For Women in Ministry: The Power of Rest
- Wednesday, March 02, 2005
Mark 6:31, Then Jesus suggested, "Let's get away from the crowds for a while and rest.
Did God need to rest? No! But did God choose to rest? Yes - and deemed those personal times of regular solitude and rest important enough to record in His Word. Why? I believe He wanted to emphasize and model the importance of rest. We live in jars of clay, bound by physical laws. The reality is that there are consequences when we break those laws. We have bought the "smells - like - smoke" lie that because we are in ministry, we have the option of giving our heart to Jesus but keeping our body for ourselves. The rules for sleep, exercise, diet and rest simply do not apply to those of us serving God. We are above all that! Hmmm! Chalk one up for the enemy! Because if he can keep us busy doing good things, we will not only miss the highest plan God intended for us but we will eventually collapse under the burden of humanistic expectations and unfulfilled dreams. Operating in our limited human strength always results in spiritual bankruptcy and powerless ministry.
1Corinthians 6:19-20, You should know that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit who is in you. You have received the Holy Spirit from God. So you do not belong to yourselves, because you were bought by God for a price. So honor God with your bodies.
I tend to view the need for rest as a weakness! In fact, I often feel guilty when trying to relax! I keep thinking of all the important, spiritual things I could be doing! God does not agree! In fact, rest and sleep are designed to be times when He can give to us!
Psalm 127:2, For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.
I wonder what eternal truths and blessings we miss when we refuse to rest! We don't rest because our work is done! We rest because God commanded it and created us with the need for rest! The best time to rest is when you don't have time to rest! Taking time to rest is spiritual obedience. A busy life is not necessarily a productive life and fatigue is not one of the spiritual gifts! Even Jesus did not do it all! When Jesus died, there were still sick and blind people, those in great need and many who did not yet believe in Him. But on the cross He said, "It is finished!" He did what He was supposed to do.
In the deep jungles of Africa a tourist on safari hired local natives to carry his supplies. On the first day they walked rapidly and covered a great distance because the tourist wanted to reach his destination as quickly as possible. On the second morning, the natives refused to move, and simply sat quietly, resting. The tourist was furious! Upon demanding an explanation, one of the natives explained that they had gone too fast and too far the day before. Now they must rest, allowing their souls to catch up.
Have you lost the joy of ministry?
Are you easily angered and often frustrated?
Is your life ordered around right priorities or urgent circumstances?
Are you physically exhausted?
When was the last time you just sat at His feet in silence and rested?
God is more interested in who we are than what we do! To experience Godly success in ministry, we must learn the value of rest!
Next: How to Practice the Attitude of Gratitude in Ministry
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