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Official Joseph Prince Sermon Notes

Busy Outside Restful Inside

Sunday, 12 May 2024
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These are notes on the sermon, Busy Outside Restful Inside, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, May 12, 2024, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!

This sermon will be available for free as a Gospel Partner episode on May 30, 2024. You can get access to this sermon now through a Gospel Partner subscription or simply purchase the sermon. Sign up here to receive exclusive access to a masterclass on sleep, Gospel Partner updates, and pastoral insights from Joseph Prince and his team.


  1. You are positioned to receive God’s blessings
  2. Step out of your feelings and get back into the realm of faith
  3. Every problem you encounter is an opportunity to rest
  4. The Holy Spirit guides you in all truth—that you are righteous in Christ!
  5. The ONE thing you need to focus on

You are positioned to receive God’s blessings

From the beginning, God’s dream for His people was that there would be none sick or poor among us and that we would experience days of heaven on earth.

“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you because you obey the voice of the Lord your God.”
—Deuteronomy 28:1–2 NKJV

This is still His dream for us today!

When we look at the context of the verses above, we can see that the Lord positions His people first before He blesses them. But notice that under the old covenant, one’s qualification to receive the position and blessings was contingent upon one’s obedience.

Today, we are no longer under the old covenant, but under the new covenant of grace. There has been a change. Now, we get to enjoy the position and our Father’s blessings solely because of our faith in our Lord Jesus’ perfect work on the cross. It is His finished work alone that has positioned us to receive God’s blessings!

Romans 6:28 says, “Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.” What this means is that when Jesus went to the cross, we were there in Him. He took on all our sin, and the part of us that is sinful, our flesh, was crucified on the cross with Him. So today, in God’s eyes, we are already dead to sin.

Then, when God raised our Lord Jesus from the dead, we were also raised with Him, and are now seated with our Lord Jesus in heavenly places, the “upper heavenlies” in Greek, a picture of the upper room. (For more explanation on this, please see the sermon notes on The Year of Living in the Upper Room.)

Because the Father has positioned us in Christ, seated us at His right hand, and set us far above all principalities and powers (Eph. 1:21), the things that are attacking us, bullying us, the powers of darkness that bring about evil thoughts, depression, foolishness, and addictions, are all beneath us.

But the adversary likes to keep our attention on these negative things. He will always tell you that you are not doing enough and that you have to work harder. His goal is to get you to take your eyes off Jesus and make you focus on your flesh and your feelings.

That’s why it is crucial for us to remember that our Lord Jesus has paid the price for us once and for all, and we are always in right-standing with God. Nothing can change His opinion of us! Therefore, whenever we face any challenge, difficulty, or setback, we can always come boldly before Him and rely on His grace and wisdom to get through it.

Step out of your feelings and get back into the realm of faith

Here’s the thing—the devil cannot touch you when you are in the realm of faith. He can only attack and torment you when you are in the realm of your flesh, your senses and your feelings.

That’s why he’s always pointing you toward yourself, to prevent you from laying hold of God’s promises in faith. When you focus on your flesh, you lose sight of God’s heart for you and that stops you from receiving from Him. But when we focus on Jesus and stand in faith His love and His grace for us, that’s when our breakthroughs happen.

In 1 Timothy 6:12, God’s Word says “fight the good fight of faith.”

What makes a fight, a good fight? When you win it! When we fight to remain in faith, we walk away victorious because we get to receive the blessings that God has for us.

How can I get back into or stay in the realm of faith?

My friend, we remain in faith by knowing our position in Christ and staying seated or being at rest. Whether it’s a health issue, a situation at work, a challenge in your finances, or a sinful habit you are trying to get out of, the enemy will try to get you to look at yourself. He will ask, “What are you going to do about it?”

Stay seated and rested in the Father's bosom, just as the Lord told David in Psalm 110:1: “Sit at My right hand, till I make all Your enemies Your footstool.” My friend, resting is not just simply taking a break or a pause from what you are doing. It is important to understand where you are rested or what you are rested on.

Even in the midst of the chaos and clamor happening in your life, when you choose to focus and rest in Jesus’ finished work for you, you are in the realm of faith. You are taking your rightful place at His right hand. And that’s when you get to experience the Lord raising you above your challenges.

Every problem you encounter is an opportunity to rest

When we are faced with obstacles or challenges, it is easy for us to begin feeling anxious, stressed, and worried, and busying ourselves with all that we need to do to overcome them. Whatever the challenge, let it become a new resting for you. That’s the attitude that our Father wants us to have, and Pastor Prince calls it having a “throne attitude.” The more you rest, the more you will see your victory.

There is an account in 1 Kings that records what could happen when we are focused on busyness:

“While your servant was busy here and there, he [the enemy] was gone [escaped].”
—1 Kings 20:40 NKJV

When you are busy or occupied with many things in the natural, the enemy wins! So instead of being busy doing, doing, doing, as children of God, every challenge we face is a time for us to lean in to the rest that Jesus has bought for us on the Cross.

Moreover, the anxiety, worry, stress, we feel is really a symptom of a deeper issue. The root of it is that we have forgotten or lost sight of our righteousness in Christ! Consider the next 2 verses:

“Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.
—Job 22:21 KJV
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
—Romans 5:1 NKJV

Notice how Job 22:21 tells us that before good happens, we must acquaint ourselves with the Lord and be at peace? Then in Romans 5:1, God Word says we already have peace with God through our Lord Jesus, having been “justified by faith.”

This means that before we can receive good—our blessing or breakthrough—we need to first receive our righteousness from our Lord Jesus and assume our place next to Him. Then the peace that garrisons our hearts and minds from fearsome worries and cares will come. This peace, which is from God, is not something that we can earn with our own efforts. It is something that we receive when we focus on the finished work of Christ!

This does not mean that we should relinquish or neglect our duties and responsibilities. What this means is that we need to remain in His peace on the inside, even as we go about our day, doing what we need to do.

Let’s look at what happens when we choose to take our place of rest in the heavenly places or upper room with our Lord Jesus . . .

“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.”
—Acts 2:1–2 NKJV

On the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was given, He descended from heaven as a “rushing mighty wind,” and filled the whole house, or upper room, where the disciples were sitting. This is a picture of us today, seated with Christ in heavenly places, filled with the Holy spirit, and full of the Lord’s power and blessings!

The Holy Spirit guides you in all truth—that you are righteous in Christ!

Now that the Holy Spirit has come, you might be wondering, “How does the Holy Spirit help me when I face my challenges?”

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”
—John 16:12–14 NKJV

Some believers may have the misconception that our Lord Jesus is no longer with us since He ascended into heaven. However, that is far from the truth! In fact, He is ALWAYS with us through His Holy Spirit that abides within us, and He still speaks to us and guides us through the Spirit.

In addition, there are those who believe wrongly that the Holy Spirit is here to find fault with and judge the believer. Based on the verses below, we will see that this is not true, and is the complete opposite of God’s heart for you.

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”
—John 16:7–11 NKJV

The Holy Spirit does 3 things:

  1. “He will convict the world . . . of sin, because they do not believe in Me”—He convicts the world, those who do not believe in Jesus, of their sin of unbelief.
  2. “of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more”—He convicts us, God’s beloved children, of our righteousness in Christ.
  3. “of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged”—Last, He convicts Satan, the “ruler of this world” (John 12:31, 14:30), of his judgment from God.

So the truth is, when you are faced with challenges, when you have failed, when you feel lousy and far from God, that’s when the Holy Spirit, that warm friendly voice inside you, will rise up and say, “You are still the righteousness of God in Christ.”

The ONE thing you need to focus on

But how do I know if what I am receiving is from the Holy Spirit?

The answer is found in the same passage where our Lord spoke about the Holy Spirit (John 16:12–14). He calls the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, and says that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. Then in verse 14, our Lord says, “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” So the key is that whatever you receive must glorify our Lord Jesus and nothing else!

Today, we are constantly flooded with lies and half truths through what we see and hear around us, so much so that we often cannot tell what is the truth anymore. The only way we can get the truth now, is from the Word of God (John 17:17).

Given the lack of truth in the world, and the confusion that many people face because of it, right believing in the truth is all the more important for walking out the new covenant realities that our Lord spoke about during the Last Supper in the upper room. Once our believing is right, there will be right living and right behaving.

Another wrong belief that people have is that we have to “die to our sins” every day. This misconception comes from the verse in 1 Corinthians 15, where Paul says “I die daily.” But what Paul actually means here is that he faces death daily because of his ministry. Not because of his sins!

When Jesus died on the cross, it was for our sins once and for all (Rom. 6:10). There is no longer any need for us to die to our sins for we are already dead to it. Neither is there any need for us to offer sacrifices for our sins like the Israelites did under the old covenant (Lev. 4). Under the new covenant, our reality is that we have been fully forgiven of ALL our sins!

This means that when you are faced with a challenge or temptation, when you are filled with doubt, fear, or unbelief, you don’t have to try to overcome it with your own strength. You can simply focus on your position in Christ, rest in His forgiveness and His gift of righteousness, and receive your breakthrough by His grace.

This principle is something that we can also apply in our relationships. If you are married or are a parent, do not always be quick to find fault with your spouse or children. Instead, keep reminding them of their identity in Christ and allow the Lord Himself to speak to them through the Holy Spirit.

Finally, my friend, don’t worry that knowing we have God’s complete forgiveness will give believers a license to sin. The Lord Himself tells us that whoever receives much forgiveness, will love Him much (Luke 7:44, 47). In fact, knowing that you have been completely forgiven is crucial to making the new covenant of effect in your life!

“And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,’ then he adds, ‘I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.’”
—Hebrews 10:15–17 ESV

Beloved, in the days to come, continue to be reminded and convicted by the Holy Spirit that you are the righteousness of God in Christ. Also be conscious of and believe that you have your heavenly Father's complete forgiveness. This is the only way to live in the new covenant. Our Lord’s work at the cross is perfect and complete. There is nothing more for you to do!

We hope these sermon notes blessed you! If they did, we encourage you to get the sermon and allow the Lord to speak to you personally as you watch or listen to it.

© Copyright 2024
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.

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