Key Word:- PEACE
Title:- R & R & R
1 Corinthians 15:9,10 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
Rest and relaxation are two of the most basic requirements of physical and spiritual health. Indeed, growth is dependent upon it. Ask any body builder and they shall tell you that one of the chief components of building muscle mass is, believe it or not, rest! Pump iron, rip those muscles, eat the right fuel and rest.
One look at the life of the apostle Paul, who it seems is often a far more attractive role model for the driven evangelical than Jesus, presents us with what us ‘people of the pew’ would often regard as a superhuman saint, suffering ferociously for the cause of Christ, who like some incessant and pounding wave, is constantly throwing himself with holy abandon, again and again, against the gates of hell. It’s a hard act to follow. Believe me!
Now without question, lest I offend some of you, I do regard my brother Paul, the least of all the apostles, to be the greatest of them all, both in word and deed. I wonder if a part of Paul also felt the same? Anyhow, I would not even consider measuring myself against his stature in any way. Paul is one of life’s awesome individuals, totally dedicated and driven mostly and magnificently by the grace of God in the face of Christ Jesus. I do not say this in any secret cynicism or hidden criticism, on the contrary, the measure of anointing and grace upon Paul was awesome! He knew his calling, his destiny and with confidence could say “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8. Friends, that is incredible. I hope to have that knowledge one day.
Yet I tell you, I refuse to listen to Pastors with pension plans, plump pastoriums and packed wallets, who whilst dripping with gold and stylish suits, exhort the faithful to follow the example of Paul. When they start to follow the great pull of Paul, and bear his scars and wear his torn clothes and stinky sandals, then in one of my most insane moments, I might just consider doing likewise. Maybe. Until then fine Pastor, please, just keep it shut.
Now to you my dedicated and tired brethren. Do you know your calling and your destiny? Do you know the measure of your gifting and of your anointing? Do you know where you stand in the battle line of Jesus? Do you know your orders? I suspect the answer for many of you is, probably “no, not really.” I ask these questions, for it has been my observation that the majority of the saints do not have a clue about these vital things, not a clue! Sadly, one of the reasons why they don’t, is that their local church has robbed them of the three R’s; that is, Rest, Relaxation and Reflection. To find out these things for yourself, to get off that guilty treadmill, to forego the weekly whip of words that bleeds your tired back once more to walk in ways you are not called, takes prayerful quiet and reflective listening and I tell you the truth; you will not reflect without rest and relaxation. Indeed, without ALL of these three R’s in your life, whilst working on the Master's vine or slaving in the vineyard of some Pastor’s own making, you shall wither and waste away.
On the other hand my esteemed brethren, if Paul’s mantle has become yours, then God help you, anoint you and enable you like He did the great apostle himself. If however, Paul’s mantle has not fallen from heaven upon your quaking shoulders, then don’t you dare try and take it up and don’t let any leader intent on his own glory, try and lay it on you. You can’t do it! Instead, today, tomorrow and for the REST of your days, get with God and find out your own duty, destiny and place in the battle line of Jesus. Today be Holy. REST, RELAX, REFLECT!
Listen:- Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves. Mark 6:30-32
Pray:- Lord, I want to be like Paul in knowing that I have completed the orders You have for me and have been found both faithful and fruitful. Help me to make time to find this out and so be refreshed for the work You have for me in the Holy Spirit. Amen.