IF YOU GO AGAINST A PRINCIPLE, THE POWER OF THE PRINCIPLE WILL WORK AGAINST YOU.
Rest is an integral part of the creation story. It was there right from the beginning. Anything you see in the story of creation is a foundational principle that influences how our world runs.
Here is an interesting question. Did God need rest? Did He really need 6 days to create the world?
Oh no! He did not. He simply structured it that way because of the nature of the planet He was creating. He created the principles first and with the principles created our world so our world is governed by those principles He created until He decides to end this planet.
God created time to govern this planet, He does not live in time. He created humans to stay on this earth and created for man an earth suit that makes it convenient to stay on earth and so any human that wants to go into space has to use a space suit because the conditions are not suitable for the body.
His resting on the seventh day was the creation of a principle, ‘The Principle of Rest’, He did not need it.
If you go against a principle, the power of the principle works against you.
We are designed to sleep and to slumber. You know when Moses began to set statutes and principles for the children of Israel the 7th day rest was one of the commandments. If you broke it you got stoned since you’ve decided to kill yourself anyway, by abusing your body. It was that important.
Gratefully, Christ fulfilled the law, including that one, on our behalf.
Now we are not bound to obey the laws anymore but it is on our interest to obey the principles behind those laws.
When Christ was here on earth He obeyed those laws, especially the Law of Rest. Some times He even slept deeply like when in Mark 4 He was sleeping soundly in the boat. He took time to rest.
If Jesus had not slept during His time here physically, it would have been something to brag about, a sign of spiritual maturity and sophistication to not sleep but I guarantee you we would be burying a lot of people.
In Mark 6, Jesus sent his disciples out in twos to go pray for the people and heal the sick. By the time they got back, they discovered the value in adding value to the people. Some of us wonder “why is it that I keep chasing people all over the place.
Nobody calls me, nobody looks for me?” It’s because they don’t know yet the value they stand to derive from you. Once the disciples went out and began to heal the sick, add value to people, they became busy. These people who went out in twos came back with a crowd.
People have problems, they want their problems to be solved.
When you are anointed the power of God is working through you and people are getting results in their lives the demand will increase on your life. But Jesus the Master who sent them said to them don’t get carried away. Let’s go to a quiet place and rest a while.
If you refuse rest, you have become wiser than Jesus.
You can overdo God’s work. I learned this in a painful way. It’s so easy for you to get carried away, to convince yourself ‘what I’m doing is so important’,’ I’m solving problems for people, I don’t want people to die, I want people’s problems to be solved. And so you pray and pray and pray, go here and go there. And Jesus knew that if these guys continued at this pace they would breakdown.
Now breakdown is the reason why I laughed. Why? Because I’ve broken down before, in fact all the time, it used to be constant. So one of those times my Doctor friend said to me “you Pastors don’t rest, you want to solve the problems of the whole world. I see a lot of your colleagues in the clinic. It is stress that makes you guys break down. You need to slow down”.
If you don’t choose to rest you’ll be forced to rest. It’s better for you to choose than to be forced.
Some people wonder why we do our New Year’s Eve from 6-9pm, why we try to make things easy for people.
“Many years ago, in our former Pastorate, on New years eve we did the service all through the night from 10pm 31st till 1st January. I was ministering, calling out different groups of people, praying for them, laying hands on them, etc. So I called this group of people, it was midnight. As they were coming up the stage for prayer I just felt every ounce of energy leave me, to the extent that my voice wasn’t projecting out into the microphone anymore.
So I called my assistant and whispered into his ears ‘once I’m done praying for these people I’m giving you the microphone to continue this service. I need to rest.’ and that’s exactly what I did. When I got to the office and sat down pain just shot through my body, I mean total discomfort from head to toe. I was uncomfortable, sitting, lying on the floor, standing etc. Finally I laid down on the floor until the service was over.
It was my sweetheart, Pastor Nike, that drove me home that morning. I couldn’t go back into the service, when we got home I felt pain, not just in my body but also in my bone marrow. My Doctor friend came later and I asked him to take my blood, he said there was no need it was just stress. I said “no I’ve never felt this pain before, it’s serious, take my blood”. Recently we were discussing and cracking jokes about that episode.
You can over do God’s work and it will not be God’s fault when you breakdown.
Why don’t we rest, take time off work? Especially those of us that have a lot to do. Why don’t we take breaks, go on vacations?
1. It was not part of our upbringing for some of us. It’s a cultural issue.
For the Jews, the culture into which Jesus was born, the Sabbath was their culture, it was forced. It was a big deal, that’s why they had problems with Jesus when he healed people on Sabbath day. They had carried the sabbath thing to the extreme. So Jesus had to ask them “Which of you will see his animal fall into a well and not bring it out?
You people are hypocrites”. Animals were business then so in essence Jesus was asking how many of you will lose money to obey the Sabbath. But for some of us there are various things that influence our culture. For us the prevailing ideas of what it takes to prosper is a major part of it, prosperity is a major part of it.
Prosperity, wealth creation, how to make money. So you find that in many parts of the world where there is deprivation people don’t rest they work and work and work in a bid to break through. In the process, instead of breaking through they break down. The data confirms it that life expectancy is low in poor countries. Isn’t that interesting? So for some of us its simply not in our culture.
We need a change of mindset.
However, in some places we have people work, work, work and don’t take breaks because we want people to see that we are working, we do not want them to think we are lazy. This one occurs in both poor and rich countries.
BENEFITS Of REST
1. It allows the human spirit to recharge.
For Jesus to say that while they were still working under the fullness of the Holy Ghost it means we are not inexhaustible. It is a simple confirmation that our resources are not inexhaustible. We are not God.
While we were talking about finances, God said the reason why I was not building wealth and was permanently broke was not because I wasn’t earning more income, it was because I was thinking my middle name was ‘Elshaddai’ and I found out that it was ‘I shall die’. He said “don’t play my role in people’s lives, your resources are not inexhaustible.”
You know Elshaddai in the Hebrew language means the many breasted one, showing God’s inexhaustible resources.
If you want to be spiritually effective you need to rest.
Did you notice something at the garden of Gethsemane before the arrest of Jesus. He needed to pray some intense prayer so he took some disciples with him and told the others to pray, by the time He came back they were sleeping. He said “hey, can’t you watch with me for just one hour?” And He said, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”. Tiredness makes us spiritually ineffective.
How come it was Jesus who was asleep that calmed the storm? They that were awake saw the storm but couldn’t do anything about it.
You are more effective when you’re sensitive to your body, to your capacity.
When you are depleting your resources take time to replenish, to refresh your resources, even your prayer life will be more effective when you do so.
Even in the bible there were years of rest, whole years of no farming, no working.
Ask for forgiveness if you have been working against this principle.
Ask God to give you the courage (if it is because we don’t want people to think we are lazy) give you strength, discipline and wisdom to align with the principle of rest.
When we rest we are exercising faith in God that we cannot do every thing.
Lord thank you for pronouncing this year our year of rest.
Let your power restore everyone that is a part of this service, refresh their systems. Let your power energize their bodies, minds, emotions.
Whatever was wrong let your power restore it now in Jesus name. Thank you heavenly Father, in Jesus name. Amen
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