It had been an exhausting week, physically and emotionally. By the time Sunday morning arrived, my body showed its fatigue by totally ignoring the alarm humming on the table beside the bed. I never even heard it. What woke me was my husband’s hand shaking my side. He was standing beside the bed, calling my name. Good thing one of us had heard their alarm, or we would have been late for church, but we made it!
It was a good morning in services, then lunch with the family afterwards. l came home and crashed on the guest bed, sure that a little nap would set everything right. When I awoke, I was in a fog. Not sure of what day it was or where I was! Returning back for our evening service seemed impossible, due to the fatigue I was still fighting. “I need to stay home and rest” was my first thought. I got up and seriously considered heading to the back porch swing where I would sit for the evening. There were so many reasons in my head as to why I should stay home. But I could also sense another need and a tug in my heart – it was the need for fellowship with my church family, for worship and God’s Word. I freshened up, and headed downstairs to join my husband in the car. I wasn’t sick – only tired. I wasn’t going out of guilt, but obedience, and also following God’s Spirit that told me I needed this more than I needed rest.
Stepping into the church immediately brought me face-to-face with my dear brothers and sisters in Christ. There were warm greetings and conversations, questions about my week and inquiries about their recent events. I almost missed these conversations!
We heard a report of one of our missionaries in England and how God is answering prayer! Next was a time of corporate prayer as we were encouraged by my husband to pray using Scripture as our words to God. It challenged all of us, and brought us to seriously talk to our Father in heaven, Who invites us to bring our burdens to Him. We were reminded that we have sixty-six Books of “prayers” to pray! It was precious. I almost missed this prayer time!
The challenge from God’s Word was about living our lives motivated to glorify God. Doing so will:
- Make us pursue great things for God.
- Make us servant-minded.
- Fill us with gratitude.
- We will reap eternal rewards.
We also heard…
When I find myself in a place of discontentment, I may be putting my energies into things that are not God’s will.
When God says, “No” to one thing, He often gives us another “Yes.”
When we realize we are servants, we will put our resources into doing God’s will.
I needed to hear all of this! It was so enlightening to my heart and lifted some burdens! I almost missed it!
After the service was over, I got to chat with a couple of sweet friends, and even pray with and encourage one who is in a difficult trial. It’s a blessing to share the load of a friend who is going through a hardship, isn’t it? To go to the Throne of God together on her behalf, is a privilege. I almost missed it!
Following the service, my husband and I decided to stop at a lovely new Mexican restaurant for our dinner. We had a precious time together. Outside our window, we could see the colorful clouds reflecting the sunset. As we drove home, the view as amazing! We also did as my husband had urged our church to do – I turned on the flashlight on my phone and I read aloud a chapter of the book he’d given everyone, Praying the Bible, by Donald S. Whitney. Wow. I would have missed this!
I share all this to say how rebuked I was when I realized that I almost let my flesh win and keep me home from church. I would have missed so many blessings!
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63
When our flesh wins, we lose out on so much that God has for us. I’ve let my flesh win too often, ignoring the Spirit’s tugging in my heart. I’m thankful for this sweet lesson Sunday night, and for the reminders that I put resources into the things that motivate me. Oh, may I be motivated by the glory of God and pour my resources into those purposes, rather than meeting the needs of my weak flesh!
Guess what? Monday was a day filled with rest! God always gives us what we need. What a God we serve!
Refresh your spiritual life by leaning hard into the Spirit, rather than your flesh.