“There was such a swirl of activity around Jesus, with so many coming and going, that they were unable to even eat a meal. So Jesus said to His disciples, 'Come, let's take a break and find a secluded place where you can rest a while'” - Mark 6:31 (TPT)
Things have been busy for a while now, though - unlike the Lord's disciples - we still have time to eat! We always manage to make time for that! However, like the disciples, we have sensed the Lord saying to us lately “Come, let's take a break and find a secluded place where you can rest a while”. I am not suffering complete burnout (yet!), nor am I ill, but I am trying to listen to what the Lord, and my own spirit and body have been telling me over the last months (and even the last couple of years). It has been pretty hectic over the last while, with increased preaching and a constant supply of folk coming for prayer ministry. Add to this the writing of the “Breaking Through Barriers To Blessing” book and the Prayer Ministry Training Course, and this has proved to be a relentlessly busy period.
Drawing aside in rest with God is not something that I have prioritised. Yes, I have been praying and seeking God regularly, and maybe even on special occasions doing a little bit extra (self-congratulatory pat-on-the-back here!). However, I believe that the establishing of a significant rhythm of rest has been somewhat missing from my life and ministry. The Sabbath principle in Scripture is obvious: we need to rest with and in God. The consequences of not 'coming apart' with the Lord, as the cliché puts it, will be to 'come apart' (fall apart!).
In January 2019 I will be 21 years in ministry, having never had a sabbatical. It is my hope, from September through to Christmas, to take special time to rest, seek the Lord's face and listen for His direction concerning the way ahead for the future. I very much see this as a time not only of restoration, but recalibration. Please pray with me that this will be a special time, not only for me, but for us as a family.
“God provides resting places as well as working places. Rest, then, and be thankful when He brings you, wearied to a wayside well”
I laid it down in silence,
This work of mine,
And took what had been sent me -
A resting time.
The Master's voice had called me
To rest apart;
'Apart with Jesus only',
Echoed my heart.
(from ‘Streams in the Desert’, 13th April)