Refresh by Laura Kestly

Have you not known? Have you not heard?

The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary.

His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength (Isaiah 40:28-29).

True rest comes via God’s Way. It’s a gift that only benefits those who receive it.

So why are so many hearts heavy-laden when Jesus says, “Come unto Me, all you that labor & are heavy laden, and I will give you rest?

Likely because man (referring to woman too) is stubborn & won’t take Christ’s yoke upon him/her and learn from the One who is meek & lowly in heart– whose yoke is easy & burden light (Matt. 11:28-30). Man would rather try things ‘his way’–by his own doing–via his own works and merit instead of placing his faith through Christ in God. Adam & Eve were ruined for not placing their faith/belief in what God had said. Instead of rest, physical toil & pain resulted (Gen. 3:16-19). More ruin ensued after their sons Cain & Abel were born and brought their offerings to the Lord. Cain’s works were evil, because they were his own and of the Evil one. Abel’s works were righteous because they were ‘by faith’ according to what God required (Gen. 4:1-16; Heb. 11:4; 1 John 3:12).

Man/woman will never ‘be at rest’ in their spirit when they choose their own imperfect ways over God’s perfect ones. In order to know what those ways are & in which way to go, reading & studying God’s Word is a must. As Proverbs 3:5-7 says, “…In all your ways acknowledge Him & He will direct (rightly divide) your paths”.

Here are some basic differences in the 2 ways:

  • God’s way rests on WHAT GOD HAS SAID and WHAT CHRIST HAS DONE (not of works so no man can boast—it’s by faith and grace–the believer is ‘complete in Him’ Eph. 2:8-9, Col. 2:10).
  • MAN’S WAY rests on WHAT MAN THINKS & FANCIES–what man can do by merit of works (outwardly). It is religion.
  • GOD’S WAY is through Christianity, which CONSISTS IN A PERSON—CHRIST—concerned with the inner man.
  • MAN’S WAY is through religion, which CONSISTS IN HUMAN AUTHORITY–THROUGH THE EVIL ONE (2 Cor. 11:14, Matt. 13:38-39, James 3:14-15)—concerned with the outer man which is made up of men’s forms, rites, ceremonies, articles, creeds, confessions, doctrines, traditions, building projects, causes, awards…

It was religion that Jesus came against so strongly (Take a peek at who the 8 woes were against in Matt. 23:13-29). It was religion that murdered Abel, had the prophets killed and crucified Christ because it was all energized from the great Deceiver (Matt. 23:30-35, John 8:44).

Man’s ways are just tiring and profit nothing-a wasted striving & chasing after the wind (Eccl. 2:11, John 6:63, Rom. 8:6). One only has to read King Solomon’s reflections in Ecclesiastes 12 to begin to understand. Man is bent toward its old nature and ways and so the necessity to renew the mind to be conformed to a better way of thinking (God’s way) will be the only direction that will give rest to the weary soul (Rom. 12:2, Col. 3:5-10).

God’s Word tell us that although bodily exercise can be a bit profitable, it’s Godliness that is the best investment of time because it has promise in the present life plus the one to come (1 Tim. 4:8).

The outer self may be dying, but the inner self is able to be renewed day by day. There is even rest in the spirit for those who rely on God’s strength & ways while going through disappointments, trials, pain and afflictions on earth because it’s all temporary in light of the hope of eternity (2 Cor. 4:16-18).

So Cast all your anxieties on Him, for He cares for you and refresh your weary soul (1 Peter 5:7).  


The Three ‘Rs’

Live Simply

Caged Bird Sings Out   SEPTEMBER 2015●

 “Live Simply”

by Laura Kestly

Live Simply, Live Simply

the words shoot through my mind

I make things more complex than needed

This chaotic world that’s confined to time

easily tricks & tries to deceive me

Whenever I find myself out of control

I remember the more excellent choice

To rest in a place where true peace can be found

to be still and to hear the Lord’s voice

He reminds me this place is just temporary

my eternal home lies far above

Then the peace of God guards my heart & my mind

in His Son full of mercy and love

I rejoice and am grateful for all God has given

in wisdom and power & grace

I can live simply today in this moment and time

When I seek and behold His bright face.

The 3 “R’s”

As September enters and school is back in session, three ‘Rs’ come to mind (& not just Reading, Writing & Arithmetic).

I’ve come to realize that to have peace in this complex world, the three ‘Rs’ that should be fundamental in our lives are:

Rely, Rest & Rejoice.

  • Rely: Better to rely, not on ourselves, but on God who raises the dead (2 Cor. 1:9). It is better to rely & take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man (Prov. 29:25; Ps. 118:8). Even bad news won’t cause fear when there is a firm trust in the Lord (Ps. 112:7)
  • Rest: We were created to “live, move & have our being in Him” (Acts 17:28). When we are ‘in Him’ (and not ‘in the world’) we can be at rest. Even if the earth gives way and the mountains are moved into the sea… we can be still and know that He is God and that He is with us and is our fortress (Ps. 46). When we prayerfully give (all) our requests to God and trust Him with (all) our concerns and anxieties, He gives us a peace & rest that passes all understanding as He guards our hearts & minds in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:5-7).
  • Rejoice: When we rely on Him (& not on our self) we are able to rest in Him and this causes us to rejoice. There are too many gloomy and depressed Christians walking around today. They most likely have missed the first 2 fundamental ‘Rs’ so have not been able to get to the 3rd one–Rejoice. David could exult when He trusted in the Lord and found Him to be his strength & shield even though he felt on the verge of going into the pit (Ps. 28, 28:7). Paul, who wrote of rejoicing while imprisoned, could only do so because of his deep reliance on the Lord (Philippians: 2:17, 3:1, 4:4, 10 + many more).

Some trust in chariots and some in horses (and some in their “smart” phones, human critics, polls, what’s trending…) but let’s trust in the name of the Lord our God for in Him we will be able to live a peaceful, simple life that we can rejoice in amidst chaos, evil and suffering because we see the things above, the invisible, eternal things and we hear His still small voice (Ps. 20:7; Col. 3:1-3; 2 Cor. 4:16-18; 1 Kings 19:12).

Relying, Resting & Rejoicing in Him, Laura