How You Enter God’s Rest 2

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Workout, my brother. Physical workout. You’ve got to see that a big part of resting in God is regular physical workouts. A lot of believers do not quite get it that it is God’s will that we regularly workout to keep fit, well and healthy—to be able to really rest in God.

Health scientists and fitness and wellness experts (I’m a certified wellness coach) all say that total rest and relaxation can only come if the body is regularly worked out and the mind is calmed.

“Physical training is of some value..” [1 Timothy 4.8]

You see that? The bible confirms that physical workout has benefits. And if the mind and soul are calmed down and relaxed in God, the verse says:

“..but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”

Godliness is really resting in God.

I just pity a lot of pastors who burden themselves with a yoke of slavery doing exhaustive church ministries with no more time left for keeping fit and healthy (and no more time left for resting in God). Sometimes they think they don’t need to be health conscious because God will make them healthy even if they neglect their health.

They punish themselves with ministry work. aiming to achieve high ambitious goals for their denominations, going here and there, doing this and that, plunging their heads in a sea of hard work, planting churches everywhere single-handedly.

While neglecting their physical health all along. And they believe they will be rewarded. Paul warned us that God will destroy those who destroy God’s temple, and our bodies are that temple [1 Corinthians 3.17 and 6.19].

They worry about some people not being able to hear God’s Word. Do you really think God will allow people to go to hell because they were unable to hear the Good News of salvation? I don’t think so. God will make sure each and everyone of us hears the Gospel before we die. He is a fair God.

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The thing is, God gives each pastor a certain portion of Kingdom ministry, just right for a pastor’s God-given capabilities and within his Kingdom-assigned limits. God assigned us limits so we can do the things that really matter—like resting in God.

You go overboard and all hell breaks lose in your life—particularly in your health. Yes, you get a bigger ministry, a more mega church, but in the end see what happens to your health. Some even end up with rotten characters due to ministry stress. Many pastors don’t realize this.

What shall it profit you if you gain the mega-est ministry of all, but lose your character and health?

Each pastor should reach out just enough. It’s something like the manna in the desert. Ministry is like manna to us pastors. It’s also our source of income so that there’s food (or manna) on the table. God told the Israelites to just get enough per family. But some thick-headed guys got more than they could finish, and what happened? The manna turned maggot the next day.

You greedily get more church members than you can handle and the blessing turns into maggots. No wonder the increasing number of problematic churches. I even know of churches with “active” members but who wallow in sexual immorality.

I just smile and shake my head in disappointment when a popular and peopled church denomination displays on TV their strength in numbers. They proudly show off how their members (when gathered together) occupy a huge area, reaching to the farthest ends of the Luneta Park and also boast of their chapters in different countries. For what? Ego-tripping? I hope not.

Nebuchadnezzar once boasted of his empire and immediately lost his mind and lived like an animal. King David once counted his soldiers to see how vast his army had become, and God sent him a curse.

Ministry greed and resting in God do not mix together.

You should have enough time for being alone with God, for spending time with family, and caring for your health. These three comprise your first real ministry for God. I always have time to workout with God. I run with God (which also forms part of my quiet time) regularly.

How can you testify to people that Jesus is LIFE and promises abundant life if you are sick with every disease? Or, if you have a ridiculously bulging tummy and flabby everything?

I’m so disappointed when I see pastors and church leaders suffering from acquired heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, disease of this and that body organ, migraine, nervous breakdown, cancer, etc., especially if these are caused by stress, anxiety or unhealthy lifestyles.

Why?

Our model for life and everything is Jesus. “Fix your eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.” Did he get sick due to ministry stress? Was his character affected by the same?

Never.

If we claim to be followers of Jesus Christ and empowered by his Spirit, we should manifest the same results—or at least something close to it. Did Jesus workout physically? Not in the sense that we know “physical workouts” today. But he did hike for miles most of the time and did mountain climbing without harnesses. That’s tough. Doing these things regularly are workouts enough.

Resting in God means resting from our works, says Hebrews, and yet accomplishing things that really matter to God. It’s part of the mystery—we produce a lot for God and yet do nothing but rest and relax in Him.

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