7/9/2021 0 Comments
Do you need rest? We have covered about three chapters of the Book of Mark, and we see Jesus already takes time to spend with the Father to pray and withdraw with the disciples. How Important is rest? About 6 in 10 Christians say that it's "often" or "always" true that "the busyness of life gets in the way of developing my relationship with God." It is sad but in America the schedules for most are overwhelming and they are being stretched in every direction. When that happens something always gets lost on the radar, maybe it is our relationship with Jesus, for some their marriage, neglect time with family, or even hinder work.
Mark 1:35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
Jesus wanted fellowship with His Father, he was shutting the distractions of the world down for a moment to spend with God. Jesus considered prayer a priority, do you? Busyness pulls us away from the things of God, like prayer, reading the bible or even church. There is an acronym for being busy it is (Being Under Satan’s Yolk). I can attest to this; I have been so busy even in ministry serving God that I became ineffective as husband and father. It also impacted my time in the word and prayer. I burned out quickly and my flesh was on full display. Now I pace myself I learned ministry is always happening just like the waves of the ocean. The Lord showed me I was not as important to the ministry as I thought. Jesus wants us to serve. We are not saved by works but by the free gift of grace. But God has prepared us for good works, that He prepared.
Ephesians 2:10 ESV
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
We are His masterpiece, and He wants to mold us and shape us to be more and more like His son Jesus. I remember when I struggled with busyness in the ministry my good friend and mentor spent time with me and told me “You have allowed the ministry to become your mistress, you are being stretched so much the flesh is being exposed.” God never wants us to neglect our relationship with Him even for his church. Many Christians have allowed their busyness of life to chain them up and put them into bondage. God blessed me with a spouse and kids, I am the pastor of the home and forgot that. They needed me. They are your first ministry before the church. My brother loved me enough to bluntly tell me of my mistake. My wife had been trying for months but I just was too busy for the conversation. Just figure I am doing God’s work, what is the problem.
Mark 3:7 ESV
Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea
I love this verse cause Jesus sees the need of the disciples and withdrew with them. The crowds would always be there. Our lives should be guided by the Lord as well. To many of us are just so busy we do not take time to seek God before we take another thing on. The problem is you are directing your steps, not the Holy Spirit. One thing I did I realized I was in multiple ministries in the church plus teaching. Honestly, I am not sure I was doing any of them effectively. I learned and I let some things go, guess what some of them I just jumped into headfirst. It was my will not God's. I learned I was directing my steps. You know that is what busyness will do. Pull away daily seek God through His word, pray and be guided by His every step.
Jeremiah 10:23 ESV
I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.
Burnout is real, so you need to slow down. Most people when they realized they are burned out, were burned out months before. Take breaks to be at the feet of Jesus. Now, I run to the sea, the coast about every four months. I spend one on one time with the wife, family, or even other friends in ministry. I slow it down and I can tell that time has been such a blessing in my life. I quiet things down, I am getting so much more in the word, prayer is sweeter and fellowship is encouraging. God comes through so clearly. I get direction, I am well rested and refreshed for ministry. But I learned to do this even without a vacation, I learned to practice it my life daily. So, who are you today Martha or Mary? When I read in the Book of Luke about Martha, and Mary I can so relate to this scripture because it is so easy to be that servant, asking how come I am doing everything, and you are just sitting there? Is that you, a prideful, fleshly servant? Maybe it is time to slow it down and withdraw with Jesus. Put the busyness away and put Christ first choose the good portion.
Luke 10:41-42 ESV
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,  but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Simple Man that Loves the Lord and Loves teaching the Bible simply.