Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Miracle of Biblical Rest

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Continuing in our Sunday Sermon series on “Miracles”, Pastor Kyle reminded us that we live in a crazy, chaotic world. Busyness is the theme for today. We tend to tell ourselves that “next time, things will be easier, lighter and better. But, if we do not intentionally make time for rest and take time to rest, we won’t find it. We need to seek rest, fight for rest, grasp moments for rest and then truly rest.

Genesis 2:2-3 “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”

God nurses us back to “supportive” health to heal, refresh and be well ... physically, mentally and spiritually. Kyle gave us five ways how to keep the miracle of biblical rest alive in our lives. (1) Don’t underestimate the power of eating well, drinking lots of water, and sleeping regularly. Like Elijah in 1 Kings 19:1-18, we need food, drink & rest for our bodies to have strength and function properly, otherwise we’ll find ourselves stressed, tired and flat worn out. Do not ignore your body; the temple of the Holy Spirit and an irreplaceable gift from God. Set things aside and take care of yourself or else you will struggle. Hungry, thirsty and tired Christians are not effective at reaching the world around them. Also, the body needs exercise. Our physiology affects our spirituality and vise-versa. (2) Fatigue and hunger distort our perspective on just about everything!  We just don’t see clearly or think straight. We lose our sense of self-awareness and start believing lies about ourselves and others at those times. We are not prepared to confront the real adversary in spite of recent victories, ignore the good and godly things going on around, forget the courageous actions of others, blame others for attacks against them, and feel utterly isolated in their very real struggles. This despair demonstrates the frailty of human strength and the power of God which is liberating within human weakness. The glass is half full and the view is cloudy at best. We need rest and to feel the warmth of God’s loving arms.

Psalm 4:8 “In peace I will lie down and take rest, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

(3) Sometimes the problem isn’t fatigue; it is a whining person who is lazy. Work is a part of life. We already read in Genesis 2 that God works. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” We cannot use the term exhaustion as a “cop out” to get ourselves out of what the Lord wants us to do ... to show up on time and give a full day of our best effort every time, at home and at our job. We have to get it straight that we are not here to please ourselves or to please “them”, but please “Him”. A job is a blessing. Do your duty and give 100% of yourself, 100% of the time. (4) Clear out the noise regularly! God’s voice is not in the chaotic distractions in our lives, but that noise can rob us from hearing God’s voice. It’s hard to hear a still small voice while there are so many loud speakers blaring in our ears. A manipulating application creates a persistent routine with internal triggers that disturb and disrupts our attention. Captivation to noise is far from rest. Has the voice of God grown dull in our lives?

Mark 6:31 He said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

(5) Schedule Margin. Establish edges and boundaries in your life. Create time periods with nothing on the schedule away from the noise and distractions of a busy life. Margin won’t schedule itself. We tend to fill every vacant time slot in our day planner. Slow down and intentionally make “down time” (aka “rest”) for yourself. Find your Sabbath to hear from God in rest and quiet pray, casting your cares upon the Lord. Faith is a gift. The miracle of biblical rest is for you and me.

Psalm 37:7 ”Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.”

In Christ, Brian 

No comments: