Tired and Weary

As we have been busy with teams, construction, and the move of Pastor Julbenson and his family we have certainly felt physically tired and weary.  Or probably more accurately stated, just completely exhausted.  We get emails, messages, and phone calls reminding us to take it easy, get some rest, don't grow tired and weary, even God rested on the 7th day, its ok to take a break.  I am not disagreeing with any of this good advice, but God has been showing me for a few weeks now that the rest we constantly need and that is spoken of most in the bible is not physical rest, but spiritual rest that can only be found in Him.  This is the reason for the Sabbath Day of rest. Yes, you should take a break from work, but why? To become closer to Christ and have a time for the renewing of our minds and rest for our souls.  Not for a nap.  Christians and non-Christians alike can find physical rest once they get to the point of exhaustion.  Our bodies will shut down and sleep naturally.  Have you ever had a night that you just can't sleep, you are tired, but you just can't seem to fall asleep?  Why is it?  Usually its because there is unrest in your souls.  Something is on your mind, burdening you. If you are tired, weary, labored, and heavy laden in the soul, only God can give you true rest and that rest does not come in the form of a nap or vacation. God started showing me this through the Proverbs 31 woman.  When does she rest?  When does she shut down or take a vacation?  She is constantly going, doing, providing for her family, waking up early and going to bed late.  It's not about us ladies! It's not about shopping, vacations, eating out, pedicures, tanning beds, and whatever else you do to pamper yourself.  It's about selfless work that benefits others.  I have not gotten there yet.  I am just a guilty as having that desire for “me” time and the world encourages it so much now so it is a constant battle not to give in, but its not biblical.  We don't retire or take a break from being a Christian and doing God's work. God will give us the strength to endure day after day after day to serve Him and others but He is not pleased when we serve ourselves.  Another study God walked me through was also a lot in Proverbs about the sluggard and the dangers of idleness.  “The sluggard often has very expensive tastes, and he covets the lifestyle of the rich and famous.  The problem is that he is unwilling to expend long-term effort in acquiring the resources to live in high style-even IF SUCH A GOAL WERE WORTHWHILE. (Proverbs makes it abundantly clear that such a goal leads a man to destruction.)” -John MacArthur Paul confessed “I know that in me nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find…O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:18,24).  Jesus Christ gave us the power and presence of the Holy Spirit to overcome these fleshly desires for relaxation, riches, and self gratification that we all have. Again, I repeat, I am guilty, I struggle, I give into my flesh sometimes.  Luckily, being in Haiti prevents me from giving into my flesh too much because there is no accessibility to the American luxuries we sometime long for 🙂  Your struggle is greater than mine because you are faced with it every minute of the day.
Just today God also brought to mind the story of the feeding of the 5,000. Jesus told his physically tired disciples to go to a deserted place and rest because they did not have time to eat.  I am in no way saying to neglect the taking care of your body.  Our bodies are 100% God's temple and we should not neglect the physical requirements needed in order to be productive for His Kingdom. But what is truly needed?  To eat, drink, sleep, and find rest for our souls through Him. Even after Jesus ordered the disciples away what happened?  The crowd followed them and did Jesus send them away because his disciples needs food and rest?  No, he put his disciples to work helping feed the 5,000 and gave them the strength to do it! We will be given the same strength.  God is the same today, as He was yesterday, and as He will always be.  His expectations of us are the same as they were of His disciples.  He gives us exactly what we need when we need it just as He did with His disciples.  And our rewards are not in our temporal enjoyment or materialism that so many of us are caught up in, but will be in Heaven! Now, I know if you are honest with yourself as I have been then God has stepped on your toes while you read this.  His Holy Spirit has convicted some of you of something specific. Our lives are not for our enjoyment but for His glorification.  Where have you lost focus?  What is God wanting you to change?  Do you trust him to give you the strength you need to press on instead of taking that break you feel like you deserve?  I remember coming back from our last trip to the states and thinking “when did our break start” because I didn't feel like we ever had one. We were constantly going and meeting with people and speaking places that I never got the “down time” or “vacation”  that I thought we needed.  But I was wrong.  God gave us just what we needed.  It won't look like how the world portrays it, but God will give you rest for your souls and the renewing of your minds that you need to continue doing His will.