How You Enter God’s Rest 2

british-shorthair-cat-lying-down-resting-hand-of-a-man-stroking-the-f1h8b3

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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“Shall I Hide?” – God

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Image from: schoolhouse-consulting.com

“Shall I hide from Abraham what I’m about to do?” (Gen.. 18.17).

When God tells you everything, hiding nothing from you, it could get scary. Imagine Abraham having the knowledge of a total wipe out of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham probably had some distressful times here.

What if God tells you your entire country is going to disappear from the world map?

Thus, sometimes I thank God for hiding some things from me. I thank God for God’s “darkness.”

Truly, you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior. [Isaiah 45.15]

But there are some things I want to know, facts he hides from me. Like, why am I not given any answer for the request I’ve been asking him—money to repair our badly damaged house and income from my Internet businesses to sustain my family and ministry?

Do you have requests from God that remain unanswered?

I’ve been asking God for residual income so that I do not become hostage to people who lend or give us money when we’re short. Most people think they own you just because you owe them or received money from them. They’d say they never try to control people indebted to them, but there they are.

I have been managing some blog sites (I earn some money from them but not residually) in hopes of someday soon getting residual income from them to sustain my needs—with God’s grace and blessing. This way, I get my resources really straight from God—not from man—although tithes and offerings are a way through which resources also come straight from God.

However, I now understand much, much better why Paul would rather support himself through his tent-making trade. And why the Acts church had to sell their properties and goods instead of solicit or ask donations.

Paul accepted offerings and tithes—but his experience was that men could not be relied on with these. They always think it a favor they give you, not a God-resource that they do not own, not realizing tithes are the holy portion they should return to God. If you are convicted of something that isn’t yours, you’ll return it to the owner pronto and not think even a second that it’s yours. Even most non-believers know this.

I’d rather get my major income from my online marketing—and get my resources straight from God. But God hides this from me. He knows how much I need it now, but for some reason, he hides it. It’s one of the facets of God’s “darkness” I do not enjoy.

He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him– the dark rain clouds of the sky. [Psalm 18.11]

Sometimes I muse: If I had a son whose house is in bad shape and riddled with termites, and I had the money, I’d surely send help immediately. God is my Father and he knows my need even before I say anything to him. And yet this goes on for years without any answer. Is this some kind of a test or training? For what? I already know too well that HE is God, and that besides Him there is no other.

Yet, we often see God immediately provide money to those who don’t need it so much as we do. We see people who have so much money they do not know how to spend it. Their luxurious living is not enough to drain their money reserves with. And yet they do not give a damn about God or His Kingdom.

However, the funny thing is, God easily pours resources on them, even if these guys never pray except to their gods. These thoughts sometimes trouble me. I’m not asking God for meaningless luxury like some people have—but only what I need for my family and ministry so I won’t ask or borrow money from people.

Have you ever wondered why the wicked are blessed? Even Jeremiah, the prophet, once wondered: “Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease?”

Here’s the passage:

You are always righteous, LORD, when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease? [Jeremiah 12]

Perhaps like me, you do not ask God for a mansion—but just enough money to live decently, without having to rely on men. Like, repair money to make your house safe to live in, and perhaps to hold Word sessions and training in. Money to have you and your family live decent (not pitiful) lives, and money to help others with.

I hope God won’t hide from me. God’s darkness is great, but how about experiencing His bounty full-swing this time?

Why God is Spirit

Image from: geraldrogers.com

Image from: geraldrogers.com

God is spirit. He could’ve chosen to be flesh but he didn’t. We glimpse a powerful insight here: there’s something about being spirit that God takes a preferential option for it.

When God opts for something, it is the best and most powerful option there is. The spirit nature must have awesome powers—knowing God to be almighty.

Nonetheless, God expresses himself so much physically, too, like in his creation. We are so overwhelmed when creation groans, for instance, especially when it unleashes its fury. Yet, this is merely a tiny speck in what is the “awesome power” of God.

There is something much more awesomely powerful than God revealing in nature, notwithstanding what we see in earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, hurricanes. Or the vastness of the universe, with its billions of galaxies. God manifesting in flesh is the ultimate power. It destroyed sin and the kingdom of darkness—those things that have tremendous effects on creation. Sometimes I wonder, why didn’t he opt to dwell in nature?

The first time God took on flesh, in Jesus Christ, the world marveled at the sight. But the Word declares something like “we ain’t seen nothing yet.” In fact, the Holy-Spirit power we saw in Christ was just a “deposit” of our inheritance. A glimpse of what else is there.

On the other hand, the world also scorned what it saw in Christ—God in flesh. God in flesh stirs up man’s arrogance, spitefulness, and rebellion. Man can take in a little of God-is-spirit truth but not God-in-flesh truth.

Amazing!

Well, God has prepared something better for us—better glory, better persecutions and mockery—we who have been predestined to take in God-in-flesh truth at this point in history. No, we’re not going to be better than Christ. Rather, Christ will be better glorified in us, in the flesh.

“Anyone who has faith in me will do the same things I have been doing—and GREATER things shall he do because I go to the Father.”

So, we ain’t seen nothing yet. But the way the church behaves today seems like there’s nothing more to expect. It’s like, we already have what God has in store for the church—like we’ve seen everything there is. What’s left to be done is simply maintain and promote. Thus, all we see today are gimmicks to hold or preserve the status quo, not what Jesus said about “greater things.”

I have an e-book on God’s Flesh but also thought of doing a blog-book with the same title, but with different content. Both are radical. I hope that some readers will be inspired to live the radical Jesus Life. To buy a PDF copy of my e-book, click here.

God’s Flesh is seeing the greater things in Christ, and letting grace fulfill it in us. God is spirit—and we are his flesh.