“Come to Me”

(Matthew 11: 28-30, The Message) “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

If you have come to the place where you are so tired that you’re saying it every day, and you’re dreading doing the things that you once loved to do, then you’ve gone too far for too long. 

When we think about strongholds in our lives, our minds typically go to the “big” things like anxiety, depression, or addiction (to name a few), but did you know that being overtired can also be a stronghold over you?  A stronghold is something that is part of your life that you cannot seem to bring under control.  Strongholds are lies told by Satan, with which we have come into agreement.  These things take hold of parts of (or even all of) our lives, and we have adopted them as our norm.  Becoming too tired is a direct result of overcommitting and lack of self control.  We have to learn, at some point, to use wisdom when we are asked to do things.  We have to ask ourselves, “Is this too much for me right now?  Can I fully embrace this commitment with a Godly spirit of excellence?  Am I saying yes to this because of my flesh or because of my spirit?”  The lie here (that becomes a stronghold in our lives) is that if we say no we are not being good friends, children, spouses, parents, employees, or even Christians. 

The Bible reminds us in 2 Corinthians 10: 3-5, “We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.”  Every lie that Satan tells is evident when we recognize that if it is contrary to the word of God, if it keeps us from knowing and serving God with full and complete joy, then it is a LIE!  We have to expose these lies for what they are, and cast them down, as we have been given all of the power and authority by Jesus Christ to do! 

Being continually beat down, tired, sluggish and stressed is NOT part of God’s will for your life…nor for any of our lives.  It is bondage.  It keeps us from Him, it keeps our family lives in disarray, it tears down our physical wellness, and it slows our minds…leaving us vulnerable to spiritual and mental attacks from the enemy. 

So what do we do about it?  Well first of all, say no…and say it a lot, at least for a while.  Slow down and breathe.  Take time to enjoy things and people again.  Mediate on the word of God and ask the Lord to reveal the things in your life that have led you into bondage and allowed this stronghold to be built.  Then tear that sucker down!  Replace it with the good things that God intends for our lives, and make the Lord your fortress and shield against these kinds of attacks on your spirit. 

Remember 2 Timothy 1:7… “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  We have power over the enemy when we recognize his wiles and reject his lies. 

Today and every day, begin anew, with a refreshed spirit and a new perspective on how you intend to lead your life from this point forward.  We have to be our best selves if we want to make any sort of difference in this world. 

St. Francis of Assisi once said, “Do few things but do them well.  Simple joys are holy.”  There is something quite sacred about taking the time to experience joy, and to be clear and focused enough to do few things with great excellence.  The result is a tremendous testimony and a positive witness to the grace and blessings that come from God our Father.  Do not let Satan lie to you any longer.  You do not have to be so tired. 

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, I cast down the strongholds of stress and exhaustion in my life and I replace them with joy and rest.  Thank you for making me whole, for giving me peace, and for helping me have the wisdom to see the lies of the enemy and the boldness to say no to the things that will cause me to become burned out and exhausted.  I embrace your perfect will for my life.  Amen.

“The Show Must Go On”

(Revelation 14: 12-13, NLT) 12 This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently, obeying his commands and maintaining their faith in Jesus.  13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this down: Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them!”

My family and I have had a rough week.  It’s just been very stressful, in many ways, and to be perfectly frank…we have been under attack, spiritually speaking.  How many of you know that spiritual attacks most definitely manifest in the flesh?  These attacks can affect our relationships, our finances, our jobs, and even our health.  It’s crazy how that happens!  But thank the Lord we have wisdom and truth in His word and by His Holy Spirit to help us realize what’s really going on!

Being a part of a full-time ministry family, our every waking hour can feel as if we are just absolutely consumed with church stuff.  Fundraisers, events, lessons, music, counseling, outreach, etc.  It’s a busy life for sure…and we do work very hard…because we love it…and because that’s who we are and what God has drawn us to do with our lives.  It comes from a pure, devoted, and loving place in our hearts.  It really and truly does.  But…sometimes we get tired, and truthfully…a little discouraged.  This week has been sort of like that…and we’ve been drained.  You see, we have given our lives, our dreams, our plans, our everything over to God…full, complete surrender…and while it is fulfilling and rewarding in its own way, it is also sometimes wearisome. 

However, all throughout this week, I keep going back to this passage from Galatians 6 (verse 9) which says, So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

Truly, now is not the time to grow weary.  The world needs us more than ever.  People need our love, our compassion, and the truth of God’s word to sustain them through all of the chaos that surrounds us all.  The world is shrouded in a lot of darkness right now, and we have to be the light.  We simply must.  And we cannot pierce through this lingering cloud of suffering and turmoil if we are dim and weary. 

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to tucker out before my time is up on this earth.  I want my good deeds, the things that I’ve done because of my love for Christ and others, to follow me to the end…so that I am able to look in the face of Jesus and be proud of who I was and what I did with my time. 

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, when I grow tired, help me to recall the reasons why I do the things that I do.  Give me strength for the days that are heavy and grim, and give me peace for the times when I feel confused and lost.  I want to love and serve You all of my days, so that when I come to my end and I must face You, I can be confident that my days were time well spent.  May it all be for Your glory and honor.  Amen

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