Have you ever felt that life has become so hectic that you feel unless you have a break you’ll ‘crack-up’? Ever felt like saying: “stop the world, I want to get off”?
Living in the West and particularly in Britain has become so stressful. Life has become ever so fast. We find that we have less time for family, our friends, community and ourselves. We have programmes, targets and deadlines to meet and not enough time to do everything.
Our busy lifestyles have robbed us of so many important things.
Parents spend less time with their children than what they used to. We engage very little with our neighbours today and having a chat over the garden fence has become a thing of the past.
The disciples of Jesus at times found life to be hectic, so much so that Jesus had this to say to them in Mark 6:31: “Let’s get away from the crowds for a while and rest.” (NLT)
God does not expect us to be machines that work seven days a week. We need time off and this is part of God’s economy for mankind.
As we live in this fast world, not only do we need time to relax, but also time to relax with Jesus: “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
When was the last time that you experienced what it is to ‘chill-out’ with Jesus?
Why not take time simply to:
1. RELAX IN SILENCE.
More often than not, we come to God from a place of rushing. It’s either a quick ten minutes before going to work or at the end of a busy day when we’re tired and exhausted. God sometimes wants us to come to Him from a place of rest.
We have been made to think that relaxing in silence is wasting valuable time when in fact relaxing in silence is valuable time with God. We need to seek God from a place of peace as we rest and relax in His presence.
The Psalmist says: “Be silent, and know that I am God!” (NLT)
2. BECOME AWARE OF GOD’S PRESENCE
As you relax in silence, allow yourself to become aware of the presence of God. Our God is omnipresent which means that no matter where we are God is there. What we need to do is become aware of His presence.
Baptist minister Roy Searl once said: “The one in whom we live and move and have our being dwells within us, closer to us than we often realise, who knows us better than we know ourselves, who loves us far more than we can ever love ourselves. He is the compassionate, gracious Father who calls us his child.” – What we need to do is to be still and experience His loving presence.
C. S. Lewis said: “God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other.” – If this is true, then we need to feed on the presence of God.
3. ENJOY HIS LOVE FOR YOU
Each of us needs to be loved. From the cradle to the grave man yearns and longs for love. The greatest need and desire of the toughest ‘tough guy’ is to be loved!
We all know theoretically that God loves us and we’ve all sung the hymn “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” However, when was the last time that you just spent some time enjoying His love for you?
Listen to the words of Jeremiah 31:3: “I have loved you with an everlasting love, so I am constant in my affection for you!”
4. SURRENDER YOURSELF TO GOD
Surrender each and every part of your life to God. Surrender your body, thoughts, emotions, wills, joys, pains, the things that disturb you; the issues that excite you, those that you care for and all that you pray for. The old hymn writer penned these words: “All to Jesus I surrender. All to Him I freely give.”
5. ACCEPT YOURSELF
Accept the fact that you’re not perfect. Accept the fact that you may not have the gifting to be what you would like to be. You are what God has made you and He loves you just for being YOU!
6. REPENT AND RECEIVE FORGIVENESS
Unconfessed sin and failure can oppress and hinder seeking God in prayer. Jesus taught us in the Lord’s Prayer to pray for forgiveness of sins.
By confessing our sins with genuine repentance and genuine humility, we embrace God’s forgiveness, mercy, love and grace.
7. ASK IN FAITH
Bring your needs and the needs of others before Him in prayer. Don’t just ask, but ask in faith. Believe that God answers prayer and can intervene in your life and the life of others in a miraculous way. Jesus said: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:7-11)
‘Chill-out with Jesus' and tell him about your needs.
8. GIVE THANKS AND PRAISE
The fruit of encountering the presence of God and being aware of His grace and mercy should be one of thanksgiving and praise. The psalmist instructs us this way: “Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.” (Psalm 105:1-3).
Augustine of Hippo: “The Christian should be an alleluia from head to foot.”
‘Chill-out’ with Jesus: “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”