The other side of rest

August 26, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“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.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV))

I realize that this is the same passage from a week ago. Today, I am looking at it from the other side of a long awaited rest from the world.

It was wonderful to escape the day to day trials of the world. It was wonderful to rest and recharge. It was wonderful to look out and see the majesty of God’s creation and to simply take it all in. I am thankful to have been able to spend the last week with my wife as we celebrated our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Both of us rested from the hectic pace that is our daily lives.

No cell phones. No Internet. Then reality hit.

We are back and the world is still in turmoil. The world is still hectic. The world is still facing things that can only be described as attacks from the enemy. Satan did not go away while we were gone. All of the worldly crises did not go away while we were gone. If anything, even more attacks seem to have reared their ugly head while we were gone.

Should I be worried? Should I, as a member of the Body of Christ, turn and seek safety?

We are called to be in the middle of the spiritual battle that is taking place. We are not called to retreat. There are times when we will need rest so that we will be able to continue our part, but we, as the Body of Christ, should never run from the enemy.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
(Ephesians 6:10-13 (NIV))

We are told to rest in God’s presence. We are also told that we are to put on the full armor of God. We are only human. We cannot go all out in part of God’s calling. We need rest. We need quiet time to spend time with God and to recharge.

Too much rest and we become lazy. Too much battle without rest and we become burned out.

Even Jesus had to get away from the crowds and rest in God’s presence. What makes us think that we can do it differently?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you believe that God will provide?

May 16, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”
(Genesis 22:14 (NIV))

Do you believe that God will provide?

In the midst of the turmoil and uncertainty in this world, do you believe that God will provide for your needs?

In the midst of the despair and heartbreak over a failed marriage, do you believe that God will provide?

Do your circumstances overwhelm you to the point where you simply can’t believe that God could possibly do anything to help you?

Abraham was probably at this point. Think about that statement and the rest of the story. God had told Abraham to go and sacrifice his son, Isaac. Abraham had waited for a very long lifetime to be a father. He was a very old man. Isaac was probably his pride and joy. Abraham truly loved Isaac. Imagine how he felt when God told him to go and sacrifice his son. How desperate do you think that Abraham felt at this point?

Still, Abraham exhibited something that I would have a problem showing under those circumstances. His obedience was unshakable. His faith was unwavering. I would have a big problem with obeying a command like this. Still, we must learn from Abraham. In the midst of what seemed like an impossible situation, God provided just what was needed. He did not provide it early. He did not provide it late. He was just in time. God had promised that Abraham’s descendants would be as many as the stars. Abraham had faith that God would fulfill His promises.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

On the days that seem darkest, do you have the faith to know beyond any doubts that God will provide? When you feel that you have no possible way to change your circumstances, God will provide. Remember Abraham. Remember his faith. Remember God’s response. You are not alone. God is with you.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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