Wow. It sure has been a while since I’ve written on here. So much has happened in my life over the last few months, and I miss sharing it with you all here!
So here I am, back once again with a bit of an update on life, in hopes that I’ll do better at sticking around this blog in the future. 😀
Since my last post, I have moved to England! Woohoo! I was here for 6 months last year doing a discipleship school with a missions organization known as Youth With A Mission. This organization has individual bases all over the world, and I have since returned to the same one as last year, here in Warwickshire.
I am currently here for a total of 9-months, and am currently doing an intensive Bible study course called the School of Biblical Studies. In this school, we basically spend every waking hour studying the Word. Using the inductive Bible study method, we read through each book five times. Each time looking into things like, the perspective of the original readers & hearers (those the Scripture was originally written to); historical background & cultural context; and essentially write our own commentary based on our own findings & interpretations. We’re a month and a half in and have already studied 6 books: Philemon, Ephesians, Mark, Luke, Acts, & James. I’ll be honest, it’s a lot of work. I’m exhausted. But I’m also so full; so at peace; and so overwhelmed with the abundance of truth God’s Word has to offer.
In the past month and a half, God has been speaking to me through revelation from His Word so, so much. He’s been speaking to me about His abundance in love; His abundance in forgiveness; His mercy and grace astound me. And, most evidently, He’s been teaching me about rest.
Which is honestly ironic, considering I’m doing this school that literally allows no time for ‘rest.’ At least, not the kind of rest most people associate with the word. Sleep & Netflix bingeing are far from my daily activities at the moment, but God’s peaceful presence is oh so much closer.
Going into this new season of study, I had been praying about what God desired to teach me in this time. I’ve learned that with each new adventure and life change, there’s something specific there that He wants to show me. And the repeated thing for this season was…
When He first told me this, I was like, “Seriously? How is that gonna happen? You know what kind of workload I’m taking on, don’t you?”
Haha, of course He did. But that wasn’t His concern. As I continued praying into this, He told me that in this time, He was going to completely flip my idea of rest upside down. There was more to it than my preconceptions. There was a whole new dynamic of resting that He wanted to show me.
And in the last few weeks of non-stop study, He has done just that.
There are many aspects to it that I’ve come to see, but there’s one main theme among them:
Resting is anytime you are focusing on God.
Whether that is in worship, prayer, admiring His creation, studying His Word, anything that draws your sole focus to Him is an act of rest.
God, in and of Himself, is the complete essence of rest. His presence brings peace and serenity, which ultimately provides a safe resting place for our weary hearts. And things like, worship, prayer, and studying His Word, bring us into that presence; that place of refuge and comfort.
As I study His Word throughout the day, each day, I am entering into a place of rest as I direct my focus to how He is working & what He is saying through His Word. Even though it’s a lot of work and can be frustrating at times, I’m there, immmersed in His Word; immersed in His presence.
This new perspective has given me a whole new apporach to the study of His Word in this school. The first few weeks of seminar were, honestly, so daunting. As I was learning to read the Bible from a whole new perspective and think for myself, I was really stressed out. But that’s where God entered in with this revelation, that as long as I stay focused on Him, I will find rest. His peace calms my worries and weariness. It gives my heart joy and confidence in who He is and how He’s working.
And you know what? I’ve seen a difference. Re-directing my focus to Him as I study, instead of the workload or deadlines, has brought me more rest and peace than I’ve ever experienced before. It’s been so amazing resting in His truth and promises. Just letting Him work on the healing needed in my heart and speak dreams and visions for the future into existence.
He is SO good you guys. I can’t say it enough, and I hope you come to know just how good He is. And just how much He has to offer you, if only you redirect your focus to what is in His extended and open hands. He has so much to give. Love, forgivenes, grace, mercy, rest… He’s freely giving it to you, will you freely receive?
“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” / / Matthew 7:11
“Come to me, all who labor & are heavy laden, & I will give you rest.” / / Matthew 11:28
Michaela Joy ❤