Last week I shared point #1 for regaining spiritual strength and energy, which was about personal worship.
Today point #2: supernatural refreshing: I was on a ministry trip in Mexico in 1986, staying with missionary friends. After dinner our first night the missionary handed me a list of 22 names who said they wanted to move to Mexico to work with them. He asked me to ask the Father which people if any should move there to work with them, and anything else He said.
I responded with: "These are people that you know, not me. You should be the one to ask the Father who and if they should come." He replied: "I'm too busy to pray. I'm too busy doing the work of the ministry to take time to pray about it. Do this for me please."
That's how life is
It doesn't matter whether you are a missionary on foreign soil or at home trying to keep life together, we've all felt like my missionary friend, too busy with life to take time to pray. In fact that is pretty much the norm for most. There is a solution.
In I Corinthians 14: 18-25 Paul is teaching the proper use of a personal prayer language versus one that needs to be interpreted. He told them if you are given the tongue that needs interpreted, speak it forth if the opportunity is there, or allow another person to give the interpretation - or else be quiet and speak the interpretation to yourself. (v27-28)
In this passage Paul quotes Isaiah 28:11 stating it is about tongues: "With stammering lips and another language will I speak to this people."
Supernatural rest and refreshing for when you just cannot stop to rest
Isaiah's full prophecy about tongues says this: "With stammering lips and another language I will speak to this people. This is the rest whereby the weary will be refreshed. This is the refreshing, but they would not hear." (Speaking of Israel's unbelief concerning Jesus)
Tongues is the refreshing, the rest, according to Paul and Isaiah's prophecy. On the large scale we can say that receiving the Holy Spirit IS the spiritual rest all seek. But on a personal level it is also a key to our own rest and refreshing.
One day I was on a trip, very tired, looking for rest and refreshing, and this passage came up out of my spirit. I laid down on the bed where I was staying and started praying in tongues lightly, almost under my breath. My mind shifted from wandering to focusing to what was coming out of my spirit, and 10 minutes went by before I knew it. I felt recharged from the inside out. After a few times of doing this I've estimated for me, about 10-15 minutes doing that is equivalent to a 2 hour nap.
You can try it too, and realize each person is different, but this works for me when I absolutely cannot stop to recharge.
Supernatural rest and refreshing on a daily basis
We must first change out mindset to the culture of New Testament truths away from auditorium church culture.
Christian culture encourages the setting aside of personal prayer time either before you start your day or after the day is done, scheduled like we might schedule a trip to the dentist. Christian bookstores are filled with daily devotionals with 'you need to set time aside for God' advertisements, usually accompanied by a verse from a Psalm.
Of course in Christian marketing varies by product. Something like ''I have cried to you, Oh Lord, and in the morning my prayer will come before you", from Psalm 88:13 works nicely if you want to guilt a person into morning prayer. Or for that too busy in the morning person or insomniac they present, "At midnight I will rise and give you thanks for your good laws." from Psalm 119: 62, lol.
And for the strongest guilt just cover the whole day with Psalm 55: 17: "Evening and morning, and at noon I will pray..." LOL
I learned early on in my walk that I don't have the discipline...
...to set aside time for Him like an appointment. My schedule and family and the ebbs and flows of life prevent me from saying 'every morning from 4: 45-5am I will pray and study.' I refused even back then to be guilted into condemnation that I wasn't doing enough in the Lord that way.
"Hmmm....let me see Lord. I've got that presentation at work so I can't get with you this morning, but I can schedule my lunch early so let's get together then. And if that doesn't work let's see about tonight...tonight is 'Survivor' on TV, oh I don't want to miss that. So if I miss you at lunch I'll give you between 10 and 10: 15 (22:00-22:15) after the show is over."
I don't disagree on the need to spend time with the Lord, I just reject the culture of condemnation that makes me a 2nd class citizen of the kingdom if I don't get up at 5am to pray along with the flavor of the month devotional.
The New Testament truth is that Christ is in us
So we take Him with us wherever we go, whatever we are doing. That means prayer and fellowship with Him can be continual. It also means you'll feel in your spirit when to set life aside to be with Him. Both work together in balance.
That communion and fellowship with Him, is prayer. You don't get up in the morning and 'get into' fellowship with the Lord - as long as you are breathing you are in fellowship in the sense He is in us 24/7. All we have to do is shift attention to Him and start our thoughts to Him. Then be quiet and listen for a response which may come in peace, assurance, a words.
Christ is in us, we are called into fellowship with Him. (I Corinthians 1: 9) Just talk to Him throughout your day! He isn't "up there", He is inside you! You have only to shift your attention to Christ in you...and what I find is that as I pray in tongues while looking down inside my spirit, I feel that rest, that peace, that warmth of His presence in me.
I have disciplined myself that when I'm not talking or working on other things, often when driving, to pray in the spirit. It is the moment of rest in between a whirlwind of activity. So I seek that rest. I discipline myself to enter into that rest by when possible, shifting my attention to pray even just a couple of sentences in the spirit.
When I'm in a store walking down the aisle or on the computer and have a neutral moment, I pray lightly in the spirit, maybe just a line or two. But I keep coming back to it through the day. A sentence or two here, a sentence or two there. Always 'keeping the motor running' under my breath when I can turn my thoughts towards Him, for it is that rest, that refreshing, from the spirit to my soul and to my body.
What happened with the missionary's request?
I took the list, went to my room, told the Father: "Father, you know I don't want to do this, but I am here staying under his roof, ministering under his authority on this trip, you know I would never ask this of you. But will you go with the flow on this please and give me something on each of these 22 people so _____ can be at peace, thank you." And He did, which I wrote down, presented it to the missionary who looked over my notes, shook his head up and down, had a few questions here and there, and said, "Bears witness. Pretty much what I thought too, thanks." And that was that.
Closing the series next week, until then, blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org