Why is it essential to our well-being that we commit daily to renewing our mind, body, and soul? Because in order to love and serve the people God has placed in front of us, we must be filled with the Holy Spirit. How can we pour into others if we are not also pouring into ourselves?
Galatians 5:22-23 NIV tells us, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
The qualities listed in verses 22-23 are characteristics of the Holy Spirit. And, to experience the fullness of the Holy Spirit, we must spend time renewing our spiritual, mental, and physical wellness, which can only be achieved through our time with God, reading the Bible, and prayer.
Stewarding Our Time
Consider the time you spend in renewal meditating on God’s Word with the time you spend watching tv, scrolling through social media, or surfing the web. What do your choices say about how and where you spend your time? Would you say your intentions are honoring God each day?
We honor God by spending time in His word. Worshipping and praising Him for His mighty works.
As we seek daily renewal, we find our lives in alignment mentally, physically, and spiritually with Christ. Spiritual maturity is knowing that we must commit to spending time with God in order to live our best life in the fullness of Christ.
If we do not prioritize God, we become weary or downhearted when hit with the trials and tribulations of life.
So, how do we commit to our renewal and prioritize our time alone with God?
Are you feeling depleted?
Many of us have allowed our schedules to run our lives.
We race through life without regard for the impact on our well-being as we proudly display burnout as a badge of honor. We unknowingly trust that our physical and mental state will keep up with our striving and pushing as we seek more and more stuff (material things and achievements) to make us happy, or at least seem happy posting on our Instagram reels.
How can we lead well, running at an unhealthy pace, or worse, running on empty? It’s similar to filling our cars with gas but never checking the oil or water. Eventually, we will find ourselves unable to move forward due to the check engine light. What is your check engine light telling you?
We race through life, ignoring the signs that tell us we are running on empty – increased anxiety, lack of sleep, and decreased physical activity – and we become distorted, disoriented, and detached from God. We neglect our time with God, family, and friends, placing these critical relationships at the bottom of our list in our quest to be the best. And spiritually, we begin to believe there’s just no time in our day for prayer, worship, or reflection.
So, where can we find renewal and avoid spiritual and physical exhaustion?
Where do we find renewal?
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 NIV
Do you find yourself conforming to the pattern of this world? Are you unknowingly or perhaps proudly displaying the “burnout” badge?
We tend to believe that if we do more or achieve more, we will have more success, but this is not living a full life and certainly not living in the fullness of Christ.
Take a moment and reflect on your journey. Where is your drive taking you? Are you paying attention to the caution signs?
The caution signs alert us to possible dangers that we need to pay attention to, or else we may lose control, and before we know it, we’ve crashed due to our obsessive desire to go full speed for way too long.
We may believe that we do not have time for those much-needed breaks to refuel. But if we do not stop to refill, we are doing more harm than good.
Leaders, entrepreneurs, caregivers, or parents, whatever your position, it’s easy to find ourselves in circumstances where we believe we are unable to slow down or stop for rest. But know this, we will pay the price for our lack of rest.
Finding rest and renewal
If we do not prioritize our wellness, we will deplete ourselves to the point of exhaustion.
Wayne Muller, in his book, Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives, shares, “when we consecrate time to listen to the still, small voices, we remember the root of inner wisdom that makes work fruitful. We remember from where we are most deeply nourished and see more clearly the shape and texture of the people and things before us.”
He adds, “a successful life has become a violent enterprise. We make war on our own bodies, pushing them beyond their limits; war on our children, because we cannot find enough time to be with them; war on our spirit, because we are too preoccupied to listen to the quiet voices that seek to nourish and refresh us.”
Mueller’s words are a powerful reminder of the importance of rest and renewal.
Flora Slosson Wuellner addresses the significance of rest in her book Feed My Shepherd, stating, “Sabbath moments as gazing at a sunbeam on the floor, looking at a beloved painting, smelling a flower, touching a leaf, listening to a bird, stretching and breathing deeply, holding our hands under running water, or just quietly sensing God’s breath upon and within us.”
Are you finding time for rest, or are you making war on your body? Do you regularly plan time for renewal? If not, what is keeping you from prioritizing your rest?
As you reflect on these questions, consider where you spend your time.
• How much time do you spend each day in prayer and studying scripture?
• How much time do you spend each day being present for those around you?
• How much time do you spend daily in physical activity – walking, playing a sport, or gardening?
• How much time do you spend each day improving your intellectual capabilities – reading, puzzles, real-time conversation, or simply listening to music?
“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:30-31 NIV
Will you take time at this very moment to sit quietly in the presence of God and sense His breath upon you? Will you commit to taking action this week to consider some of these steps for renewal?
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