Jesus’ Principle of Rest – See What Gets Revealed in Recovery

If you’ve followed along in this series of Jesus’ principles of ministry, you’ve learned the importance of training and action through teaching and healing. There’s one last component to observe that makes the other two able to thrive.  

“As soon as they left the synagogue (after Jesus finished teaching), they went into Simon and Andrew’s house with James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law was lying in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. So he went to her, took her by the hand, and raised her up. The fever left her, and she began to serve them.

When evening came, after the sun had set, they brought to him all those who were sick and demon-possessed. The whole town was assembled at the door,and he healed many who were sick with various diseases and drove out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. (Jesus in tangible action through healing)

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he got up, went out, and made his way to a deserted place; and there he was praying. (Jesus recovered by resting with the Father) Simon and his companions searched for him, and when they found him they said, “Everyone is looking for you.”

Though there was an entire world in need of hearing God’s good news, and needing healing of various kinds, Jesus rested. Sure, as God, He could have reached the entire world in this way. But, as He was also fully human and allowed Himself to be limited by those aspects, He could only reach the people around Him at that time. Also because of His humanity, Jesus was exhausted.

And he said to them, “Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come.” – Mark 1:29-38 (Bracketed text added)

In Luke 8:46, Jesus told Peter that He felt power leave Him when the woman with the bleeding disorder touched the hem of His garment. Can you imagine how much power left him after healing a whole town of sick people well into the night, as stated earlier in Mark 1?

Here’s the thing, you’re no different. If Jesus felt that power leave Him, surely you too feel diminished after times of serving, training, and helping others. So, it’s important to understand what Jesus did to replenish Himself so you too can continue to grow and serve in His strength. Let’s look again at Mark 1:35, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he got up, went out, and made his way to a deserted place; and there he was praying.”

What did Jesus do to replenish His strength? Did He sit by the beach with a good book? Did He travel the world, seeing all the amazing sights? Though these are not wrong, they aren’t spiritually replenishing. No, Jesus went to a “deserted place” – free of distractions and responsibilities, and He prayed.

Do you ever feel like there’s something God wants you to do, but you can’t figure it out? Perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed or more irritable, but unable to pinpoint where it’s coming from? Like Jesus, it’s important to be able to sneak away from responsibilities at times to spend intimate moments with the Lord. It provides renewal to your spirit, mind, and body. Though this should be a daily occurance for any length of time, there’s also a need for greater spans when there are larger needs. For example, Michael was so kind to provide this time for me a week and a half ago. It was three days away to pray, seek the Lord, and write.

It had been a desire of mine for a while now to return to a larger writing project. There were three in mind, but a fiction book is where I feel guided to most at the moment.  A few friends were seeing my frustrations in the weight of responsibilities and encouraged me to get writing again, knowing this was ultimately where the frustration was coming from.

When you’re so busy training and acting upon the things you feel you should be doing for the Lord, the responsibilities have a way of becoming louder than God’s voice if you’re not careful. This was my case. The anger I was feeling was sinful because I wasn’t following through with what God wanted of me, in fear of “dropping the balls” on the others. These other things were not bad. They were all good, and had become a part of my frequent routine for this ministry. But it became evident I was holding too tightly to them when I noticed that the anger was slowly turning into bitterness, and had taken up so much of my time that it didn’t allow for doing the things God desires of me, for this season.  

The Lord had been giving me aspects of the book He wanted me to work on over the last couple of years. I had started to pay more attention to it for the past few months, writing ideas on bits of paper throughout my office, though I hadn’t come to a confident beginning for the book.

Upon Michael’s and my friends’ advice, I took the dedicated time to get away, leave all responsibilities, and spend time with the Lord in writing.

The very beginning of the first morning in my “deserted place”, as the grogginess of sleep was still wearing off, I began my special time with the Father. Immediately, the words, “From the beginning” in 1 John came to mind. As I opened the Bible study I’m going through, the author asked me to find similarities between John 1:1-5 and 1 John 1:1-5. As I opened John 1:1, I read, “In the beginning was the word…” One of the names I was debating to symbolize Jesus in the fictional book was Dabar, the Hebrew form of the word, word. The Lord confirmed to me by His peace that the book was to start with Him, and His name was to be Dabar.

When you and I can quiet our hearts and minds to connect with Jesus, we can guarantee He’ll reveal His presence and word to us. Often, I have found that it’s when I’ve been wrestling/doubting something for a while that He calls me to stillness so I can offload everything else to be able to listen to Him.

Is there something with which you’re wrestling/doubting? Something about which you’ve felt angry or bitter? Ask Him to quiet your spirit and help you to listen for His voice. Then wait for Him to speak. Frequently, it’ll be clear through His word what He desires, as He’s already been calling out to you along the way.

Let’s return to Mark 1:38 to see what happened after Jesus spent a restful time with His Father. “And he said to them, “Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come.”

He had been refocused and energized again for the assignment the Father had given Him. I, too, had received the same blessing. With a few breaks here and there, the Lord help me write roughly one third of the book in two and a half days. When you think you don’t have time to spend with the Lord in order to accomplish all you think you have to do in a day, you’ll eventually realize at some time along your faith journey that you can’t afford not to. If you want to serve the Lord from His strength and equipping, you have to abide/connect with Him to receive all you need. When you do this, you’ll be surprised what you can accomplish, through Him!

“His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” 1 Peter 1:3

To finish this thought, if you’ve been a Christian for a while, you’ve probably heard of Martin Luther, the man noted for the reformation. This man did a lot of profound work for Christ in his day. He said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” That seems impossible in our day and age. If he was very busy, he shouldn’t have had time to pray for three hours! My guess is that he woke early to make sure he did. And the work he is still known for today is a result of his dedication to resting with our Father in prayer.

Another well-known pastor, Charles Stanely, since he was a teenager created a dedicated space everywhere he lived to have an undistracted time of prayer with the Lord each day. He too has left a legacy for many, including in his son, Andy Stanley, who’s also a pastor. (Hear Charles sermon on The Believer’s War Room –

If you want to truly make a difference for Christ, and I’m speaking to myself here too, we cannot afford to not spend time with the Lord in adoration, thanks, and prayer!

Father, thank You for the blessed gift of prayer; that we can hear from You and confidently present our requests before Your throne of grace. Lord, help us to be a people of prayer who seek You for all direction, wisdom, strength, and more of Your Spirit to be who You’ve designed us and do as You’ve called us. Blessed be our God and the Lord Jesus Christ for all You are.

In Jesus powerful name we pray,

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