#190 "The Three R's"
March 16, 2011
My favorite place in the whole world to go for some rest and refreshment is Caseville, MI. I love the air. I love the people. I love the sights and sounds and I particularly love sitting on the beach, listening to the seagulls and the waves beating against the shore. The one thing that can spoil a hot day at the beach is flies. These babies are big and they are mean. In the heat of the afternoon, they land on your legs and make them their dinner feast. And they hurt...gosh, they hurt. The only thing that I've found to keep them away is to keep my legs wet. The minute they dry, the flies are back. Those little nit-pickers can ruin a most lovely day.
If your weeks have been anything like mine, you've had some nit-pickers biting away at the lovely days of your life lately. You know what I mean. They are those things that you wake up to every morning and hold closely in bed when you lie down at night. They bite at you throughout the day. Call them concerns. Call them issues. Call them trials. Call them tribulations. Your days could be really lovely if you could just get rid of those things that bite at your mind all day long. Some of them aren't even that big of a deal. Some of them are huge. They bother you. They irritate you. They upset you. They put a big damper on your otherwise lovely, lovely day at the beach.
We can't throw water on ourselves and make them go away. But we can extinguish their power with three principles straight out of the Word of God. Remember. Rest. Resist. Say those words out loud.
Remember. Rest. Resist.
REMEMBER the goodness of the Lord. Instead of focusing on the trials of today, focus on the goodness of the Lord in the past. I know He has done great things for you in your life so far. I just know it, because He is a good God. When David was facing times of distress and great challenge He always took his mind back to what God had done for him in the past. He encouraged himself in the Lord and in His goodness to David. The Lord didn't get up this morning and decide that He's helped you enough and now He's done. He is the same today as He was yesterday. If He was good yesterday, He is good today. Call to mind every blessing, every miracle, every answer to prayer that you can. Write them down if that helps. Pour over those things and take heart that God is a God who hears, sees and knows every detail of your life. Remember His goodness, His grace, His mercy, His compassion, and His great and mighty deeds in your past. He is that same God today. And He has been good to you. "Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you." (Psalm 116: 7)
Did you see that? REST. I'm about to get very practical right now. A body that's worn out cannot properly withstand the assaults of this world and the pressures of everyday living. A stressed out, worn out, tired body cannot fight. We are in a real battle, girlfriend and guyfriend. We have an enemy that wants us to break down and give up. We run frantically to get everything done in a day with not enough hours granted. We attempt to meet the demands of everyone we know and love, even if those demands wear us so thin that we're about to break. We need to get us some boundaries. When Elijah was being threatened with death by Jezebel, he was so worn out that he actually wanted to die. He said, "I have had enough, Lord." (1 Kings 19: 4) Ever said that? "I have had enough, Lord!!!" An angel came to minister to Elijah and said "Get up and eat." (v. 5-9) Are you eating? Are you eating healthy foods? Or are you living on caffeine and sugar? Take some time to eat good food at regular intervals of the day, not on the fly.
It isn't selfish to take some time out of your busy day or week for yourself. You need to rest. You need a good night's sleep. You need some down time. Eat right. Rest and sleep. Do something good for yourself. Take a good look at your life and make a list of all of the things you do in any given week. Are they all necessary? I'm not asking if they're good. Are they necessary? So many of the things that we do are "good things". We need to get our priorities straight and not do good to the detriment of our health, our focus and our mental well-being. Become a friend of the word "no". You can say it. It's okay.
Nothing is more important to your rest than regular quiet time with the Lord. Life is throwing you so many curve balls and you absolutely must have a purposeful time with the Lord to talk to Him about it and get His perspective on it. How many times do you catch yourself saying, "I can't even think straight?" God thinks straight every time and in His Word and in sitting quietly before Him, you will find rest for your body, soul and spirit. I promise you that you will come away from that time refreshed, renewed and with a whole new perspective on your situations. His Holy Spirit will counsel you, advise you, reassure you and set you back on your feet, ready to start the new day with confidence in Him.
When you're exhausted, in poor health, and worn out you do not have the power or the energy to fight the battle against wrong thinking, destructive decisions and if you're not careful, a total melt-down. You have no power to resist.
RESIST. Resist the urge to worry about tomorrow. Jesus said, "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6: 34) The King James Version of the Bible says to take no thought. The word translated "no" means "no". Nothin' fancy there. No thought. No care. Not to be troubled with cares about tomorrow. Has your penchant for worry ever achieved a purpose other than an upset stomach? Did it put the check in the mail? Did it make your child behave in the way you wanted? Did it bring your husband back? Did it heal your body? Absolutely not! What worry did bring however was a bad mood, a bad day, it affected your relationships with others, it kept you up at night, caused you to not feel like eating and didn't do one constructive thing to solve your problem. Resist the urge to give way to worry. Jesus has it covered. It's in His perfect hands. He knows just how to do it and He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all you could ever ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20) You can't change people, but Jesus can. Stop trying. You can only do so much in certain situations. Do what you can and leave the rest to the One who is able to do the impossible. He has only begun to show His greatness and the strength of His hand to you, His servant. There is no one in Heaven or on earth who can perform such great and mighty deeds as He does. (Deuteronomy 3: 24)
The devil, your enemy wants you to worry, because he knows that it will render you ineffective for anything good that you will do for the Kingdom of God. It will distract you from your destiny and God-given purpose in life. RESIST the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4: 7) Make him turn tail and run and bother someone else. Don't give him the satisfaction of falling into one of his cleverly orchestrated traps. The trap of worry.
Remember. Rest. Resist.
God has been good to you in the past. Today you need to rest. Resist worrying about tomorrow. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 13: 8)
Living the Word along with you,
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