You want to live with a soul at rest. You understand that growing in rest is a process. So you ask yourself three questions to foster rest.
Yes, you see the spiritual battle behind the external battles in your home. Yes, you recognize the cues of unrest that your emotions and thoughts provide. Yes, you want to rest in the midst of the battle by clinging to Jesus.
But you might be asking, “So, how do I actually cling to Jesus?”
There are no simple, magical steps of how to cling to Him. But there are a couple of not-so-simple suggestions that can help.
We can follow the instruction of how to cling from Joshua in the Old Testament.
We can follow the example of how to cling from our children.
Follow Joshua’s Instruction
“But you are to cling to the Lord your God, as you have done to this day.
Joshua 23:8 (NASB)
Before his death, Joshua, the mighty warrior, gave the Israelites the instruction to cling to the Lord their God. But he then provided a little insight about how to cling to Him. His instructions were to remember a few key truths.
Remember your past.
“But you are to cling to the Lord your God, as you have done to this day.” Joshua 23:8
Today is probably not the first time you have attempted to cling to Jesus. Don’t discount the ways you have clung to Him in the past. Continue what you have done previously.
Have you prayed? Have you read the Bible? Have you worshiped? Then you have taken steps to cling. Just remember this is going to require some perseverance. Clinging to Jesus is a long-term investment of pursuit.
Keep up the good work! Continue to cling as you have done to this day.
Remember God’s faithfulness.
“For the Lord has driven out great and strong nations from before you; and as for you, no man has stood before you to this day.” Joshua 23:9
When you remember your past, are you tempted to focus on the ways you have failed to cling to Jesus? Don’t go there! We cling to Jesus because of His faithfulness, not our own. Look back and see how He has acted on your behalf.
Has He given you salvation for eternity? Has He provided for a need? Has He comforted you? Has He given wisdom for a decision? Has He defeated an enemy of despair, anxiety, or fear on your behalf (even if only for a moment)? Yes? Then remind yourself of His deliverance. Even the small instances of deliverance. You might want to write down these reminders of God’s faithfulness, so you can pull it out on a hard day.
God always has been and always will be a God of deliverance. Faithfully. He has delivered you before, and He will be faithful to deliver you again.
Remember God fights for you.
“One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, just as He promised you.” Joshua 23:10
The Old Testament is full of stories of God fighting the battle for the Israelites. One time, they arrived at the battlefield to find a field of corpses – the enemy had defeated themselves. Another time, God made the sun stand still until the battle was won. God had promised to deliver them, and that is exactly what He did.
There is no difference for us thousands of years later. God is still the same. He still wants to fight our battles on our behalf, because He passionately loves us and desperately wants us close to Himself. He wants to fight your battles because they are really His battle.
The battle for your soul? Jesus has already defeated the enemy for you.
The battle for your children’s souls? As much as you love them, God loves them more. He wants them to know He has already defeated the enemy so they can be close to Him.
Remember your primary job.
“So take diligent heed to yourselves to love the Lord your God.” Joshua 23:11
In the midst of the battle, the most important thing to remember is to keep on loving your God. Be diligent in loving Him!
Your job is not to do everything perfectly. You are not expected to create the perfect plan. You are not expected to change your child’s heart. You are not expected to win the battle on your own.
Your job is to take diligent heed to love your Jesus.
You can love Jesus by clinging to Him.
Follow a Child’s Example
Perhaps you are still wanting a suggestion that is a bit more practical. You just need to follow the example of a child to know how to cling. Imagine a small child clinging to their mother’s leg. That is clinging. Now consider a few things that child is doing that you can imitate.
You can’t cling if you’re not close.
Really, picture your child clinging to your leg. That’s just impossible if they are on the other side of the room. It’s the same for you. To cling to Jesus you must get close to Him.
How do you get close? Be diligent in the little things each day. Read your Bible. Talk to Him in prayer. Sing a song of worship. Talk to Him early, then continue talking with Him throughout your day.
You can’t cling if your hands are full.
The child trying desperately to not be left in the nursery? They’re not holding on to the toys. They are holding on to you. Your hands can cling more tightly if they are not full of something else.
What do you need to let go of? Unforgiveness? Bitterness? Hurts? Your own agenda? Pride? Insecurity? Yes, I know it is hard to release something that feels like part of you. But, it really is worth letting go so you can cling to Someone better.
You can’t cling by being passive.
The child afraid at the edge of the ocean? They are certainly not passive. Their efforts to cling are absolutely active. To cling requires action and energy. Pursuit like this cannot be passive.
What practical step can you take today? Turn up the music. Sing a song of worship. Write a verse and post it somewhere to see often. Then repeat. And repeat again. Stubbornly hold on to Jesus. Refuse to let go.
Pour out your heart.
You can’t cling by bottling up your thoughts and emotions.
Picture that clinging child once more. What do you hear? Silence? No. You hear sobs, screams, pleas. Children just aren’t concerned with looking good. They are more concerned with being heard. Same for you. If you are going to cling to Jesus, you must express what is really going on inside you.
What is in your heart that you need to pour out today? Don’t worry. God already knows the truth. Carve out a few minutes to be alone with Jesus today (yes, you can make it happen!). Tell Him what is in your heart. Try saying it out loud, even if just in a whisper. He doesn’t need you to tell Him, but He wants you to.
Pouring out your heart expresses dependence on Him. Dependence on God – your Creator, Sustainer of the universe, your true Friend – brings such relief and freedom. Just try it 🙂
Clinging draws you close to Jesus. That’s the whole point. He made you. He loves you. He is good. He is faithful. He is the provider of all you need.
Sometimes you must do something hard in order to find rest.
So today, try one of these not-so-simple suggestions. Cling to Jesus just a little bit tighter, because you can rest in the midst of the battle by clinging to Jesus.