The first month of the year is coming to a close and though it’s only the 1st month of 12, many people are already running on empty. We learn the importance of work from society but the message of rest from the Word seems to get lost in the busyness of our daily schedules. God’s gentle whisper inviting us to dwell and find rest in Him gets muffled out by our alarm clocks and car honks from drivers in a hurry to make it to their next appointment.
Whether it be work, family or ministry, it is necessary and imperative that you take time to step back and rest. Not just sleep or take a vacation but actually rest – rest in Christ.
“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”
Psalms 91:1 NLT
**We must work but there must be balance.**
“Multitasking is a myth, you’re not doing anything great, just everything awful.”
The above quote by Propaganda has really been echoing in my mind. Among work, ministry, starting a business and preparing for grad school I’ve realized how important it is to prioritize rest and time with God. I don’t have to always be doing everything at once. I must choose to set aside time to rest in my Father.
You see, work will always demand your attention no matter how diligent you are at it, your business will always require you to do something else after you finish a task and there will always be someone in ministry calling on you. You have to CHOOSE to rest.
On the job, you’re no good working when you’re stressed, burnt out and your heart isn’t in it.
In your business, you’re not productive when you’re pushing past exhaustion.
When it comes to ministry, you don’t pour from your cup but rather from your overflow.
Don’t run yourself empty and dry pouring into others. Withdraw and rest as Christ did. Take care of your spiritual needs first. Allow God to fill you up until you overflow and then pour from that place.
“But the news about Jesus spread even more, and many crowds began gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases. However, He continued His habit of retiring to deserted places and praying.”
Luke 5:15-16 ISV
“But despite Jesus’ instructions, the report of his power spread even faster, and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases. But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.”
Luke 5:15-16 NLT
“But the news about Him spread even more, and large crowds would come together to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. Yet He often withdrew to deserted places and prayed.”
Luke 5:15-16 HCSB
The crowds gathered but Christ withdrew. They demanded His Presence but His Spirit demanded Him to enter the Presence of God. Our physical bodies operate best when fully rested and our spirit man is no different. We operate best in our ministries (whether it be work, family, or church) when our spirit man is well rested.
Christ understood this. He made it a habit to withdraw. The world will never give you a break and if we are honest, people in ministry won’t give you a break either. There will always be another assignment to do, another game to take your child to, another project to complete for work, another person who demands your time, advice and attention. YOU have to make the conscious decision to withdraw.
Withdraw- remove or take away (something) from a particular place or position.
– leave or come back from a place, especially a war zone.
Withdraw implies pulling away, to leave. The world is a war zone and in the Lord is our ammunition. You have to make it a habit like Christ to pull away and unplug from the world so that you can dive into the Word and God’s Presence. Only there will you get the strength you need for when you encounter issues on your job, have conflict with a friend or have to discipline your child. Leave the chaos of life and dive into Christ Who is life. Get refilled, get restored, get replenished, GET REST.
Society teaches us to work, work, work but Christ shows us the importance of stepping away and resting in God. The world won’t stop spinning and implode if you take a few moments for yourself. You’re no good when you run on empty. Take time to be refilled. You don’t have to wait for a specific day or time. You don’t have to get the permission of family and friends. Take time to rest in your Father so that you may be at your best for Him to use you. They may demand your time, but your body and spirit demand your rest.
Their text can wait. That phone call can be done later. That work can be handled tomorrow. I’m not saying procrastinate. I’m saying prioritize. We sacrifice our health, sleep and even our time with God for our jobs and for people in our ministry but fail to realize that our health, sleep and time with God are essential and imperative for us to be effective on our work place and in our ministry. Don’t over extend yourself doing what God didn’t extend for you to do in that moment. Take. The. Time. To. Rest.
Everything else can follow from there. You’ll be more effective after you rest.
“Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.”
Mark 1:35 NLT
Remember to take the time to rest today and everyday. Don’t wait until you’re totally depleted. Do it now. Do it today. Build up a reserve so you’re ready for whatever may be thrown your way.