Compose and Repose—Enter Into Rest
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Greetings, and the dear Lord bless you. In Luke 9:10 it tells about how Jesus went aside into a quiet place, and God’s Word says, “He took them, and went aside privately into a desert place.”
You know, we’re living today in such a time of pressure. I hear that word so much. I do quite a bit of counseling and so many people come to me and say, “Oh, I’m just under such pressure. I can hardly stand it, the pressures are so great.” Well, that’s true; we’re living in a day of such busyness, such rush! We hear the word “busy” so constantly that we just almost grow weary of it. It seems to be an excuse for everything. Everybody in this awful hurry and flurry!
Such words as “rest,” “quiet,” “stillness,” and “solitude” seem to have gone out of life. Everywhere streets are crowded with rushing cars, bumping fenders, and screeching tires. Why? Because they’re just hurrying so fast, wanting to pass the car in front of them. They must get to where they’re going; they’ve got to get there in a hurry.
It’s like the man that had a new chauffeur that he had hired, and the chauffeur drove like mad all through the streets as fast as he could go. Then when he got there the man just sat in the back seat of the car and waited. He said to the chauffeur, “What are you going to do with the five minutes? What did you think I wanted to do with the five minutes that you saved by rushing like that?” He said, “I’m just going to sit here now and relax!”
You know it’s really a problem when people come to you and tell you the strain they’re under and you can see the very strain upon their faces. And you try to talk to them about stopping a minute and getting quiet, and, as Jesus said, “Come apart and rest awhile” (Mark 6:31).
We are living in the rapids of time. We’re living in strange and awful days, but the speed with which we move is the most remarkable, and the restlessness is the most deplorable.
Oh, how sweet that old song has grown to some of us, and you hardly ever hear it anymore; I guess it’s so inconsistent with the day we live in.
Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.
Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.
Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.
From the hymn, “Take Time to Be Holy,” by William D. Longstaff, 1882
As I read this, I got so quiet in my own spirit and I began to realize today as I was in this quiet time that so much of the jar and hurry of this restless time, this time of such stress and pressure, had gotten into my own soul. But I can tell you that I know the remedy and I’ve tried it so many times. I know where I can find repose.
I was looking up in Webster’s today the difference between the words “repose” and “compose.” We hear a lot about compose as compared with aspirin—aspirin for the headache—and compose, to bring the body to quiet. And so, Webster’s says that “compose” means “to bring the body or mind to a condition of repose, calmness and quietness.” And “repose,” Webster says, is “to be at peace; in a dignified calmness.”
That sounds awfully good, but how are you going to get there? As I said, I know the remedy for that, but just how some folks are going to find that repose when they’re on the run and in a rush all the time, that I don’t know. I don’t think you can do it! I know that it will take all that strain out of your spirit and that awful unrest from your mind and the tension from your body.
When I get alone to take time in God’s presence, when I read His Word and search the Scripture, and search my own heart and spend time in prayer, oh, I tell you, there’s restored that peace that He promises, a sweet rest that He gives, and the repose that only God can give. He’s the only one that can give that repose.
You know how many fine people today—well, and I started to say in this jet-propelled age—have to take some kind of tranquilizer to calm them down. And I read recently of a man that came rushing home from work and said to his wife, “Oh, I’m just nearly wild with all that happened in the office today! I’ve been under such strain, such tension, that I can hardly stand it! Give me one of those pills to compose me, to calm me down.”
She gave him the pill, but just about that time the phone rang and he was ordered to come back to the office, that this very important customer was ready to give a big order, and he was to come back immediately. And he said to his wife, “Where are those pep pills? I’ve got to have one!” She said, “Why, you just took a pill to calm you down, now you want a pill to pep you up.” Well, that’s the way it is today—take one to pep you up and one to calm you down.
But seriously, the pressures today are many, and some people do have no other recourse. But the Christian does; the Christian has the quiet time, the time of meditation before God, where they can get rest. The Christian has that which can cool the fever of this awful rush, and I want to recommend it to you.
I want to read you some scriptures that will show you the reality of this. God’s Word says—and it’s so essential that you listen to what His Word has to say along this line—in Numbers 9:8, “And Moses said unto them, Stand still, and I will hear what the Lord will command concerning you.” See, he had to get them quiet before he could even tell what the Lord would command for them!
In 1 Samuel 9:27, “And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on … but stand thou still a while, that I may show thee the word of God.”
You just can’t know, in counseling and praying with so many people, how hard it is to get them quiet to listen to God’s Word. There’s a wonderful verse about that: “Now therefore stand still, that I may reason with you before the Lord of all the righteous acts of the Lord, which he did to you and to your fathers.” That’s 1 Samuel 12:7, and the other was 1 Samuel 9:27: “Stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God.” And then in Job 37:14, “Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.”
In Psalm 4:4, “Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with thine own heart upon your bed, and be still.” You know, David always talked about meditating and communion at night on his own bed. And Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God: and I will be exalted among the heathen.” Oh, wonderful verses from God’s Word!
If only we would get into this quiet place. But there are so many places to go, so many things to do. I hadn’t been very long in a home when the mother said, “Well, we’re going to stay home tonight, children,” and the young daughter in the home said, “Stay home? What in the world’s happened, what’s wrong?” “Well,” she said, “I don’t know that there’s anything wrong about staying home.” And then the girl looked up and she said, “Oh, what a bore that will be!” Well, I can tell you, in my early days, we thought it was a wonderful thing, and the thought of staying home wasn’t the thought of not doing anything, and not going someplace wasn’t so shocking.
Seek God’s presence, read His Word that He may refresh your soul and clarify your thoughts and take this strain out of life. Some people just think it’s a waste of time to stop to meditate, and to stop and pray, yet millions have found, through the ages, that only in the presence of God could they find rest and peace, and every symptom of these awful pressures would be subdued.
You’d find that prayer makes available the power of God that can take all the strain out of life. Won’t you think about it? Won’t you get to the Lord? His Word says, “They who have believed have entered into rest” (Hebrews 4:3). But that resting place comes only through faith in God, and faith comes by reading God’s Word (Romans 10:17), and getting quiet in prayer before Him.
God’s Word says, “There remaineth a rest for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9), but you don’t have to wait for heaven to get that rest! You can have it right now. The dear Lord bless you and bring you into His place of perfect peace. “Thou shalt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee” (Isaiah 26:3), God’s Word says. Amen.