By Pastor Mitch Horton | January 2002 | Posted in • Archives | (0) Comments
As we enter the year 2002, I frequently hear the comments about how fast the year 2001 went by! It seems as though the fast pace of our lives increases each year. Someone has said, A.W. Tozer said, “Beware of the barrenness of a busy life.” If our enemy can’t hinder us by temptations to direct sin, his other tactic is to come in the “back door” of our lives with increased busyness that robs us of our intimate fellowship with the Lord.
Daniel 12:4 reads, “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
The phrase “shall run to and fro” in the original Hebrew means: to travel, to lash the sea with oars. In Hebrew this phrase is a picture of a person in a boat desperately pushing himself through the water with an oar. It’s a picture of intense activity! God gave Daniel an accurate picture of modern life just before the return of Jesus.
In the light of this “busy” revelation, Hebrews 4 gives us an excellent admonition to counteract this tendency toward being “busy and barren.”
“There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered into His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His” (Hebrews 4:9-10).
We need two kinds of rest: inward rest and outward rest. How many of us have come back from a vacation that was to be a time of rest and were totally exhausted! True rest starts within.
“He gives power to the tired and worn out, and strength to the weak,” so reads Isaiah 40:29, The Living Bible.
“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
The “closet” of personal fellowship is where we find the inward rest that we need. In that place of waiting on the Lord, work does not tire us, and the stresses of life do not zap our energy. If we find ourselves continually worn out, it may be that we are living out of our own human strength and ability, and are not relying on His promised supernatural help. And that help is only found in that place of waiting.
The English evangelist Smith Wigglesworth said, “Pay attention to life’s inflow. Outward service will dwindle if inward energies are not renewed.” God can only use us to the degree that we keep ourselves spiritually edified.
Our inward man is to be renewed “day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16). Though the outward man fades and wrinkles with age, we can remain strong, vibrant, and youthful within by maintaining daily fellowship with God.
The children of Israel were given manna as food during their wilderness wanderings, and were commanded by God to gather the manna daily before the dew dried. They were to gather a one day’s supply for their family each morning. If they tried to gather more than they would eat for that one day, the manna would breed worms and stink. God intended for them to look to Him for their daily provision. And He intends for us to likewise gather our spiritual manna from Him daily. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
Make a decision as you begin this New Year to dedicate the first part of each day to the Lord. Doing so will keep the busy pace of life from robbing you of the strength that you can gain in the presence of God.
A.B. Simpson, the founder of the Christian Missionary and Alliance denomination said, “All physical strength is spiritual in cause.” When we become inwardly exhausted, there is only one cure, the place of waiting in His presence.
Years ago, the Lord admonished me personally to give the first part of my day to Him in feeding on the Word and in prayer. Over eighteen years later, I can see the fruit of my obedience to His voice. As I obeyed, I found new vision, new purpose, and new strength for life’s daily journey.
In our fast paced world, we need the inward rest that comes from time spent in His presence, daily in His Word and in fellowship with Him in prayer.
Next month, we will discuss the importance of outward rest.
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