31 There was such a swirl of activity around Jesus, with so many people coming and going, that they were unable to even eat a meal. So Jesus said to his disciples, “Come, let’s take a break and find a secluded place where you can rest a while.” – Mark 6:31 TPT
After the extended holiday period from Thanksgiving through Christmas, at some point, we just need to take a break and rest for a while. This would be a good time to relax quietly and meditate on what is “real. honorable, admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God. praising Him always.” (Phil. 4:8) After all the shopping, spending, and stuffing, your Spirit, mind and body need a time to receive the refreshing of the Holy Spirit. This is a time for waiting on the Lord and being filled with the Holy Spirit and allow Him to refresh us as we prepare for a New Year of praying, praising and rejoicing as we draw closer to the time when we will be with Jesus for eternity. Let’s just relax in His arms and lay our head upon His shoulders and get a true sense of just how much He loves us.
11 You will make known to me the path of life;In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. — Psalm 16:11 NASB
In our busy, busy world, we often think about just getting away from it all. Just go somewhere and relax, where we don’t even have to think about anything. Perhaps, at some time in the past, that was possible (I doubt it), but, not now. Why? Because we take everything with us. It fits easily in our pockets, it is lightweight and it is our umbilical cord to the world. We think we can’t live without it. I posit that we can’t truly live with it. It is time to cut the cord and relax in the arms of Jesus. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life.” So, to experience life, we must experience Jesus. To experience Jesus, we must spend time with Him, both in quality and in quantity. Time with Him and Him alone. While we do need time away from our jobs with just the family, we need time away from everything and everybody with just Him; Our God is a great God and a good God. Yes, we need to fear (as in respect) Him for who He is, but we also need to understand that He loves us and longs for our companionship. He longs for us to be focused and fully dependent on Him. So, if you are looking for real life, real peace and real joy, run to Him, curl up in HIs lap, marinate yourself in His presence and just experience His love. You will never want to leave that spot. It is totally impossible to live a life of joy and peace without being completely addicted to Jesus.
28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” — Matt. 11:28-30 NLT
7 For the Lord your God has blessed you in everything you have done. He has watched your every step through this great wilderness. During these forty years, the Lord your God has been with you, and you have lacked nothing.”’ — Deuteronomy 2:7 NLT
If you have ever taken a road trip with your kids then you have heard the question, “when will we get there?” or “how much longer?”. One Mother’s answer was “Your Father is in charge, he will take care of us and we will arrive safely. We can just enjoy the trip.” That is a lesson that the Israelis never seem to learn. Their stubbornness and refusal to learn it changed a trip that should have taken only eleven days into an adventure that lasted over forty years. Because of their attitude, we read in Hebrews, that the original generation of Israelis never entered the rest that God had prepared for them. Instead of enjoying the trip, the Israelis continually moaned, groaned and whined. How many days have we wasted whining when we could have just relaxed and enjoyed the trip? How many more days will we waste moaning and groaning because, like the Israelis, we don’t trust our Father to provide for us and bring us safely home? Moses told the children of Israel “during these forty years, the Lord your God has been with you, and you have lacked nothing.” They wanted a lot of things they ddin’t have, but they had everything they needed to make the journey. The Lord our God is still with us and we lack nothing that we need. If we could ever learn to rest and enjoy the trip, it would not matter when we got there because each day would be a new experience enjoying the presence of the Lord. Remember that God is our provider and our shield, rest in His presence and repeat as often as necessary.
6 So God’s rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God.7 So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. — Hebrews 4:6, 7a NLT
7 Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.–Psalm 37:7 (NLT)
10 “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world.”
11 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us:
the God of Israel is our fortress.–Psalm 46:10, 11 (NLT)
In our busy, busy world, how do we find the time to just sit in the presence of the Lord? Many times in the Scriptures, God admonishes us to just be still. Jesus set the example for us, He would often go out into the gardens and spend time alone communing with God. If he needed that, how much more do we need it? We not only need those times of rest and refreshing, but we need to know Jesus on a personal level. There is a huge difference in knowing about Jesus and really knowing Jesus. And to really know anyone, we have to spend time with them. Bask in His presence and you will start to get a grasp of the depth of His love for you. The knowledge of His love for us will sustain us through the tough times.
— *I know “unbusy” is not a word, but maybe it will help you remember to take some time out and just be with God.
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, a criminal, or even as a mischief maker. 16 Yet if any of you suffers as a Christian, do not consider it a disgrace, but glorify God because you bear this name.–1 Peter 4:12-16 (NRSV)
Yesterday, we talked about how Jesus was tempted by satan when Jesus was alone, tired and hungry. satan picks our weakest moments to tempt us, when we are sick or when we are already having a bad day. It is those times that he uses our friends and families to annoy us even more. We should count it a joy to share in the same sufferings that our Lord and Savior had to go through. Jesus faced satan directly, we face him indirectly everyday because he uses those around us to do his work. Don’t get angry at the person speaking, just remember, evil comes from the devil. But we can control how we react to it. We have the Spirit of God abiding within us, so that we have the power to call on the name of Jesus, Who has already won the victory. It is Jesus that fights our battles for us. Every confrontation by satan is a spiritual battle, not a battle of flesh and blood. Rest in Jesus and His Word and you will find security, peace, and joy. 10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
the righteous run into it and are safe.–Proverbs 18:10 (NRSV)
If we allow God to fight our spiritual battles for us, we win and God gets the glory! Rejoice!