I am nearing the close of my time in Israel and it has been an incredible time of learning, laughing, seeing, experiencing, and resting in God. As I have either walked or driven past various places I have continued to ask the question: What does it mean to follow Christ? My devotions this morning came out of Psalm 46:10 where it says, “Cease striving and know that I am God…” A timely devotion for me!
To strive for something means that we go to great “efforts to achieve or obtain something.” And if we are really honest with ourselves we can acknowledge that there are times we are labouring in God’s strength and there are times we are labouring in our own strength. Whichever the case may be, striving takes considerable effort, and it is because of this that we need times of rest. We need to cease. There are several ways that the word cease can be interpretered. It can mean to fall into God. It can mean to relax. It can mean refraining from work or movement in order to recover strength. And by the way, the word cease in the Hebrew is actually a hifil imperative which means that it’s not an optional activity but is something we are supposed to do.
Today I am having a day of resting in the Lord. I have been sick (recovering thankfully!) and so today I decided not to do the long day trip into Petra (I’ve been before) and I am going to walk (sit) along the Red Sea and am going to marvel at the beauty that surrounds me. This is a time to recover my strength, to relax, and to be refreshed.
Ceasing striving is critical to our wellbeing. When was the last time you were intentional to relax? (I know that comes in a variety of ways as we are each uniquely wired.) When was the last time you took time away to be strengthened in the presence of God? To remember and know that He is God? If it’s been a while, then I encourage you to take out your day-planner and block out some time to cease – it will be good for you!
Shalom from Eilat.
The picture below is of a big chunk of salt, and actually the entire mountain behind me is mostly salt…very interesting!