Friday, 29 May 2015

When God tells you to rest

Ah, rest. That elusive concept that Jesus talks about a couple of times but I'll think about it later. I've got other things to do, God. You understand right?

I mean, I've got good, holy Christian things to do. Like helping lead the youth group every Friday night, and then there's all this admin stuff I said I'd do for the Christians on campus. Oh and I said I'd meet with that friend on campus, man they are going through a tough time right now. Prayer group is coming up this week. Wow there's so much going on around the world, gotta pray for all those people. And that family's moving house earlier in the day so I should be able to fit that in... I'm sure I'll have time to study in between. Gotta get those marks for His glory! 

On and on it went.

On and on.

And on.

Needless to say I eventually crashed. It wasn't pretty. 

And what am I doing now you ask? Weeeeeell... Much the same thing. 

But! I have cut back on some things (youth group and the admin stuff being the major ones). So God's getting me there and I'm starting to listen. Sometimes.

The truth is we're not superhuman. Disappointing I know. Sometimes we need to take a break, we need to rest, we need to say the dreaded 'n' word (*whispers* no...) and let the Holy Spirit minister to our weary souls. 

My dear 'friend' Perfectionism doesn't like letting people down and is desperate to get absolutely everything right, as she sees it. Thankfully, grace says differently. Grace says it's ok I'm not perfect, that I don't always get everything right. If I did I wouldn't need Jesus!! 

So let's listen to grace more often and tell Perfectionism to go away? 

Guess which way Perfectionism wants you to go??
Image via Pixabay

For further reading I highly recommend Solio Deo Gloria's post on 'The Cost of the Cape.' You can find it here.

Additionally, if this is something (perfectionism) you particularly struggle with (1) you are not alone and can read one of my post's on the topic here and (2) you may benefit from reading the Sandford's chapter on 'Performance Orientation' in their book Transformation of the Inner Man.


Ruthie Gray said...

Perfectionism can be such a ministry - and yet such a vice. We must be wise as serpents, and yet harmless as doves when it comes to every aspect of our lives, and this is one of them. Choosing wisely how and what. We can't do everything, but we can do some things. Come away and rest with Him, reflect on what He would have us do, then do those things well.
I'm your neighbor on Dance with Jesus Friday!

MB said...

Yes, taking the time to rest and THEN do these things well, as opposed to heavily with exhaustion weighing you down, is a valuable practice indeed.

Thanks for visiting!

Laurie Collett said...

Praise God that He wants us to have communion with Him, and for our works to flow from that rather than to "do" things for Him from our own flesh. We must take time to drink deeply from His fountain before His living water can flow through us to others. Thank you for the beautiful post. Linked up with you at UNITE -- hope you'll stop by Saved by Grace for a visit!
God bless,

MB said...

Hi Laurie, thanks for visiting. I'm looking forward to being part of UNITE and of course I'll visit! I do enjoy blog hopping.

Isn't it wonderful? The God of the universe actually wants to have communion...with me! Wowzas. And we need to spend that time with Him so we can more effectively reach others.

Leovi said...

Yes, we are not perfect, our duty is to strive to do well, and be quiet for trying.

Karen Del Tatto said...

I can definitely struggle with perfectionism. But the bigger surprise is now that I am older, I never sit still. I don't even have to have outside commitments and responsibilities to be busy, I create my own!

The sad thing is, I can feel guilty if I am just relaxing or "vegging". I can remember saying to young moms, you need a break every once in a while because you will be a "better" mommy to your children. I need to preach this to myself. The more I allow myself true Sabbath rest (even on days that aren't the Sabbath, but that I break away to rest with the Lord for a time or a season), how much "better" will I be at walking in obedience with Him.

Thanks for sharing your insights.

MB said...

Oh I know exactly what you mean, Karen. From a student perspective, a lot of my friends say they feel horribly guilty when they're not studying. Even though you lose concentration after ~45 minutes of intense study, and you brain is better off if you take a short break.

And your plan of a true Sabbath rest sounds like a very good idea. :)

Unknown said...

It would be so nice if we just could learn everything from our crashes and walk away from the being the "yes-woman." It's so hard to break old habits. But I think there has been a fundamental shift since I realized how I was living my life was not fruitful. So while I still feel like I have a very full life, I have not really returned to an attitude of "I should do that because..." Instead it's more of a "Lord, do you want me to do that or should I say 'no?" I feel like with time and practice, I will get better at making new habits!

MB said...

That's wonderful Jen! I'm trying to do that too but as you said, it takes time and practice. Lord willing we will both get there :)

Lauren English said...

I so struggle with perfectionism and the desire to do do do instead of just be with Jesus. I remember in college a friend told me she'd had a vision of sorts about me when I was in a hard season. She dreamt I was passing out golden mirrors to the high school girls I volunteered with so they could see themselves as God sees them. But in the process, my own mirror had fallen to my side and I'd lost sight of how much God loves me and sees me. I always think of that when I'm tempted to work for Jesus instead of just rest in Him. Thanks for some encouragement on a Monday morning!

MB said...

You're welcome Lauren! Clearly God wanted to get his daughter's attention eh? I had a somewhat similar experience. My mum was praying over me in tongues and received the interpretation: it was God, saying through my mum, "I love you" over and over again. I remembering crying like a baby because I'd be running and hiding from God for so long and here He was telling me how much He loved me and asking me to come back to Him... So yes, let us rest in Him and abide in His love for us!