Rest Up

“But he would withdraw to desolate places and prayed”

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So many times throughout Jesus’s ministry he would leave everything he was doing and went to simply be with the Father. Have you ever wondered why he chose to do that? Or did you do what a lot of us have done and just read it without getting the significance of what Jesus was actually doing? I am guilty of being in that category and it wasn’t until recently that i got a revelation and was transformed by why Jesus rested.

Ministry can become not just physically draining but emotionally as well. So often we think,“I just have to keep pushing forward, keep grinding, trust the process!” but God never intended us to live with an “I got this” mentality. Jesus spent time resting and praying because he knew he couldn’t carry on and fulfill the mission without spending time in his Father’s presence.

In John 6:38 Jesus tells his disciples “For i have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” Notice how Jesus states that it is not his own will, but rather the Father’s will. See because if it was his own will then he could have done it on his own strength, but it was his Father’s will so he had to rest in his strength.  

Here are a few reasons why resting and praying is absolutely important to fulfilling the mission.

  1. He wants to bring you rest

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28‭-‬29 ESV

So many times throughout our days we catch ourselves becoming physically exhausted and what is the one thing we always resort to? Removal. We remove ourselves from our current situations and go to a place of quietness where we can be still and not move a muscle. Our body might be getting the rest it needs but are our souls? The beautiful thing about Jesus is that all he asks of us it to do one thing, Come. He invites us to step into his presence where only he can bring the rest and peace our souls desperately desire.

  1. Bearing pure fruit.

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15:4 NIV

Often times we can easily forget that we are someone’s first encounter with Jesus, imagine if what they saw and tasted was the exact opposite of who he is? Jesus gave us a clear picture of how we are to bear pure fruit, remain in him. Fruit trees desperately need to be watered and cared for. Without it’s source of life then what we will see when it’s harvest time is going to be nothing but rotten fruit. The same goes for us believers. Constantly being in his presence allows you to not only display his image clearer but it allows him to purify those parts that have been tainted by life’s trials.

  1. Coming Undone

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” 2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV

Want to know a little secret? Jesus knows every part of you the good, the bad,the ugly and all he wants to do is be with you. One of the many things i have learned since following Jesus is that i don’t have to put up a front when i am with him. We can get so caught up in trying to put up a great image of our lives as followers of Jesus. Have you ever checked your heart and wondered why you tend to do that? Is it fear of others seeing that we don’t have it all together? Or maybe you are subconsciously doing that in hopes God will give you a round of applause and a pat on the back? I’ve been there and let me tell you that we are only deceiving ourselves. The beautiful thing about the Gospel is that no matter what we do, God’s love and approval of us will never change.When we step into his presence we get to leave behind all the weight of the person we try to be and freely get to come undone before him. You get to say “here i am Lord, broken, bruised and i know you aren’t disappointed with me” Let me remind you that he is not disappointed with you. He is proud of you!

As we continue to fight the good fight and we continue to live out the Gospel, let us never miss a opportunity to rest and be with Him. All he wants to do is be with you.

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Overcoming Anxiety

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It’s true that leading people can become stressful.

Many of us can say that we’ve experienced times in our life where we were excited and full of anticipation for the things God has in store for us, or the people we’re leading. When doubt seeps in, however, we are prone to feel anxious about what the future might hold. Anxiety is a feeling characterized by tension and worry, and it is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder. When I think of the ways feelings of anxiety have been present in my own life, I think of times when the enemy has morphed my hopeful anticipation for the future and turned it into fear or dread. Even for those of us who do not experience anxiety to the extent that it regularly interrupts our daily functioning, it is important to recognize when we feel anxious so that we can take authority over it.

3 Ways to Overcome Feelings of Anxiety

1. Remind Yourself that Jesus Has Already Overcome Anxiety

Philippians 4:6 tells us to be anxious about nothing but to pray and let our request be made known to God. Since God does not ask us to do anything that is not possible for us to do with his power, His command for us to not be anxious means that he has already made a way for us to overcome anxiety. Jesus overcame anxiety when he died on the cross and now we have the ability to walk in the freedom that he has already purchased for us.

Anxiety can make us doubt, back away from what we believe God is calling us to, or even cause us to avoid certain situations for fear that our worries might come to fruition. While anxiety causes us to retreat, faith and obedience lead us to walk into the future believing that God is faithful to fulfill his promises to us. Faith is often connected to obedience and the more we walk in obedience, the more we will be able to see our faith grow.

2. Meditate on the Things of God

Paul encourages us in Philippians 4:8 to meditate on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy. What are you meditating on? Especially as a leaders, we should be assessing our thoughts and the meditation of our heart (Psalm 19:14) every single day. When thoughts enter our mind that are contrary to the things mentioned above, we have to surrender them to God. We should be intentional about filling our minds with things that are in line with God’s promises to us and not things that contradict these promises. We must be mindful about the music, movies, social media accounts, and friends we allow to have a presence in our lives. Each of these has the power to impact our thoughts whether it is in a positive way or a negative one.

3. Challenge the Lies of the Enemy

An important question to enter into prayer with when we find ourselves feeling anxious is, “God, why am I feeling anxious?” Many times, I have found myself feeling worried but not being able to pinpoint exactly why I am feeling this way. At the root of anxiety exists a lie that we have begun to believe. It may be a belief that we are not capable or it may be doubt that God will actually meet our needs. Once we can uncover the lie that is causing us to feel anxious, we can challenge it with God’s truth. It is helpful to recall times in the past when God has enabled you to overcome a similar situation or similar thoughts. Remember his faithfulness in the past and bring it with you into the future.

Anxiety is real and it can be debilitating, but the good news is that Jesus is more powerful! Greater is He who is in you than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). Lean into God’s truth and He will prove himself faithful.We love you and we’re praying for you!

– Chantia