“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.

I’m Tired Now…

“Dear brothers and sisters, we can’t help but thank God for you, because your faith is flourishing and your love for one another is growing. We proudly tell God’s other churches about your endurance and faithfulness in all the persecutions and hardships you are suffering. And God will use this persecution to show his justice and to make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering. In his justice he will pay back those who persecute you. And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven.” (2 Thessalonians 1:3-7)

When I was a child I never understood why the adults in my life were always so tired. Although I was not as active as some children, it seemed that I had never-ending reserves of energy, both physical & mental. Bedtime was torture to me because I was never tired and I would often stay awake until the sun came up, playing in my room or reading long after I had been instructed to go to bed. So when adults talked about how they were too tired, worn out, or just needed time to unwind for a bit, I simply didn’t get it.

At 35, I am still a young man but it is an undeniable fact that my limitless days are behind me. I’ve begun to realize that I cannot possibly do and experience everything I would like to do. Time, money, physical strength, and mental vigor are all limited resources that must be jealously guarded and wisely utilized. And there are times when no matter how careful I am, by the end of the day I feel like I’ve been running for three years, two months, fourteen days and sixteen hours.


I get it now. 

In 2 Thessalonians, Paul was writing to a church that had been through a lot. He describes their situation as one of persecution, hardship, and injustice.  But the awesome part is that the adversity they had faced had not worn them down and defeated them. On the contrary, their faith was flourishing, their love for each other was growing, and they were held up as examples of endurance and faithfulness. What an impressive report!

How were they able to do this? I can tell you it wasn’t by any human effort. We are capable of amazing feats of strength and endurance, but eventually we all reach our limit. Our bodies break down, our willpower fades, and determination falters.

The good news for us is that like the church of Thessalonica, God is there to provide us with rest.  When we have pushed as far as we can go, God is waiting to give us some relief. He will supply times of refreshing and rejuvenation that will allow us to continue running your race with renewed strength.

In the Old Testament, we see how God was careful to provide rhythms of life by establishing regular sabbaths, festivals, and times of jubilee. He wanted his people to have times when they could rest and recharge. And when our lives are over and we have accomplished all that we have been put on this earth to do, he has promised us eternal rest with him in heaven.

If you are tired, stretched too far, or just worn slap out, I encourage you to ask God for some of that rest that he promised us and he will be faithful to sustain you. You don’t have to do it on your own, and when you are finished with your work, there’s a heavenly hammock waiting on the other side!

PRAYER: Father, I pray for all those who are sick, heartbroken and weary from the circumstances of their lives. I pray that your Holy Spirit would comfort them, and fill them with your strength and power. Help them to find rest and refreshment…physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  In Christ’s name I pray, Amen.

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