How to avoid RSS!
By Pastor Doug Cox
The vet could hardly keep from laughing as he told the sincere dog owner that his beloved dog was not suffering from RLS if symptoms only happen when rubbing the dog’s belly. Most everyone has heard of RLS or Restless Legs Syndrome. According to the Mayo clinic “RLS is a condition that causes an uncontrollable urge to move your legs, usually because of an uncomfortable sensation. It typically happens in the evening or nighttime hours when you’re sitting or lying down.” People who suffer from RLS are often deprived of sleep and rest which can be very problematic, negatively effecting every aspect of life. The same can be true in the spirit for those who battle RSS, what I call…………….. ‘Restless Soul Syndrome.’ Symptoms for RSS can be lack of peace, lack of direction and weakness in faith.
The soul of man is connected to both the flesh and the spirit, which can be at odds. (See Romans 8:6) The reborn spirit of man is meant to be in charge and becomes energized from time spent with the Lord through worship, meditation, prayer and study. Soul and Spirit are meant to work together. On the other hand, the carnal flesh wants to control everything and works to get the soul to resist the authority of God’s Spirit and Word. It hates to sit around when there is so much to think about and do. The battle between the flesh and the spirit is a real one and too often the flesh wins. When it does, we may be unknowingly forfeiting a blessing of some kind in our life just like the children of Israel did in the Old Testament. (Read Hebrews chapters 3 and 4 when you get a chance).
Over and over they defied God’s instructions in the wilderness and found themselves dealing with a loving God who finally lost His patience. Because of that He forbid them entrance into His rest, Canaan, the promised land. They, because they let their restless, sinful soul dominate, ended up dying in the wilderness. We can and should learn from their lesson.
Hebrews 4:1 tells us that “…since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.” Ultimately eternal rest comes to us through salvation which comes to us by fully trusting in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. Apart from Him there is no eternal rest. The result of that trust is a reborn spirit. From there we are to live by faith and walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:16 says “…walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”
Taking time to be in the Lord’s presence is important. When we get to busy to have a private time of prayer and worship or scripture reading because of our restless unrestrained soul we may miss the direction the Lord wants to give us. We may be walking away from God’s blessing. We end up being weak in the face of temptation, weak in our witness and weak in other areas. These failures end up short circuiting the love of God that is meant to flow through us and robs us of joy, to name just a couple of the negative effects of a restless soul. Let’s be determined to not to let RSS have its way.