The Resting Place

Dec 23, 2019 | Manna for the Soul, Song Presentations

Soak in this meditation on the comforting and far-reaching doctrine of the sovereignty of God

Written and read by Robert Weston, with Colin Owen as the voice of the Lord.

The full list of improvisations and pieces that you will hear are:

Part 1: Bells
Innocent: Wings of the Wind
Immortal invisible God only wise (hint of)
Hail to the Lord’s Anointed (Traditional Hymn)*

Part 2: He holds me

Part 3: Storm Petrel
Lullaby (Philip Spratley, from his beautiful Outlaw Suite)

Amongst the musicians were Christiane von Albrecht, Megan Topper, Julia Herzog, Thomas Herzog, Peter Richards, Francis Cummings, Jane Horsfall, Shirley Richards, Corinne Frost and Fontane Liang

The Resting Place – A Meditation on The Sovereignty of God

Lord, you say, “This is the resting place. Let the weary rest. This is the place to be refreshed.”  (Is 28:12 EHV)
We are longing just to come and be refreshed.

The Lord:

Come aside a while and ponder My sovereignty. So far from being a distant or highfaluting concept, this is manna to your soul and truth to bring repose to weary hearts and minds. I am sovereign: this is the bedrock of everything in all creation. I am before all things and in Me, all things hold together. (Col. 1:17) The more you dare to believe this, the more it will focus your gaze on the Lamb upon His throne, and keep you from being led astray by every wind and whim.

The believer:

So here we are, Lord, bombarded on every side by make-believe reality and the strictures of a consumer society; immersed in the insistent mantras and populist slogans of governments and corporations, rights groups and movements – so many agendas, so many principles; so much intolerance, and fang-toothed, talon-clawed opposition.

How we need not just a short-term break, but an eternal resting place deep within our hearts. Forgive us when we allow these things to impinge so strongly on our senses to weigh more heavily on us than the faith that beholds the invisible and perseveres accordingly.

You are not a man that You should lie, nor the son of man that You should change Your mind.  Have You not said, and will You not do it? The day will come when Your feet stand again upon the Mount of Olives, Lord Jesus, and Your glory fill the world.

The Lord:

My hand is on the tiller and My purposes cannot fail.  I stand alone, and who can oppose Me? I do whatever I please and none can gainsay My word.  (Job 23:13)

Come near you nations and listen; you people, hearken to all I have to say; (See Isaiah 34 1-2)

I brought Israel up from Egypt, the Philistines from Crete and the Syrians from Kir. It was I who delivered Israel from the tyranny of the Pharoahs, then from the Baals and then from Babylon – and it is I who rescue you from your many scrapes!

The rulers of the world conspire together against Me (Ps. 2:1–2) but My anointed One is King over all the nations of the world. I have given Him the nations as an inheritance (Ps. 2:8) – yes even those nations that rage so loudly against Me.

The believer

Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to Your name be the glory, for Your steadfast loving-kindness and for the sake of Your truth and faithfulness.  (Ps. 115:1 AMPC)

We are the inheritors of Your kingdom, and we live and move in Your glory, in the peace and security that comes from following the Prince of Peace.

Voice: The Lord

The eyes of the arrogant will be humbled and human pride brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.

The LORD Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted – and they will be humbled. (Isaiah 2:11-12)

The believer:

Yes Lord, scatter all that is proud and lofty in the imagination of our heart and bring us to that deeper place of knowing that we are living and praying according to Your will;
no longer asking amiss by following our own desires but increasingly conformed to the image of Your Son,
whose only desire is to do the will of the One who had sent Him.

Rather than looking wistfully at someone else’s gifts and opportunities, or bowing down at the shrine of our own achievements, we cry out with the psalmist, ‘All our springs are found in You!’ (Psalm 87:7)

You, who did not spare Your own and only Son, do not spare us from Your work of refining.
Remove all bias and boasting from our hearts;
fashion within us a true and lasting humility so that we are spared the fate of Aaron’s foolish sons and Eli’s licentious offspring. (Lev.  10:1-3)

Keep us from becoming like Demas, who put love of worldly things ahead of serving You (2 Tim. 4:10).

Part 2: The Lord:

Though you see many things that might make you despair, when you indulge your woes and listen to your fears, and when your faults and failings shout aloud from the roof tops,
and your senses are inclined to shrink in the face of all these discouragements,
never forfeit the godly foundations I have procured for You:
My arms beneath and My throne above undergirds all.

There can no more be any such thing as ‘salvation by worry’ than there could be ‘salvation by works alone’. The fairest fruit comes when you admit your helplessness and look away to Me.

How can you truly be free in My presence if you fix your eyes on earthly things and seek honour praise and approval more from one another than from Me? (John 3:12, 5:44)

The believer:

From heaven you make us hear Your voice to discipline us. (Deut. 5:24, 4:12, 36)  You truly give and take away: blessed be Your name. (Job 9:12)
Many plans occupy our hearts and minds: but may Your purposes alone prevail (Prov. 19:21).

The Lord

I am the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; and the key to this treasure is to be found by pressing in and onward to know still more of Me as I work all things together according to the counsel of My will, on behalf of those whom I have chosen from before the beginning of time itself. (Eph. 1:11)

My foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: ‘I know those who are Mine – and everyone who confesses My name must turn away from wickedness.’  (2 Tim, 2:19) Those who believe and trust in the precious cornerstone of Christ need neither be disturbed nor give way (Is. 28:16).

The believer

You are the Alpha and the Omega, the architect of all, and the potter who shapes and recreates all things for Your pleasure.

Keep us from the barnstorming of the enemy’s thrusts and lies, swiftly acknowledging the things we need to repent of, and identifying those inevitable surprise attacks we need to rebuke.

Grant us discernment to recognise Your strong hand behind the things that come upon us, to know that even our very afflictions are no chance or random event, but deeply disposed and ordained of You. May we not be unsettled by our trials, but recognise, for as Paul declared, we are indeed destined for them. (1 Thess. 3:3).

If sometimes the measures You adopt feel extreme, and the situations we face most daunting, help us to maintain our confidence that You intend to be glorified through our surrendered lives. You do not err in what You allow to come our way. (Job 9:12) Even when our soul is sore and pressed with sorrow, yet we have but to look to You to find You drawing near.

Even though this new found helplessness is not what we would have chosen, it is what You knew it would be needed to complete the cycle of things You intend us to overcome, and to turn from all the glorying and boasting in vain things that so characterises this present era.

It is not so much that You help those who help themselves, but that You help those most willing to confess how unable they are to help themselves. For whatever our outward limitations our hearts and springs are at liberty to find their joy and freedom with You.

Seated on high You yet stoop so low to meet us as and where we are. No matter that may sometimes feel like worker bees, gathering but a fraction of a teaspoonful of honey in our lifetimes, yet we are doing and seek to do all that you have commissioned us to do as we look above and not at the things of life.

You are our refuge and our fortress, O God, in whom we trust (Psalm 91:2). You are fully committed to take all that we give You and to work it out in ways that lie far beyond our understanding. You ride on the clouds in Your majesty yet come to our aid. (Deut. 33:26)

Fickle and foolish our ways, but stable and strong Your throne – and set and secure Your far ranging purposes. Make us, each one, more patient in adversity, tossed no longer every which way by each fresh challenge, but pressing on to pursue the unsearchable riches we have received in Christ (Eph. 3:8).

Lord of our hearts, and Lord of our destinies, You alone know the days allotted to us. (Job 14:5)
Direct the flow of our days according to Your sovereign purposes, and just as You fine tune and regulate every living thing in all creation, regulate the precious hours that You have entrusted to us, as we wait for Your supreme and blessed hope to be revealed once more from Heaven (Titus 2:13).

You alone our refuge, and Your everlasting arms will never let us down.  You have made our hearts a resting place beneath the shadow of Your wings – and we ascribe glory to Your name, dearly beloved and Eternal God (Deut. 33:26-27).

Part 3 The Lord:

My compassion is not dependent on what you do. Neither does My justice depend on human will or exertion. My compassion and mercy spring from My mercy seat. (Rom. 9:15-16) Seek My mercy on behalf of erring souls and nations, streets and towns and regions, careers and professions.

My Sovereignty is not blunted or diminished by your failures. I can yet rearrange the strands of your lives, and ordain strength and fruitfulness even from the pits of your failure. Have I not brought you to this place where you have reached the end of your own resources, in order that I can rule and reign in your lives? Since nothing lies beyond My ability to redeem, can I not turn tragedy into triumph?  I am and always will be, and those who submit to My leading will find themselves encompassed in My great purposes. Those who want to be My disciples must follow Me, because I desire My servants to be where I am. I will honour anyone who serves Me.

Listen only for My voice: this is the way and you must have the courage to embark upon it. Allow no foothold to the forces of fear and disappointment, for they have the power to shut out the awareness of My presence.

Come to Me afresh and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  (Matt. 11:29)

The believer

Lord, let me keep saying Yes to you! You have made known to me the paths of life; and You will fill me with joy in your presence.

You reign over heaven and earth (Rev. 19:6), and I will give You thanks at all times and in all places for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:20).

My heart pants after You, for though Your way is mysterious and leads through the sea where your footprints are not seen, and even in the whirlwind, Your love is stronger than death, and Your desire for me is so much keener than mine for You, yet always leading home to You.

You are not a servant to do our bidding and yet You allow us to enquire of You (Ezekiel 36:37), and take into account the little that we offer You.

Come in Your glory and fill our hearts. Refresh our spirits with sweet cordial and living water from Your heavenly streams. Lift us above our limitations to embrace Your limitless life so that from that resting place we in turn may cultivate great faith and creativity in the hearts and lives of many.

Shape the likeness of Your Son in us so that we do not miss out on any part of Your wonderful, uplifting command to rejoice in You, yes to rejoice always in You, O God our eternal resting place, for we dwell under the shadow of your wing.  (Phil. 3:1, 4:4).


*Hail to the Lord’s anointed; Great David’s greater son. James Montgomery (b. Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland, 1771; d. Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, 1854), was the composer of this and over 400 other other hymns, 100 of which are still sung to this day – including Angels from the realms of glory. He was the son of Moravian parents who died on a West Indies mission field while he was in boarding school, Montgomery inherited a strong religious bent, a passion for missions, and an independent mind. He was editor of the Sheffield Iris (1796-1827), a newspaper that sometimes espoused radical causes. Montgomery was imprisoned briefly when he printed a song that celebrated the fall of the Bastille and again when he described a riot in Sheffield that reflected unfavorably on a military commander. He also protested against slavery, the lot of boy chimney sweeps, and lotteries. Associated with Christians of various persuasions, Montgomery supported missions and the British Bible Society. He published eleven volumes of poetry, mainly his own, and at least four hundred hymns. Some critics judge his hymn texts to be equal in quality to those of Isaac Watts, Charles Wesley and Cowper.

These are the words of Hail to the Lord’s Anointed:

Hail to the Lord’s Anointed,
great David’s greater Son!
Hail in the time appointed,
his reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression,
to set the captive free;
to take away transgression,
and rule in equity.

2. He comes with succor speedy
to those who suffer wrong;
to help the poor and needy,
and bid the weak be strong;
to give them songs for sighing,
their darkness turn to light,
whose souls, condemned and dying,
are precious in his sight.

3. He shall come down like showers
upon the fruitful earth;
love, joy, and hope, like flowers,
spring in his path to birth.
Before him on the mountains,
shall peace, the herald, go,
and righteousness, in fountains,
from hill to valley flow.

4. To him shall prayer unceasing
and daily vows ascend;
his kingdom still increasing,
a kingdom without end.
The tide of time shall never
his covenant remove;
his name shall stand forever;
that name to us is love.


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