My Resting Place

Jon Burgess


“My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray and caused them to roam on the mountains. They wandered over mountain and hill and forgot their own resting place.” Jeremiah‬ ‭50:6‬ ‭NIV


This whole passage is such a powerful picture of the restorative redemptive heart of God towards his people. He calls His exiles home again. He tells them they will no longer be defined by their sins, but rather by His love. He will conquer their enemies that took delight in their destruction. Verse six, however, is not so comforting, especially if you are one of God's undersherpherds serving his flock. The reason revealed for the wayward state of Israel's soul is that their shepherds have worn them out in a spiritual wilderness with aimless wandering. A good shepherd knows where the stream, green pasture, and safe passages are located. A good shepherd knows when their sheep need to be refreshed and renewed after a long journey. Israel's leaders had led them away from their resting place. Israel's leaders had led them away from their Lord.


Have Christians forgotten their resting place as well? If so, it's the spiritual leaders who must take the responsibility of finding out why. At the risk of oversimplification may I suggest the reason many Christians have forgotten their resting place in Christ is because their spiritual shepherds have as well? How are we supposed to model that which we do not practice? Intimacy with God is something that cannot be faked, delegated or manufactured. Intimacy with God is our resting place. If we, as spiritual leaders of our homes and churches, are not seeking God's face in our resting place we won't be able to give any one else directions on how to get there either. So, if, as a shepherd, I've forgotten where the stream is because it's been so long since I've been there, what do I do? Keep moving. What do the sheep do? Keep moving. If I've forgotten where the green pasture that feeds my soul in Gods Word is, what do I do? Settle for the weeds and the rocky soil. What do God's sheep eat? The weeds and the rocky soil. I cannot lead where I have not gone. No amount of programs, sermon points, or religious platitudes can make up for our true resting place- intimacy with God. The good news is that my resting place can be any place where I slow my pace and seek God's face above all else. When I drink deeply from His river in worship, feed my soul on the green pastures of the truth of Gods Word, then I can easily show everyone I meet how to get there! I can't force anyone to eat or drink, but I can at least show them how to find where they can- their resting place in Christ!


Let my life be a permanent reminder of that which we all so easily forget- Jesus is our resting place. Let me remember that when I lead through busyness rather then through Your presence I am wearing out Your sheep. I will take time to hear the sound of the rain as it hits the earth in sweet refrain. I will turn off the noise, silence the calls so I can hear Your voice above it all!

Devotions for August 26

Jeremiah 50,51
3 John

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