middle of the night. It’s 3:00 in the morning. And the Lord is giving me, easy. And you know what He said? “Take it easy.” We need to lighten up. [yes] We are just too dog gone serious. [yep] We need to reallylighten up and laugh. I’d buy joke books. I read them whether they’re good or not. And the goods ones I tell you, the bad ones, I just go, ha, ha, ha. I laugh at the bad ones too. [laughter] I laugh at them because they’re bad. I get just as many laughs from telling a good joke good or a bad joke bad. It’s true. I just enjoy it.
We need to take it easy. We are really too serious. [yes] I mean, we’re just too serious. I said, “We’re just too serious.” [yes] Some of you people who are working for your salvation, are the most serious, boring, hardworking, people in the world. And you need to take it easy. [amen] I mean, take it easy. Easy. Take it easy. Don’t take up golf if you want to relax. That’s a bad hobby. You can’t play golf and have it relaxing till you learn how to take it easy. You don’t care where the ball goes, just as long as it goes. [laughter, right] Easy.
How many of you have ever paid a bill? [laughter] Come on, raise your hands. How many of you have ever paid a bill? How many of you know for sure you’re going to have to do it again? [oh, yeah] Take it easy. Take it easy. After you pay that one, there’s another one coming. Why should you get upset? I have two piles of bills. Ones I can pay, the ones that I can’t. And guess what? I’m not attached to either pile. [laughter] I just put them up there and I put the other ones next to it, and they seem to get along fine. [laughter] We really need to take it easy.
I’ve seen many people ruin their lives because they feel they should have this amount of money and whatever. You know, a guy told me, “I can’t be happy.” “Why can’t you be happy?” “I don’t have enough money to retire.” That’s a lie. You have enough money to retire. You have enough to retire! Cause whatever it is that you’ve got, when you get ready to retire, that’s all you’re going to get. [laughter] So how can it not be enough? That’s what you got.
“S” – satisfy. We need to reach a point where we just go, “That’s good enough.” [alright] That’s good enough. The other day I was in a car, I was, one of the sisters cars. I got in the car, it was a mess. So I had to kick all of the stuff out of the way. [laughter] So I had somewhere to put my feet, and throw the stuff off the seat. So I had somewhere to put my behind. And I thought, I thought, it’s cool. If she’s satisfied with that, I’m satisfied with that. I brushed off my clothes when I got out the car, [laughter] but you need to be satisfied.
Sometimes you’re doing the best you can do. You go to work, you’ve got kids to take care of, you’ve got meals to cook, you know, if you can’t afford to hire a housekeeper, train your husband. [laughter] Train your husband and then just be satisfied. Some people will buy a bigger house, just because they need more room to put their stuff. And then they go out and buy more stuff. If I come to your house and I’ve got to walk through aisles between stuff, I’m going to get you committed and locked up. But short of that, short of that, we need to be satisfied. [amen]
I don’t want to get up every morning and go to a job that I hate. I’m going to tell myself I’m satisfied with the job till the One I’m relying on, opens another door. [amen] Be satisfied. I’m satisfied with my kids. None of them are going to be President of the United States right now. But I’m satisfied. I’m satisfied with where they are in their lives. And you have to be satisfied. I’m satisfied with that.
Still. Still’s hard for me. But I’ve really learned how to be still. I want to ask you a question. Can you sit down in your house and be still? …Cause if you can’t, you’re out of position to hear from God. [right] Learn to be still. And don’t give me the kids thing. Eventually the kids go to bed, and then you can be still with the Lord before you go to bed. Or you can get up a half hour early or 20 minutes early and be still. I have my chair. And when I’m sitting in my chair, nobody bothers me. My wife walks by, the children walk by, and I just get to sit there in my rocking chair, and be still… Can you say, “I can be still?” [I can be still] Some of you didn’t tell the truth. But I pray you’ll work on it. [yes] You’ll get wonderful words from the Lord if you can learn to be still. [amen]
And then the last one, “T” , time. … Time. .If we’re going to rest in the Lord, we have to realize that time is different You may set goals and so forth, and so on. But we’re relying on God. We’re going to take it easy, we’re satisfied with the way things are, and we’re going to learn to be still so that we can realize that God’s time is not like your time. [amen] There’s some marriages in here that, if they had ended 10 years ago, they would never have gotten to where they are now… There’s some of us, that if we had given up on our dream and the goals that God set, we wouldn’t be where we are now. [that’s true] And we have to recognize that God’s got timing. One of the sisters in the church, by the time she came here, she didn’t think she would probably ever get married. That it was probably too late for her. That God’s not going to send the man. It’s just a done deal. I remember praying with her and saying, “Oh now, wait a minute. He’ll give you the desire of your heart. Give you everything you need. Let’s just pray and wait for him.” [amen] Pray and wait… Pray and wait… Because God’s timing is different than our timing. God’s got a schedule. And His schedule is the best. So we have to then, easy, satisfied, be still, God’s timing, and we’ve got to trust that timing. God will bring you to the place that is ordained for you, if you’ll trust Him. Really trust Him.
I hope this teaching blesses you, it sure is something I needed to be reminded of.
Have a blessed day.
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