This past Sunday I shared with the dear folks I have the honor of pastoring at Center Baptist my prayer for them for the summer. I love the people at Center, and I thank God for them. As I thought of them and of the summer, I believe the Lord laid a specific prayer and burden for them for this summer.
I want to share this with you that read this blog because I want you to know I thank God for each of you and you are a blessing to this preacher in how you encourage my heart. I know that like our church, this is a prayer that you may stand in need of as well.
It comes from Jeremiah 6:16, “This is what the Lord says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!’”
His prayer for the people of Judah is my prayer for you. It is simple - that you will find rest for your soul this summer. Rest for your soul speaks of peace, satisfaction, contentment, and renewal. Jeremiah said, to know if we need rest, we must stop and evaluate. See where we are and then take God’s path to finding the rest, we all need. Do you need rest for your soul? Let me ask you a few questions.
Are you tired? Do you find yourself irritably, frustrated, angry or discouraged? Are you functioning but not satisfied? Do you feel dry or empty inside? How is your time alone with the Lord? Was there a time you were more in love with Jesus than you are right now?
These questions are like checking your vital signs at the doctor. How did you come out? At some level, we all need rest for our souls and the only thing that can cure us is when we desire to go the “old, godly way” and not our way. Our way has made our soul empty, hurried, and depleted of what it needs, a fresh touch of heaven.
The old, godly path he speaks of is not going back to the 1950’s, not about new worship verses old worship, new way verses old ways. It goes back to the OT saints and the path they took as they pursued God with all their hearts, minds, and souls. It speaks of seeking after God. This is the same path we must take! For us in the NT, it is seeking after Jesus and going after him with our whole hearts and then He will give us rest for our souls (Matt 11:28-29).
So yes, take your vacations, enjoy all the summertime moments, and soak them up! Yet, to see this prayer become a reality, also take moments of unhurried times with Jesus daily, in prayer and His word. Seek His face with all your heart, mind and soul. Let Him refresh you and renew your heart.
With the lack of rain we had recently, my grass had gotten dry and even crunchy. I had tried to water it some, but doing it my way with my efforts, didn’t give the renewal my grass needed. But, this past week, with the rain from heaven, what a difference!
Our souls often resemble my grass, dry and in desperate need of renewal.
What you and I need is not to find that rest with our best efforts. It is coming before the Lord and asking for the rain from heaven to flood our soul and let Him refresh us and give true rest for our soul. That is my prayer for you this summer. May God let it be so for us all.