Core scripture: “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)
Message: It was weird. Although 3rd quarter was sprinkled with a plethora a broken up three and four-day weeks, I still stumbled in to Spring Break needing rest. We are not traveling this week. No major projects. My two weeks following Spring Break are already planned out at work. It is as if Jesus was whispering to me the same thing He whispered to His disciples in Mark 6:31 when He says, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.”
Why is it so hard to do this? One of Satan’s most clever lies is that we always have to be on the go. Before you know it, your schedule is so full of activities that you run yourself down into nothing, crashing and burning. You start to neglect that quiet time that God wants you to spend with Him in favor of worldly alternatives. It is time to take a step back. Evaluate your life. Ask God if you need to slow down a bit. And act upon what He says.
During Jesus’ three years of ministry, He perfected the art of quiet time. He knew when He needed to get right with God. Following the death of His beloved cousin, John the Baptist, Jesus retreated to go be by Himself only to be swarmed by a mob of people. He had compassion on them, performing one of His greatest miracles ever, feeding the 5,000. Immediately following, Jesus “went up on the mountain by himself to pray,” getting the quiet time His soul needed (Matthew 14:23).
Spring Break provides that extra opportunity to break out of your typical quiet time to enhance it a bit. You should feel like a kid in a candy store, wondering how to spend your time. Here are just a few ideas on how you can enjoy that extra time with the Lord.
- Pick up a Christian book and dive in. I am currently reading The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges. It has challenged me to look at holiness in a totally different light.
- Have coffee with a Christian friend. This could be a mentor, a warrior beside you, or someone that you pour into. Have a spiritual conversation. Pray together. Sharpen each other.
- Take a stroll. With warmer weather creeping in, get outside and enjoy God’s majestic creation. Put your headphones on to a Christian music soundtrack or just let the music of the birds chirping be the background noise as you pray.
- “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Extra time on your hands? Use it to pray. Lock yourself in the basement. Curl up on the couch with a blanket. Don’t just speak to Him; quiet your heart and let God speak to you. Prayer is always a two-way conversation.
- Enjoy a Christian movie. I love checking out the “Faith and Spirituality” section on Netflix. Watching the movie Hoovey last week was inspiring, and I equally enjoyed The Case For Christ. Both based on true stories how God is at work in our lives.
- Journal. I do not do this enough. Imagine the Language Arts teacher saying this! Expose yourself. Be vulnerable. Get out all those bottled up feelings. Write some goals. It is okay to vent a little bit, but be sure to compliment that with how the Holy Spirit in you responds.
- Do you have a friend that needs Christ? Pin them down. Get together to watch some March Madness or just sit down with them for coffee. Never resist the opportunity to talk about the amazing things God has done for you. Share the Bread of Life!
- Explore rightnowmedia.org. My church has bought our congregation a subscription. It is just like a Christian Netflix. Sermons. Bible studies. Kids programs. You name it; they have it! Find one that fits your needs, and let it challenge you.
- Pour in to your family. Talk about how your quiet time is fueling you with your spouse. Do a devotion with your children. Pull aside a sibling and study the Bible together. The opportunities are endless to pass the baton of faith on to a loved one.
- Listen to Christian music. This could be in your car, on a walk, or in a comfy bean bag. Let that music inspire you. Start with Jonny Diaz’s song link below!
Anything sound appealing? They all sound sweet to me. Filling my schedule with all of these activities might burn me out, but just the right amount sprinkled throughout the week would be just what the doctor ordered to prepare me for 4th quarter. I love God’s soothing words to Moses as he is preparing to leave Mount Sinai: “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” (Exodus 33:14).
Relax your soul. God is whispering those very words to you now.
Challenge: Now that you have some ideas, pick a few of the above and put them into action. Today is only Tuesday. There is still plenty of time to grow with God this week. Just don’t overdo it. Remember, the idea is to recharge. Not to burn out!
Song application: “Breathe” by Jonny Diaz
Ninety miles an hour going fast as I can
Trying to push a little harder trying to get the upper hand
So much to do in so little time, it’s a crazy life
It’s ready, set, go it’s another wild day
When the stress is on the rise in my heart I feel you say just
Breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at my feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need
Is to just breathe
Bible study: Read through Matthew 14 or Mark 6. Both describe three events: the death of John the Baptist, feeding the 5,000, and Jesus walking on water. Take note of how Jesus compliments giving his heart to his disciples and to others, all while carving out time to get right with God through prayer. This is an amazing example of time management we could all benefit from studying.
Prayer: Lord, give me the rest I need to be refreshed and rejuvenated with your Holy Spirit radiating from me. Amen.