REASONS TO REST
We live in a time when everyone is very busy. Those who aren’t always active are sometimes seen as lazy or unimportant. We assume that if someone is continually on the go they must be very important. We apply that to pastors and church leaders as well. However, this sends a wrong message to people. It says that pastors are more important than other people because they are busier, and that people shouldn’t bother them with their needs because they already have more than they can do. Busy pastors may think that just because they are busy they are doing a good job. This can lead to pride. Being very busy doesn’t mean a pastor is successful. It could mean they are failing in some important areas.
For one thing, God doesn’t give us so much to do that we are always very busy. He gives us 7, 24-hour days and doesn’t give us more than we can do in that time. He expects us to pace ourselves, have time to pray and study the Bible, take care of our health and relax and enjoy life. Jesus had the same number of hours in a day as we have and He was never rushed or busy. Neither should we be. When we are too busy, it means we are taking on work God never gave us to do. It also means we are neglecting some things He does want us to do. One of these is rest. Here are some important reasons we are to take time to rest.
God commands us to rest. Commandment #4 in Exodus 20:8-11 commands us to rest one day in seven, as God rested after creation. It is a principle in nature that animals, vegetation and all growing things grow in spurts with times of rest in between. We aren’t under the law, but the principle to rest is still true today. God not only allows us to rest, He commands we do so.
We must pace ourselves. Life is a marathon, not a sprint, so we must set a sustainable pace for the long run. We are not competing with others, trying to accomplish more than them. We are not trying to impress others with all we accomplish. Too many Christians burn out from overwork. Poor health makes them ineffective in ministry and life. Pace yourself so you can keep serving God well into your later years.
Stewardship of our bodies is important. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). We are responsible for the care we take of them. Healthy food, daily exercise and enough sleep at night are essential for us to serve God faithfully for a lifetime. We must watch the quality and quantity of what we eat. Taking time to eat and exercise without rushing is very important.
Rest refreshes us mentally, emotionally and spiritually. All great men in church history took time to meditate, to mull over things, to think about what God was doing in their lives and to listen to His still, small voice. Our internal battery can’t recharge when there is always a drain on it. Soon we will be running on empty and we won’t make good choices, wise decisions or have victory over the ‘little’ temptations that defeat us. God’s voice is best heard when we are quiet and restful. He will encourage you, give insight into the sermon you are preparing, help with that difficult leadership challenge you are facing and refresh you to move ahead in life.
Rest helps you deepen your relationship with your wife and children. Spend time enjoying your wife and building into your wife and children. They need uninterrupted, unhurried time and that can be best done when taking a break from the busy life of a pastor. After all our wife and children are our first priority and must come before our church.
So, make it your goal to have some good, refreshing, guilt-free rest this week. You may not get everything done you want to get done, but you’ll get everything done that God wants you to get done – and that’s a lot better!
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would God grade you on your ability to follow His commands to REST?
What must you start doing this week, even today, to pace yourself better and rest more?
Ask God to show you what you are doing that doesn’t have to be done and then stop doing it!
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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