I recently have been putting a lot of thought (and worry) into a message I needed to prepare. I have known for quite some time the main passage I would use and even had a sense of what general direction the message would go. However, I was coming up on a deadline and had no real content on paper. Additionally, there also was a growing list of “urgent” tasks awaiting my attention.
In interest of full disclosure, it was a courtesy deadline so there would be time for someone to get the neccessary content ready for displaying on the screens. But you see, I have this uneasiness within me when I have tasks looming over my head or if I feel I’m letting others down. You could call it a performance mentality (but this is too public of an environment for that kind of honesty).
As the post five o’clock time came, I knew the prudent thing to do would be stay and finish the message. After all, I had plenty time to craft the message and it’s my own fault for waiting so long. I went ahead and sent the scriptures I knew I would want displayed on the screens and planned to work on the rest of the message.
But first I needed some coffee. Then I was reminded of a verse I read earlier that day:
“And He said, The kingdom of God is like a man who scatters seed upon the ground, And then continues sleeping and rising night and day while the seed sprouts and grows and increases–he knows not how. The earth produces [acting] by itself–first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.” Mark 4:26-28 (AMP)
I heard a whisper in my spirit that said, “Go home and rest. Be with your kids, and I will speak to you in the morning.”
So I closed my computer and headed home.
When I returned to put the work in the next morning, something refreshing happened. I spent some time praying and worshipping and then sat down to write — the message came almost effortlessly! I was so thrilled at what I had experienced.
When I choose to rest and the command of God, then God can work. Our responsibility is always obedience. God’s responsibility is the results.
I had a front row seat to see what God can do when we get out of our own way and stop toiling.
Of course I am not, for one minute, suggesting God blesses laziness and anyone who knows me can attest I am believe in working hard.
I am suggesting that God blesses His Word and obedience to that Word.
Now, before you go thinking I’m all super spiritual or something crazy, I have to fill you in on something. I didn’t fully obey and rest. I decided to help God, and got a little work done on some of the other tasks I needed to do. I ignored my family for an couple hours after dinner to work on it. I spiritualized it, reasoning to myself that I was giving God more margin and by completing these tasks I would have less distractions.
A few minutes after I was finished with the message, I was graciously and gently reminded of my lack of trust. It may seem like a small thing, but I quickly repented for trying to assist the process.
I believe God wants the best for us. I believe He can do more with a little bit of faith-filled rest than He can with copious amounts of self-assured work.
I am thankful God taught me a lesson in rest, that works.