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Resting so that the rest is up to God.

April 24, 2010

Isaiah 40:28-31:  ‘Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.’

Yesterday I was interviewed for a global leadership role of an amazing Christian organisation and wow what an experience!

I feel like I gave it my best shot, that I said all that I wanted to say and was able to provide a clear vision and idea of what I would do if given the role.  And for those reasons I am very happy with how it went.

I felt a huge sense of peace and joy throughout the interview, praise God!   And a massive thanks to those who prayed for me, you are amazing!

So I have done all I can, now it is up to God.  Whatever happens, my prayer continues to be that God’s will is done.

Two massive things happened to me through participating in the interview process, the first was God giving me a strong sense of what I am to do with my life, which I shared in my last blog post (to read about this click here) and the second directly relates to the amazing reading from Isaiah above:  I realised I work way too hard.

5 weeks ago I finished as CEO of Bible Society New Zealand and my plan is to slow the pace of life down, spend more time relaxing, hanging out with my wife, playing with my kids and exploring ideas and relationships.  But what has happened is actually the opposite, I have been extremely busy and I am not to happy about it.

In coming away for this interview I have had a couple of days at the hotel I am staying in to prepare, to rest and so by the time I got to the interview I was my usual self, full of energy, my focus and capacity for thinking was sharp and my responses spot on.  And I realise that this is actually what God wants me to be like all the time, this is more of who I am, as opposed to the usual tired me I have become used to.

I realised that I need to take more time out, rest more so that I can fully be who God created me to be.

I need to relax in the evenings, take way more breaks, reduce the number of tasks I am involved in and most importantly, I need to hope in the LORD as it says in the Isaiah reading above.    The Hebrew behind the word hope means to wait, to be patient, to take the time out so that God can work.  Wow.

Here I am rushing around expecting God to act within my busyness and God is saying to me to slow down, to spend more time waiting, praying, resting so that He can renew my strength.  And I have received a taste of this over these past few days, where in the midst of me focusing on fewer things, on slowing down my hectic pace and taking more breaks,  I feel renewed and stronger for it and God has blessed me with an amazing sense of what I am to do with my life.

Praise God!!

God bless ya,

Mark Brown

http://twitter.com/RevMarkB

http://www.facebook.com/MarkBrown.page

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Yahweh’s Yarn in a Year : 1 year Bible reading plan

The portion for the next two days is: 1 Cor 13-14

To access the complete plan for the year click here.

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39 Comments
  1. tammy permalink

    Thank you so much for putting your thoughts and feelings on here in such a way as to make me understand that when my life is so hectic that I can not take the appropiate time to be with God. I am a live in house manager for 3 mentally and physically challenged people. I am always busy with their stuff and then with my own. My daughter was hospitalized 2 weeks ago for a ruptured appendice and had complications after the surgery. We went home a week after the surgery and a week later we were back in the hospital. While all of this has deepened my daughters faith it was begining to make mine grow weary. I decided to go back to work tonight since she was doing much better today after her second surgery yesterday…no fever no reactions…God showed me in a hurry that work is not my priority right now. Within 4 hours of me leaving the hospital she was running a 104 temp so now I sit at work and wonder why did God allow this to happen after I left. Now I know. Be more attentive to him and her and slow down. I am sure if I put all of this in a way for you to understand but I am sure with a little prayer God will help where I failed. Please know that your work here on the internet is very important and well understood by many here.
    In Gods love
    tammy piper

  2. Bro. Mark, God expects you to act, too!

  3. Bless You Brother Mark,It’s GOD”S WILL!!!

  4. Lori Fast permalink

    Thank you for this… this is exactly what I needed to hear! I am always way too busy, and I have always struggled with balance, with feeling like it’s wrong to just take time out and relax – actually actively relax, rather than just trying to escape. I like to use the excuse that I have 4 children and I have this house to manage and so forth and so on, but the reality is that I can only do that the way God intends me to when I’m resting when I need to, when I’m allowing God to work through me rather than just trying to do it all myself to meet some fanciful idea in my head of what I’m supposed to be doing “for God.”

  5. Astrid Verkroost permalink

    Hello Mark, it is a beautifull thought. But how come we most of the time run after everything and don’t rest and we seem to think praying is something for the few minuts we have left? While, when you read the bible, it is the most important thing to do? It is so difficult to change and let God do the work, just pray and follow Him.

    God bless you, bye.

  6. I wish I could discover how to do this, Mark. I feel like I’m in constant burn-out mode. In fact, the description of burnout given by Anne Jackson in her book, Mad Church Disease: Overcoming the Burnout Epidemic, is precisely what I feel like all the time. A “staycation” can revive me, but it doesn’t truly stay with me. Going away just adds to the stress for me.

    • MaryAnna permalink

      I was just thinking the same thing about myself. How can we attain what Mark is saying we need, and the bible says to do it too? I’m a mom of 3 young kids and can hardly find the time to rest and when I do I get swamped and stressed again. So where does it come from? In the bottom of his devotional, is the answer: we need to pray (not just list off things) and wait for a response, and spend time in His Word. If we are doing those things and still don’t have time to have day long breaks or whatever, even a 15 min reading will greatly help and the more we pray and listen has the power to change lives! It seems like a short blurb in his devotional, but really is the key to what he was saying. Hope this helps. I forget often and was glad for the reminder myself.

  7. GRACE permalink

    I love what you are doing. I seldomly read the people but I do believe in God and I try to show that by being good to people and giving to those who don’t have much much. Everytime I’m on facebook I read these verses and when you tell us a story about your life about it, I feel inner peace and joy because I can relate it to my own life. We need someone like you to share the bible with us daily.

    THANK YOU.
    GOD BLESS YOU.

  8. Hi Rev.Mark! so happy for what’s happening to your life right now… May God continue to bless you more… More power!

  9. Reginah permalink

    God iz great

  10. Cerise Swartz permalink

    God is such an amazing God, that He send u my way. Amen God bless u

  11. Ron permalink

    I need an answer to my quistion. He god created everything How long did it take him? Dinosaurse where here for a long time before us and the Bible doesn’t talk about them. Adam and eve was the first People but then what was the Cave name befor that time. This part is confusing to me and wish for an explaination or a scripture on it. Can you please let me know.

  12. Ellie Sworo permalink

    Surely The Lord is good.

  13. John Tracey permalink

    This really spoke to me. I think the key is resting in God. Doing what we do in his strenght and power. If we try to live life in our own power it will quickly run out.

    Jesus compared this to living water. He tells us if we drink from it we will never thirst.(John 4:10) Walking makes us thirst. We don’t need water we need Jesus and his Holy Spirit.

    Bless you

  14. lkaea permalink

    Aloha Mark,
    I enjoyed ur blog and also find myself feeling worn out and still having tasks to accomplish! I just wanted to share that although I am not a part of any ministry for my church, my job is a as a program assistant in a therapeutic living program substance recovery Facility for women and I love my job! I feel GODS will for me, is to always love others every chance I can, even if with a friendly smile or ear to hear them. i too have noticed that often God gives us just enough time to do His Will. If we always feel behind,then we’re trying to do more than he intended! And when i remember this, my will is replaced with
    His will, to put that paperwork aside that allows me to be myself with people I am here to love! Remembering this also shows me to spend that extra time with my children just so they can show me how much I can enjoy a moment of talking or watching this cool thing they’d like to show me! I’ve wasted energy being so rushed to do things that can be done just a little later in a more appreciated mood! I haven’t quite mastered it yet but I find myself remembering it a lot quicker! Have a beautiful day! REMAIN BLESSED!

  15. nicholas ross permalink

    go brother go,god has something good for you its on its way just you wait and see,god bless rev mark

  16. drey permalink

    If you haven’t yet, you need to make Oswald Chamber’s “My Utmost for his Highest” part of your daily reading. It should help you to get the rhythms and balance as a priest sorted to some degree.

    I think we Christians run around way too much seeking to do “God’s will'” never realising that we need to rest in him and he will renew our tired feet.

    Unless god’s grace has started to work in a person, no amount of preaching or teaching is going to reach him. Do your thing but do not wear yourself out.

  17. Joan permalink

    Resting in Him is how we receive the strength to go about His work. Thank you for this reminder. I have two special places I go to that I can truly rest in His presence and be renewed but never take the time. Think I feel a time coming on. Blessings to you.

  18. sheryl permalink

    I love the picture, it really augments your post.

  19. sheryl permalink

    As a Nurse Practitioner, I also think God made natural substances such as vitamins & herbs to help us increase our energy & stamina check out this Bee Alive, ive taken it in past & have been off it over 1 year I feel the difference I just ordered more of this;read the bee story, it makes sense:

    http://www.beealive.com/

  20. Donna permalink

    Thoroughly enjoy all your writings and this one is right on. My husband and I had belonged to a church that was so program heavy, you felt you were serving the pastor and not God. Now we observe the Sabbath the way it was intended and that makes such a difference in our lives.

  21. Natalie permalink

    this made me have a little laugh to myself…not at you Mark, but how the spirit is teacing me the same thing after stepping out of my lay ministry role this year. Rest = liberty….amazing how when you draw away from your regular in world, we hear the Lord speak with such clarity…i think its called receiving?!! so my new way in 2010 is
    REST[appropriate rest + patience, that is not overfillling my days or focus] = LIBERTY = RECEIVING = DAILY RENEWAL
    enjoy your home coming…

  22. Michelle R Goodwin permalink

    Wow I have came to the same conclusion in the last few days with God
    using the same scripture! God is awesome!

    Michelle Goodwin
    Stand in the Gap Gal!

  23. khlim permalink

    I like and believe your view and comments are honest and true .Great is His faithfulness

  24. The last few weeks I have seen more and more devotions on “resting in the Lord”..My husband and I dug deep into Gods Word a few years ago and were we Blessed at what He says about this great need for His Children…And it is so very important to do this…Gods says it simply in Exodus 20:8~11″Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” We are NOT seventh day adventists…But since this TRUTH we have learned and obeyed…we have been blessed every Saturday by just resting in Him, in prayer and studying His Word !TRY IT..You will Be Blessed…Hope this helps someone here…Gods Peace to all.

  25. Frank Spence permalink

    We all need to “be still and know that I am God” occasionally, often we get so busy “doing God stuff” that we don’t actually listen to what he is saying.

  26. diedre reese permalink

    this post reminded me of the same thing i’m going through. i decided that i would slow my pace. i was just drained and not thinking clearly. i decided to REST in GOD more so that i would allow my focus to return, so that when he’s speaking to me i will be totally aware. GOD’S people are suppose to be able to hear his voice, and if our minds are cluttered and bodies drained we don’t allow total access to him for his glory. thanks for the post it really made me reaize that we as christians can also get burned out,but must realize to slow it down and take a rest n GOD..EVEN HE RESTED

  27. Law permalink

    What a timely reminder for me for this passage.. Was just lying down, feeling exhausted and tired from day’s work and was even more tired when I think about the service and ministry works for tomorrow morning.
    When I read this, what a reminder for myself.. What a timely reminder.

  28. Judy permalink

    When Martha complained to Jesus that Mary wasn’t being helpful. Jesus told her that by sitting at His feet to listen, Mary had “chosen” the better thing!
    Even God rested on the seventh day…

  29. Bryon Boswell permalink

    It’s a very frustrating issue for me, because there are positives and negatives to it. I think as a society, we have caused these issues a lot ourselves because our our fast paced, must have the “next level” attitude. I have a very demanding job and I am away from family a lot, but I am almost trapped in this type of lifestyle because if I do not provide for them the world will chew you up and spit you out with no problems. For you or me to say “I’m going to spend more time with my kids” is sad to begin with, but is necessary because of the demands placed on us. We are our own worst enemy.

  30. Raul Christopher Ruiz permalink

    praise God our Father. He Is the greatest father known to all

  31. Tammy permalink

    I do believe that when you rest and listen for God’s voice he is there to tell you what he wants you to hear. I further believe if you do not rest and listen he will get your attention to make you rest and listen. I was very active in my job, working around 60 hours a week, running after 2 children – meeting myself coming and going, very active with my church, and 3 years ago my life suddenly changed. I became very sick and God put me flat on my back. I have not been able to return to work and I am still battling my sickness. But I believe this was God’s way of getting my attention and telling me that I had to STOP and LISTEN. He wanted my attention. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to be healed and be very active again. But I would not change the fact that God gave me my illness because my faith is so much stronger in Jesus Christ than before. And I know that in time by His Stripes I will Be Healed.

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      Dear Tammy, I had the same experience. It was a tough lesson to learn, but I rejoice that I finally did learn it.

  32. Joanne Heatley permalink

    Hi mark!
    I have found this to be so true. I HAVE to spend time in God’s presence, waiting on Him, worshipping Him, confessing sin and sharing my day with Him in prayer, otherwise I burn out vey quickly.
    Over time I have, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, been able to understand that it is not good to spread myself to thinly by over committing to too many things however worthy they my be.
    Thank you Lord for the joy, the calmness and peace we experience in your presence.
    Thanks Mark for your thoughts. x

  33. Joanne Heatley permalink

    Lord
    Thank you that you heal all our infirmaties. I pray for complete and total restoration of Tammy. i thank you for blessing her with deeper relationship with You and ask that she is aware of Your presence constantly, Make Your face shine upon her and her family now and always
    In Jesus name Amen x x

  34. Sister Pam OP permalink

    (Mark 6:31) He said to them, ‘Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.

    Good advice from Jesus.

  35. Dineo permalink

    I don’t believe I live a fast paced life, all I’m trying to do is survive, not live, survive and it feels as though I’m failing even at that.

  36. lucy ng permalink

    HOPE IN THE LORD AND HE WILL RENEW MY STRENGTH!!!!Yes indeed.One day a prophet told me that GOD has heard my prayers!!He will grant my hearts desire in the month of July! I waited with hope for 3 yrs.even forgot about this prophesy but GOD’S words still remains!!I conceived & gave birth to triplets(GOD’s triple blessings)Unaware until much later did I realised that they were born in JULY!!
    I waited patiently for HIM to act & HE renewed my strength !!(Imagine feeding three at one go!Carrying & delivering them without any pain!)When you know for sure what GOD gives you , HE knows you can take it to the limit!!!!

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