Spiritual formation and renewal are essential for us individually and corporately.* Jesus modeled and taught that rest is essential – that ceaseless activity is incongruous with God’s ways. Jesus, tired as he was from the journey [through Samaria], sat down by the well and asked the Samaritan woman for a drink (John 4:6-7). One evening as He crossed the lake with the disciples Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion, oblivious to a storm (Mark 4:35-38). Another time, when the twelve disciples returned from preaching, healing, and delivering, they gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:30-31).
I love that command! Let’s dwell on it and mine its riches, shall we? Come with me: He is always with us; we are yoked with Him; He leads us if we receive the invitation and walk with Him – His yoke is easy and His burden is light. … by yourselves: We are to separate ourselves to Him; we are to release and relinquish all burdens, concerns, and intense emotions – to be unencumbered. … to a quiet place: With Jesus we come to a place without noise, without distractions, without agendas and plans to do things for Him (for everything of eternal value must originate from and be empowered by Him). … and get some rest: We are to actively receive the grace of rest; we are to cease from all activity and work just as God did on the seventh day. We are to be and not do.
Ah – that is the key: we are to be. “Be what?” you might ask. Just be (as opposed to the way of the world, “Just do”). We are to just be in Christ. We can just be holy, because [He is] holy (Lev. 11:44). Hallelujah! Now meditate on this key truth: God’s name for Himself is “I AM,” not “I DO”…
With God, it’s all about the being – the doing will follow naturally as water flows downstream. That is what occurred when Jesus of Nazareth rested His tired body, soul, and spirit at the well in Sychar: as the Son of Man found rest, God ministered to the Samaritan woman through Him – the living water flowed forth from Jesus, [becoming] in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. Many other Samaritans came to believe as well when they heard and saw God through the Man who had rested and renewed Himself at the well (John 4:4-42).
Resting and renewing my spirit in Christ with you, your sister deanna