Text: "My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him." Psalm 62.1
Is there anything that excites a teenager more than sleeping in? When I discuss with students about their summer usually highlight of the time is, SLEEP. Sleeping away and catching up on what they have missing all school year. It often becomes a contest, who can sleep later? Here is some interesting information:
Teenage children, when given 8 hours of sleep per night fell asleep in less than 10 minutes on all naps! When teenagers were allowed only 6 hours of sleep a night (the average teenager gets about 6 to 7 hours of sleep per night), they fell asleep in less than 2 minutes during the daytime on all naps! Thus, teenagers with a full 8 hours of sleep per night demonstrate significant sleepiness in the daytime. Teenagers allowed only 6 hours of sleep per night demonstrated severe sleepiness; in fact teenagers given 6 hours of sleep a night were as sleepy as untreated patients with narcolepsy, a disease characterized by severe sleepiness requiring multiple naps and stimulant medications to treat. This level of sleepiness is associated with severe dysfunction in the daytime which includes falling asleep during boring activities (attending classes, sitting and reading, driving) and difficulty with memory retention. However, when these same teenagers were required to sleep 10 hours per night, they did not fall asleep during the daytime naps.
It is known that teens love to hang out and have fun, and in the summer time you can do it because you will sleep in. But let’s view this idea of sleeping in spiritually. You sleep because you need rest. Spiritually the same thing is true. The great enemy of our relationship with God is overworking, busyness, spending too much time on things that really don’t matter. God wants us and requires us to get spiritual rest.
The word "rest" in psalm 62 has hidden in it, 3 attitudes, and I am confident that if we submit to the attitude of rest, we will enhance our walk with God.
Remember that Lord is taking you somewhere this summer, Where are you going? How are you going to get there? Take time to rest on the journey. It will allow you to get there quicker and safer.
1. Attitude of Silence(mentally): "But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me." Psalm 131.2
A Wise old owl sat in an oak, The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?
it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord . Lam 3.26
There is a time and a season for one to walk in silence. God wants to remove the noise of your life and create a place in which he can speak to you and encourage you. If you are constantly on the go physically you will wear out, no difference spiritually. Take time, have a personal retreat at the lake with some worship music, bible, notepad and listen for the Lord. It is difficult. But Jesus secluded himself from the distractions and noises of his day so that he could spend some effective time with God the Father.
"Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." Mark 6.31
Do not be a generation that fails to hear what God is saying, but can quote other songs, other things from memory.
Do you remember last week when I said, You need to be mentally prepared for the distractions that will come against you.
Ecc. 3.1, "There is a time for everything."
When do we dream, naturally? When we are asleep. When do we dream spiritually? When we are resting before God. There is a warfare in the mind, to slow down and be quiet before God.
2. Attitude of Soundness (spiritually): "Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up." Proverbs 12.25 (NLT)
"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done." Phil. 4.6
God not only wants you to rest mentally, but he wants us to rest spiritually. Worry will drain us of the life that God is breathing into us. Do you see what Phil. 4.6 really says? "Don’t worry about anything…." That is easy for God to say right. But really we do not need to worry about anything.
To rest in God means that I will rest from the attitude of worry, and develop an attitude of faith and rest. I will not let worry control my mind or my spirit.
"But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t be afraid and don’t worry." 1 Pet. 3.14
Jesus had a lot to say about the topic of worry as well. It would be wise to examine what he said:
"So I tell you, don’t worry about everyday life--whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn’t life consist of more than food and clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not. "And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won’t he more surely care for you? You have so little faith!
"So don’t worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. "So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring it’s own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today." Matt 6.25-34
Rest in the Lord. Rest in the confidence he has in you. Rest in his ability to dictate your steps. Rest in his ability to see that your is fulfilling and accomplishes all the desires that he has put in your heart.
3. Attitude of Stillness (physically): "And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper." 1 Ki 19.12
In his book Fuzzy Memories, Jack Handey writes: There used to be this bully who would demand my lunch money every day. Since I was smaller, I would give it to him. Then I decided to fight back. I started taking karate lessons. But then the karate lesson guy said I had to start paying him five dollars a lesson. So I just went back to paying the bully.
Too many people feel it is easier just to pay the bully than it is to learn how to defeat him.
At times it easier to continue to live our lives at a fast pace than to fight the bully of busyness. God wants us to be still. He says in the Psalms that we should, "Be still and know he is God."
The Lord wants us to be still before Him. Do not be afraid of slowing down and getting to a place to hear God.
I often ask teenagers, "have you put yourself in a position to hear God?"
We need to be still before him and let him speak to us in a "still, small voice."
Trying to solve our situations in our own human effort is nothing more than classic humanism. We do not have that ability but we can place our trust and hope in him.