He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.”
Todays verse hits me extremely hard….
Spiritual rest becomes impossible when a person reaches the place where there is very little physical rest in his life. The greatest and maybe most difficult obedience some of us need in response to Christ is to slow down. If the very idea provokes mental objections within you, this may be a good indicator that this truth is particularly applicable to you. The things you spend your time doing will still be there after you are done resting. The world system won’t fail if you take a break in order to be refreshed and renewed. Take a day off and spend it with your children. Visit a friend who lives out of town. Go on a date with your spouse. Or just get alone for a while. It may surprise you to hear the exciting things God has been waiting to tell you.
This is something that God is revealing to me…..How about you?
Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
“I’m thinking of entering professional ministry,” a young man said to me. “What do you want to do?” I asked him. “I’m not sure,” he replied, “but I want to do something in ministry full-time. I want God to use my life and don’t see much opportunity for that in my work.”
I didn’t get into a lengthy discussion with him since his remark was made casually in passing. It did remind me again, though, of the deception that so many people have fallen for in regard to their work. Like this young man, they think that the routine work in their job isn’t that spiritual, compared to the work of those who are pastors, missionaries, and so on.
This common viewpoint is a ploy of the enemy to dilute the effectiveness of Christ expressing His life through our lives. The truth is that your profession, no matter what it may be, is holy. The word holy means “set apart.” There is no dualistic world where some things are spiritual and some aren’t. Whether you are a teacher, a doctor, a clerk, a salesman….it makes no difference. Your work is holy because of who you are. You are holy, and as you express Christ’s life, whatever you do is holy.
Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Does it feel like you are on a spiritual or religious treadmill? Get off! You may find it gratifying in the short run, but over the long haul it will drain you. Listen, God offers you much more than that. He wants you to experience Him within the soothing rhythm of grace. However, to know that kind of intimacy with Him, you must stop any religious hyperventilating you have mistaken for a grace walk, calm down, and do what is born from the expression of Christ within you. God doesn’t need you to break the three-minute mile for Him. He just wants you to enjoy Him, knowing that everything else in your life will flow out from that. Friends, get off the religious treadmill and just put your eyes on Him. He will do “the rest” in you.
The other day, I was watching the animals in my backyard eat from a pile of birdseed. Squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, and all sorts of birds were eating together. When a new animal arrived, no one seemed to notice; however, if any one animal heard a strange sound, every animal ran or flew away. This process happened over and over again – animals would gather, hear a sound and become startled, fly or run away, and then slowly return. After a while, the squirrels and rabbits stopped running away, but the chipmunks and the birds continued to be nervous and eventually the chipmunks stayed away altogether; they never learned that they were safe.
Watching them reminded me of how we (humans) often behave the same way. God gives us everything we could need and all we have to do is have faith. We accept his graciousness and relax a little bit, but at the very first sign of trouble, we often run away. We lose our faith that God knows what is best for us and flee his comforting arms. Slowly, though, we move back to Him, inch by inch. We feel safe again and accept his grace only to run at the slightest mention of trouble yet again. After a while, some will learn to trust God and will stay with Him, but others will continue to flee and still others will never return.
How often will we run away from God before we realize we can truly trust Him? Are we not more important to God than all other living things?
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (Matthew 6:26 NASB)
What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are al
So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. (Matthew 10:29-31 NIV)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT)
May you be faithful and trust in the Lord with all your heart.