The greatest indicator of abiding in God’s presence is living a life of peace and love. If you study the word ‘rest’, as in Hebrews 4:11, you will find it is the opposite of stress, and means a resting place, a place of recuperation from strenuous activity or from your works, a place of heavenly blessings (Psalm 84:4), and a place where no good thing will be withheld (Psalm 84:11); all as a result of obedience which in this nature is trusting and relying on God in that anything that is not of faith, is sin (Romans 14:23).
When you are abiding in God’s presence, you are in His rest, and when you are in His rest, you are in a state of peace. This is why they are all synonymous, if you have one you have the other, and if you fail to achieve one you will not achieve the other.
Exodus 33: 14 (KJV): And He said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
When we talk about this peace that is found in abiding in God’s rest, it is not an ordinary, everyday peace. It is a supernatural peace that passes all understanding.
Philippians 4:7 (KJV): And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ.
When Jesus was with the disciples on the boat during the storm and they had to wake Him, they could not understand that Jesus was sleeping in the midst of death because of His supernatural peace through His Father. As we have discussed, they literally interpreted His sleeping during the storm as His lack of care for their safety (Mark 4:38). This is the peace of God’s presence that passeth all understanding. This is a peace that transcends when you are walking through difficult times in life and there is a supernatural calmness about you that people see and do not understand and may even misinterpret as not caring. This is a peace that is unshakable, a peace that allows you to stand firm when sickness and disease strikes your family, when your income is less than your monthly expenditures. This peace gives you strength and perseverance to stand firm like Mount Zion when the devil sends His attacks at you because he is fearful of your strength in Christ. Satan will try and bring unbelief on you, just like he did to the Israelites in the desert, through distractions (distractions are an intrusion of the mind to disrupt focus) to get you out of God’s presence and into fear (Romans 14:23)! The kingdom of darkness does not want you in God’s presence!
Ephesians 3:16-20 (AMP): 16 May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]. 17 May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, 18 That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it]; 19 [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]! 20 Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]—
There are two things that we need to understand through this passage. First, our strength is the understanding of the perfect love of God. Through this understanding, we not only know He will give us what we ask or think, but He will give it abundantly! Your supernatural peace comes in confidently knowing God will give you an ABUNDANCE of your hearts desires! He will go far and above what you ask for. He will not withhold ANY good thing from you (Psalm 84:11)! If you have a child that needs God in their life, that is a good thing. He will not withhold that from you. If you need a job, that is a good thing. He will not withhold that from you. If you need a healed marriage, that is a good thing. He will not withhold that for you. If you need wealth to pay your bills, that is a good thing. He will not withhold that for you.
This not only applies to provision, but also direction. When you are in God’s presence, you are on your path of life (Psalm 16:11). This is why the greatest way to enter into His presence is not only to thank God for what you have, for that is His will (1 Thessalonians 5:18), but to cast your cares on Him concerning needs and direction (1 Peter 5:7). This will give you evidence of His rest: a supernatural peace that passeth all understanding because you know you are taken care of, protected (Psalms 91), and you know you are fulfilling your purpose through God’s direction. Peace is stability amongst turmoil.
The second lesson from the passage in Ephesians 6 is living out God’s love. When you are rooted and secure in God’s love (v. 17), not only will you have strength and stability amongst turmoil through confidence in God’s provision, but God’s love will be expressed through you in that every behavior, every action that you exhibit in this life will be based on love. As you are in His presence, He will manifest His nature through you, and you will be love because God is love (1 John 4:8), and you will be a light unto the world (Mathew 5:14).
Your strength to overcome the world lies in being rich in God’s presence, or rest (Ephesians 3:16). You are rich in God’s presence when you are rooted and grounded in His love (Ephesians 3:17), because through the knowledge of God, you are able to comprehend the incomprehensible magnitude of His love for you (Ephesians 3:19). This is when you experience the fullness of God. This is not saying you will be fulfilled for its meaning is far greater. It is saying you will be filled with the fullness OF GOD! This is what is lacking when a Christian’s life is ‘not working’ and they try and do life on their own. They do not trust God and they never acquire peace. If you do not have peace, you cannot experience God’s fullness of joy. If you do not have peace, you cannot experience God’s pleasures forevermore. If you do not have peace, you cannot experience God’s path and purpose for you. Peace comes first through belief and trust in God. Then His fullness will dwell on you. When you are rich in His divine presence, it is the foundation, the root of everything God can and will purpose in your life. This is where blessings manifest in your life. This is where you experience God’s anointing and favor, and it all starts with living life in His peace and love.