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Friday, February 1, 2013



Rest and  Restoration (R & R)
By Pastor Mark Taylor

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  MATTHEW 11:28

“He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3)

One day when the Lord returns He is going to restore our world to it's original creation before sin entered it.  There will be no Satan or evil.  The "Lion shall eat straw like the Ox...and a little child shall lead them."  All of this will happen when the Lord sets up His Kingdom on Earth and we rule and reign with Him. "And He has made us serve God as kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth." (Revelations 5:10).  But until then we are in constant need of rest and restoration.

We need rest just as we need air, water and food to survive. The fact is, when we fail to rest fully and deeply, we not only hurt ourselves, we run the risk of hurting others. Physical rest is every bit as important as emotional and spiritual and let us not underplay this reality. 

We also need Restoration.  In the scriptures we see God restoring many things, the joy of salvation (Ps 51); the rain (1 Ki 18); lost years (Joel 2:25); relationship with the Father (Lk 16); lost wages (2 Ki 8); and other things.  The Hebrew word means to turn back to God, to refresh and to repair. When we restore something we bring it back to original condition.  God wants us to be restored as much or more than we sometimes do. If you can remember that God wants you to be on fire for Him it will always make the journey back home much sweeter.  s the prodigal son. Put shoes on his feet, my regal robe on his back, my ring of authority on his finger.  If he had not run out of money he may have never returned home.

Rest is an important element in being restored back to our original condition and in even in better condition.  Restoration means to take something from the garbage heap and make something very special out of it.  God is that way also,  He enjoys restoring things to their intended purpose.

As we read through the Gospels we see the relaxed, calm pace Jesus kept from day to day. You never once see Jesus in a hurry. Even when one of Jesus’ closest friends, Lazarus, was on his deathbed, Jesus took His time getting to Bethany to be with Lazarus. How is it that Jesus moved through life so slowly, and yet accomplished so much? Is there something we contemporary Christians have missed?  The ability to calm your soul and wait before God is one of the most difficult things in the Christian life, but it is necessary.

Maybe you have lived in a stressful life for so long, that you think it is normal, but it is not.  Maybe you have not been able to rest or be restored because of the demands of others..  Some people have chosen to draw boundaries in which they have chosen not to stress out about everyone else’s problems.  These people live with a thing called “Peace”.  That is their day is full of thoughts and actions that bring joy into their lives and into the lives of others.  Boundaries are important and we need to set them.
When God begins to restore you, He wants you to make meaningful changes in your life that keeps you from falling back into a broken and stressful life.  Today, you can begin to allow God to start the repairing work that needs to be done in your life.  

Prayer and asking Him to help you is where things start.  God works with you in your spirit and mind.  That means you have to connect with Him in conversation and filling your mind with new material for new thoughts and actions. To live a life with of rest and restoration, I would encourage to begin praying and making your requests known to God about these two areas.  The first is to take time for yourself.  The second is to take control of your life, especially what you think.  Ask God to help you and as you make progress, give thanks to our Heavenly Father for helping you.

The most important way to rest and let God restore you in your life is simply to  seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).  If you are living a life that is in line with God’s Word, and you are trying to please the Lord Jesus Christ, you will be “too blessed to be stressed”
Rest is more than sleeping or being physically inactive.  There is certainly a need for those periods of time.  But it involves more than spending time by yourself in a quite room.  Set aside relaxation time. Include rest and relaxation in your daily schedule. Don’t allow other obligations to encroach. This is your time to take a break from all responsibilities and recharge your batteries.  Connect with others. Spend time with positive people who enhance your life. A strong support system will buffer you from the negative effects of stress.  Do something you enjoy every day. Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, whether it is reading an inspirational book, playing a game with your children or grand children, or working on a project you enjoy.  Other healthy ways to relax and recharge can include: taking a walk; spending time in nature; call a good positive friend; sweat out tension with a good workout; write in a journal; play with a pet, work in a garden or flower bed; listen to music; and many more things that bring you joy.

As God is restoring you, take control of your environment.  ”Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.” (Colossians 3:15).  The key word is “let”.  Make a choice that you are going to think on things that bring peace into daily life.  What are thoughts that will bring you peace?  “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”  (Philippians 4:8).  Think about what you are thinking about.  “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3).

Have a good support system.  Church, family and positive people can help you as God restores your life  “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the House of the Lord” (Psalms 122: 1).    God’s House should be a place where people are happy and joyful and can encourage each other. And finally read God’s Word daily.  This will guide you into a life of rest and restoration.