January 12, 2014 – Pastor Tim – “Our Sundays … Retreating Forward”
Exodus 35:2, Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh day shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of rest to the Lord. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. The idea of recharging your batteries is not a new idea. It is a command of God, He says we will die if we don’t obey Him in this area of rest. We need a day of reflection and restoration; a “retreat”— if you will; a time to slow down and prepare to move forward.
Jesus Himself practiced “retreating forward.” After a busy day of ministry in the region of the Sea of Galilee, He retreated. Matthew 14:22-23 tells us, Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. Alone in the presence of the Father.
It sounds funny, this notion of retreating in order to move forward. But it is true. We have to pull back and regroup before we can make meaningful forward progress. This is particularly true in our relationship with God. God knew it was important after working hard that we must rest and spend time with Him. This is our greatest way to move forward in life, making a day with God a priority.
Psalm 73:28, But it is good for me to draw near to God;
I have put my trust in the Lord GOD,
That I may declare all Your works.
In this fast-paced, get ahead world, it is easy wear ourselves down—pressing ahead and moving forward at all costs (some call it burnout).
But even in our desire to be effective Christians, we must constantly be willing to retreat into God’s presence. Only in the refreshing of His strength can we find the resources to move forward in our service for Him. Retreat in Jesus before moving forward.
For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept,
Line upon line, line upon line,
Here a little, there a little.”
11 For with stammering lips and another tongue
(prayer and His Word)
He will speak to this people,
12 To whom He said, “This is the rest with which
You may cause the weary to rest,”
And, “This is the refreshing”;
Yet they would not hear.
Take time to stop…to study…to pray…to rest. Alone with the Father is the only place to find the strength to press on.
Acts 2:42-43, And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
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