Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Need Rest, Fisher?

Are you needing rest? Are those around you needing this? You can see that we live in a very busy country that rushes around a whole lot and doesn't seem to be cutting back any. I see road rage too often, because Americans need real rest inside. 

Of course we've also had many diligent workers and committed Christians here who obey God—we are a blessed nation. I'm grateful for that. But you see that some believers and unbelievers just work too much and others work too little.  

Rush, rush, rush more.. I find it interesting that we're the only Land with a Mount Rushmore. Is that how you live every day?

There is a certain rest to enter into, that people rejecting the God of the Bible simply can't know? It's important that you enter this rest.

The Psalmist said, "My soul finds rest in God alone: my salvation comes from Him" (Ps. 62:1). Jesus said, "Come unto me, ye who are weary and overburdened, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28). Is that a command or an invitation? I think it's both, but not from any selfish motives. He is looking out for us.

And this statement is not only extended to every toiling, heavy-laden and weary sinner, but there are indeed way too many toiling, heavy-laden believers, as well. They have become ineffective in the harvest fields of the Lord globally. Yes, many of them are working too much in Christian ministries and are no longer taking time to be alone with Christ, waiting at the feet of Jesus to hear His Word.. which is of course a higher priority.

Check it out, this beautiful promise of Jesus, if you happen to be an over-burdened, and heavy-laden person in your service. It does not say, "Hey you, go out and volunteer more and more until you've sacrificed so much that you can't recover from your work." Some well-meaning pastors might push people too much in this regard like, "Just labor on every day, staying busy for Jesus and then you will be refreshed." One pastor in a very decent Christian movement once told me that if I would just over-commit in working at the church, that this would in the end glorify God, because everyone would see that it was Him through me that pulled it all off and not me alone.

False! And this blind guide chased off so many other workers with his constant browbeating, condemnation, false accusations, and excessive pressure on people. That is what being religious is all about, but not was being a spiritual Christian is all about! 

Now I guess that God could indeed refresh His children supernaturally if they were in some grace-less concentration camp and cruelly forced to labor, sure He could, but there really needs to be a balance between your rest and work. Our God is a God of order and peace. It's so important to stop, to turn back from too much busyness, to come to Christ alone daily and just wait on Him, hearing His lovely voice, yes, to rest until the right timing is there to serve.. instead of running on ahead of Him in presumption. I'm not sayin' that Christians be lazy and use this idea to evade doing their part. But where in the Bible do you find Christ sending a worked-up, troubled, emotional Martha to do more work or her sister Mary away to work more and more, or anyone for that matter ..that is heavy laden, off one to labor in a harvest field first? You'll never, find those verses in the Bible, because Christ ain't like that. He wants you more than what you can produce for Him. And ministry to God comes before ministry to the world!

How could the Lord expect you to obey Him in fishing for people if you were always feelin' worn out, yeah, wiped out from doing, from getting pushed by your inner false guilt or pushed by some other well-meaning Christian leaders or believers? How could God expect all this from an idolatrous workaholic? You know that He wouldn't, for He is a jealous God.. meaning a loving Father Who is very zealous for His children's well being, wanting them all spiritually well. And no one will become spiritually healthy in His Church with misdirected worship! That jive must first be ditched.

It's the well-fed not the beaten sheep that naturally reproduce. Can this be said to believers too much? No. All effective evangelism is the normal outgrowth of a proper relationship with Christ, not from too much busyness in the Kingdom.

"Thou hast created us for Thyself, and our heart is not quiet until it rests in Thee." ~Augustine

Did you know that if you are an average adult today, over the next 24 hours, your heart will beat 103,689 times, your blood will travel 168,000,000 miles, you will breathe 23,040 times inhaling 438 cubic feet of air. You will eat 3.25 pounds of food and you will drink 2.9 quarts of liquids. You will also move 750 muscles, exercise over 7 million brain cells and speak 4800 words. That is a lot of activity already. Why add too much on top of this?

In Hell there is no rest, but in Heaven there is complete rest. The Apostle John said,  "Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, 'Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.' 'Yes,' says the Spirit, 'that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them'" (Rev. 14:13).

How wonderful is that? Free acceptance without having to earn it—isn't this what you want? Yes that type of rest in Heaven is totally unbeatable, but even before we arrive at this place called Heaven, there is a rest in Christ that anyone can enjoy today, if they would only turn from their wrong-doin's and simply believe in Him. I'm not talking about a rest that is boring, non-exciting as many young people have in mind. No there is no better existence available anywhere.

Are you open to this? Are you ready to stop being too busy, the lord and master of your own life, and ready to allow the real Lord and Master to start leading you? Are you ready for His kind of rest? You can start a satisfying relationship with Him right now! So what are you waiting for?  

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