“Is anyone going to heaven because of you” is the question that was asked of me this morning.
My answer, “Yes!”
I was encouraged as I began to think of the people who know Jesus because God used me. Then, as quickly the encouragement came, discouragement moved in.
I immediately thought, “But who have I not reached? Who did I miss? Who is not hearing about Jesus today? What more can I do for you, Lord?”
My soul depleted of all rest. Robbed was my hope in what God has done through me. Back to the grind. Keep working. I have no time to stop. No time to rest in God’s goodness today.
And then the Lord quickened me with, “Take a moment, my child.”
There are times we need to stop and meditate on the good we are doing for Jesus. We need to be happy about it. We need to feel the joy of just serving our Lord. We need to embrace this moment long enough to be encouraged along the way.
But we don’t take this moment in life, do we?
It’s so easy to add a tag line to the good we are doing with, “but you need to do more or you can do better.” It’s true, we do need to do more, we can improve, but we can also rest in God’s pleasure that we have done well.
Life is hard. It beats us down.
Busyness keeps us from being still.
Media berates us with anxiety, fear, and despair.
Troubles and trials make us weary.
Demands and expectations never take a vacation.
We end most of our days deflated as we reflect on what we have not accomplished.
The tension is this, we need to evaluate, we need to learn how we can do better, but we need to rest our soul from the incessant assessments, too. The cost to not resting is too great. Rest does more than just give us the time to sleep and gear up for the next big job we need to do.
Look at what we put aside when we choose not to glory in God’s work through us:
We don’t embrace God’s pleasure.
We don’t allow ourselves to feel His love.
We don’t take the time to hear how much He is proud of us.
Not feeling His pleasure, His love and His pride in us is a sure way to serve God without passion one day. We will lose our vision, joy, and purpose. We will forget why we do what we do. We will do out of duty not love. As the church of Ephesus was so acutely scolded, “I know your works, your labor, and your endurance…but I have this against you: You have abandoned the love you had at first” (Revelation 2:2-4).
You are His. I am His. Being a good Father, God wants you and me to come to Him and tell Him the good we have done. He wants to celebrate with us. Just as Jesus did when the seventy disciples returned with joy after being sent out to heal the sick and share the power of the Kingdom of God with those in need. (Luke 10:1-20). Jesus took a moment with them.
And we need to take the moment, too. We need to take a minute to reflect on the goodness God is doing through us.
Make a list of those people who are now children of the Most High God because you helped them get there. Reflect where they would be if you didn’t take the time to share Jesus with them.
Be pleased that the last church event you organized went well, or the sermon or worship set moved people to action; take a moment, experience the thrill of that one conversation you had that changed a life. Delight in the fact that God gifted you and you used that gift to bring Him glory!
Take a moment!
Be encouraged. Stay there a while. Praise Jesus! Thank God! Worship Him!
Don’t bring out that evaluation yet.
Do what the Psalmist said; “Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you” (Psalm 116:7).
The time we take to rest our soul is so much more than just giving ourselves a pat on the back. It’s called taking a Sabbath. The Sabbath is a time to rejoice in all the Lord is doing in our life. It’s time to rest the soul from the “to do” list and the “evaluations” that are necessary, but not for today! Take a moment.
Run to your Father in Heaven; allow Him to refresh your weariness and encourage your soul.
Tomorrow you can bring out the evaluation. Tomorrow you can get on that ‘to do’ list.
For now, just take a moment!