Tuesday, April 19, 2011

#169 - How to get REFRESHED!

Computer errors caused part of this blog to get deleted. I believe that even after filling in some gaps, it will bless you! I pray I didn't forget anything. The enemy did NOT want you to get this one!!! The Holy Spirit told me that His people DO need this Word!

Good morning! Well, I must say it is a beautiful morning out! I am officially on my back porch.... had a cup of hot chocolate, now on to some English tea and the birds are just chirping away! It is absolutely peaceful! I can only imagine what it would be like to live on a property with lots of land, not ever hearing ANY cars or neighbors, just nature! Wow! A small piece of heaven, I'm sure! I look forward to OUR piece of land like that!!

We are going to stray off the path a little bit as I want to share some insight with you into a very popular Psalm that I'm sure many of you could quote! Let's get started.
Psalm 23:1-4 - THE LORD is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack. He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters. 3He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him--not for my earning it, but] for His name's sake. 4Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me.
Sunday at church, my Pastor talked about Psalm 23 and the power of resting. As he was sharing scripture and going through some things, it was just like the Holy Spirit was revealing me so much even in what was not said. I was having some pretty exciting revelations in regards to Psalm 23 & resting. What is in store for those who rest.  Let's jump into things a bit.

In the Hebrew, verse 2, "leads" can be also translated as to "give rest, bring to a place of rest, refresh, cause to rest." However, in verse 3, the Hebrew word for "lead" is talking strictly about "to lead, bring or guide." It is not referring to "resting."

The power of RESTING in obedience?
As I sat in church listening to the Pastor, in my head I started thinking about what an oasis these green pastures would be to actual sheep. The Pastor made reference to how the sheep could just graze endlessly all day long. The grass was green, plush, yummy... perfect. When they got full, they could lay down, take a nap, go down to the still waters and drink. EVERYTHING that a sheep would need was provided for and laid out! ALL of their needs were met, there at the green pastures! Here's where my mind started to go off.... WHAT would "green pastures" look like for me, the believer? Green grass is great for a sheep, but I'm not going to eat green grass. What would "green pastures" be for me? Check this out! If to a sheep it meant TOTAL FULFILLMENT, ABUNDANCE, NEEDS COMPLETELY MET, that is what it would mean to me too! Total Fulfillment? Yes! My needs being met in every area. Finances? Abundance. Food to feed my family? Abundance. Clothing? Abundance. Health? Abundance - wholeness. When I and YOU allow ourselves to go to these green pastures, we set ourselves up for restoration. Verse 3 says that in this place, HE, our Father, refreshes and restores our life!

Are you running ragged? Are you tired? Are you feeling burnt out? When was the last time you visited the GREEN PASTURE? It is a place where RESTORATION comes! It is a place where YOU & I will get REFRESHED!

Why Rest?
Very simple. Re-read the beginning of verse 4, "Yes, though I walk through the valley..." We are ALL going to have valley's in our life at some point! Since we live IN the World and Satan is currently it's prince, bad things are bound to happen. Now, don't get me wrong, I am probably one of the greatest "Optimists" that you will ever meet. I believe that I have been set up to be BLESSED because I am following the will of God for my life, and if you are walking in obedience, I believe the same for you. God's desire is to bless His children.

Let's jump back... "I walk through the valley..." - THERE is the KEY for you & I! For the born-again believer! THERE is the key! To walk THROUGH the valley's of life! Not to STAY there! Not to STAY in the valley! Not to LAY DOWN in the valley. Not to make our HOME in the valley! We are to walk THROUGH the valley's that we come to. Man this is good! Are you getting this!?!?

And HERE is the KICKER! What makes someone ABLE to walk THROUGH the valley instead of STAYING in the valley? Because they have RESTED. They are REFRESHED. They are RESTORED. We are not meant to STAY in the valley! We are meant to go THROUGH the valley. We are not meant to lay down in the valley, to put up camp in the valley. We aren't meant to wallow in the valley, we are meant to go THROUGH the valley. As believers living in the WORLD, we cannot always prevent bad things from coming at us... even Paul reminds us of this in the New Testament, BUT to a degree, we can prevent how long we stay in that place. By RESTING, observing a Sabbath, we can get girded up with strength so that the "valley season" can be quicker, so that we are able to withstand the enemy, we are able to walk through the valley to the other side VICTORIOUS! The enemy wants you to STAY in the valley. How can we glorify God if we remain in a bad place, if we remain in disaster, turmoil. We glorify God when we are on the OTHER SIDE of the valley VICTORIOUS. Pre-requisite? Proper rest in the green pastures and beside the still waters.

The disadvantage to being FORCED to rest? 
I heard a pastor once talk about how he never took a day of rest. He never really rested. Being in the ministry, he traveled and shared the gospel all the time, but did not himself rest. After awhile it took a toll on his body and he was FORCED to rest. He was laid up in bed with back problems for some time and was MADE to rest. I've heard him recount the situation and say that he believes he could have avoided it if only he would have taken a priority to rest. So... by choice or by force, your body needs to rest. I choose to do it on my terms, healthy and having an enjoyable time versus being laid up in bed, or worse, being in a hospital somewhere.

Not a ONE-TIME Event
Just like our bodies repair themselves each night when we sleep. I feel like each week, a Sabbath Day of Rest does the same thing. Tyler and I choose to schedule a Day of Rest EACH WEEK. We notice if we miss a week, we feel bogged down and tired. Don't get me wrong, it takes planning, especially when you factor in children, jobs, etc. We just started somewhere. If you can't do a "whole" day right now, start with a few hours or a half day. Start with scheduling some time to rest. By no means do I want to force my opinion or view of the Word on you... but if the shoe fits for you, maybe you should wear it too. Maybe you might just benefit from resting.


Deb Ellis said...

You are right Amy! The enemy would have liked for you to delete this whole blog today.
This was encouraging to me. I have camped out in the valley too long and it's time to 'walk through the valley'. What a revelation! To know that green pastures and cool waters are waiting for me just a few steps away is such an encouragement! Praise the Lord! I just realy appreciate you!

Amy J. McCart said...

Amen! :) Glad it could be helpful!! :)

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