Progress on Purpose: Why We Need Rest

by Rick

Note:  Before I get into the message today, I need to let you know that this will be the LAST daily message I send out until March 8th.  Friday is my anniversary.  Isabella and I are going on a trip to celebrate, and when we get back, I am going to the Dominican Republic to check on our construction project for our Missions work, and I will be out all next week.  As I have been teaching, I am looking forward to the break.  During the break, please visit our website (, YouTube channel (, or download the podcast (  I have over 2,000 video messages and thousands more in text, all free of charge.  I pray this content blesses you.  Please pray for me, for both trips, and I will pray for you.  Thank you!

Today we continue our series, “Progress On Purpose.”  I told you that God wants us to walk in “NEW LEVELS IN 2021!”  But if we are going to do so, we must be intentional about our progress.  With that in mind, as we lay the foundation for the year, I told you that I would discuss “Leveling Up” in five areas: 

1.  Spiritually

2.  Financially

3.  Physically 

4.  Internally

5.  Externally

We have covered the first three thus far.  Today we are looking at the fourth: Leveling up internally.  In this section, I will cover the following:

1.  Being anxious for nothing

2.  Receiving unshakable peace

3.  Joy and peace in believing

4.  Relaxing your mind and getting physical/psychological rest

5.  The highest form of faith is rest

Today’s message deals with the fourth, about rest.  I am calling this message “Why We Need Rest.”

Setting the stage:

Yesterday we looked at Elijah.  Today we will look at the life of David.  We did an in-depth study of his life last year.  This is just a reference to a low point in his journey.

(Read 1 Samuel 27) 

In 1 Samuel 27, David got to the point where he was tired of running from Saul and tired of being chased all around Israel.  In his tired state, the Bible says that he kept thinking to himself, “Someday Saul is going to get me.”  This does not sound like a person who is strong in faith.  It does not sound like a person who is standing on the promise of God for divine protection.  It does not even sound like the person who had the boldness to basically pronounce a curse on Saul for putting him through all he was going through.  But David, at this point, was simply burned-out.  

Life on the run had taken on a toll on him.  He thought to himself, “The best thing I can do is escape to the Philistines.  Then Saul will stop hunting for me in Israelite territory, and I will finally be safe.”  Let’s think about this for a moment.  This is the same David who killed Goliath and who proudly and unashamedly pronounced the giant to be an “Uncircumcised Philistine.”  With that statement, David was acknowledging that the people of Philistine did not have a covenant with Jehovah.  Not only that, but David had engaged in brutal mortal combat with the Philistines more times than he wanted to remember.  The Philistines were the enemy, but David was willing to move his entire household into their land because he was tired.  

David took his 600 men and went over to the Philistines territory.  He joined Achish son of Maoch, the king of Gath.  David and his family, along with his men and their families, settled in Gath and built a relationship with the king.  David brought his two wives along with him—Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail, Nabal’s widow from Carmel.  The Bible says that “word soon reached Saul that David had fled to Gath, so he stopped hunting for him.”  That seems like what David wanted.  Saul stopped (at least temporarily).  But David’s life in Philistine turned out to be something I don’t believe he actually wanted.  He made a mistake simply because he was tired of running.  Burnout can lead you to make mistakes!

So what does this mean for you today?  A few things:

1.  You must make time for rest.  

— Rest is spiritual.  I personally know great men of God who have had periods in their lives where they wanted to give up on ministry, leave the church, quit their assignment, or even go so far as to kill themselves, all because they were burned-out.  These are men who love God, who are thankfully still with us and still doing ministry, but they go to the point where they were so tired that they wanted to give up on God and give upon LIFE!  

— Many believers have fallen prey to depression due to a lack of sufficient rest.  

— Pastors are quitting churches and possibly derailing themselves from their destiny, all because they did not slow down long enough to work on their own mental health and spiritual well-being.  

— Like I said yesterday, it’s dangerous to pour your life out for others, over and over again, without taking the time to be refilled, rejuvenated, and revived yourself.  You cannot give what you do not have.  So if you don’t take time to get FILLED in God’s presence, you won’t be of any use to others because you are of no use to yourself.  

— Your first ministry to your family.  For you to minister to your family, you have to be healthy yourself first.  So please make time to get sufficient rest.

— We were not designed to live without rest.  David got tired of living on the run.  He got tired of Saul and his attacks.  And when you are tired — mentally, physically, psychologically — you make mistakes.  David made one of the worst decisions in his life, simply because he was tired.  Please don’t let this happen to you.  Get rest, make time for self-care, and ensure you are in a position to BE a blessing to others.

2.  Don’t make permanent decisions based on temporary feelings.  

— David was at a low point when he chose to move to Philistine, and he wound up living there for an extended period of time.  David should not have made such an important decision when he was at a low point in his life.

— Learn from David’s mistake and only make major decisions when you are in a state — mentally, physically, psychologically, spiritually — to do so.  If not, you will make a poor decision and, like David, you will pay for it.  

— While I would rather you simply get rest, if you ever feel like you are burned-out, please remember NOT to make major decisions in that state.  I would rather you delay the decision than make a poor decision because of insufficient rest.  

3.  Give yourself the “license” to rest when you need it.

— Give yourself the license to release your “to do” list and every nagging thought from your mind.  It’s okay.  Learn to enjoy a Sabbath rest.

— People acknowledge how important it is to declutter their home or workspace, but many of the same people fail even to consider the benefits of decluttering their hearts and minds.

— You must establish a time when you can rest in the presence of the Lord without emails, text messages, or “to do” lists on your mind.

— People today are so busy that they even feel guilty (as if they are doing something wrong) when they clear their schedule and take time to meditate and rest.  You were not designed to work without rest.  Many acknowledge the need for physical rest, but it is even more important to rest your heart and mind in the presence of the Lord.  Without rest, you can make a major mistake, like David did in our text.

— I know it sounds awkward, but many people today have to be told that it is OKAY to give yourself the approval to rest. 

— When you slow down and rest in God’s presence, you are giving Him a chance to speak to you, you are giving yourself a chance to listen, and you are giving the Word space to work.  If you don’t slow down, if you don’t enter into God’s rest, if you don’t declutter your heart and mind, your life will continue to be so “full of other things” that the Word will not work FOR you because it has no space to work IN you!

4.  Don’t let your mind be “full of other things.”

This is from the parable of the sower:

(Mark 4:18,19)

Others are like the seed planted among the thorny weeds.  They hear the teaching, but their lives become full of other things: the worries of this life, the love of money, and everything else they want.  This keeps the teaching from growing, and it does not produce a crop in their lives.

— If you live your life off of a schedule or calendar, then schedule time for rest and meditation.  You need time to think, rest, and simply hear from God.  

— Your life produces what you think about all day.  As a man thinks, so is he (Prov 23:7).  This is why it is critical to make the time to meditate and medicate on God’s Word.  You will never maximize your purpose and potential until you BELIEVE what God BELIEVES about you!

— If you make time to meditate on God’s Word, you will rid your heart and mind of “others things,” and at that moment, the Word will produce a harvest in your heart.

— You probably know more Word than you live.  Let that sink in for a moment.  You have the Word of God sown into the soil of your heart.  But now you must give that Word time and space to work.  When you rid your heart and mind of “other things,” you give the Word time and space to work, and the results will be amazing!  All of this starts in your heart and mind, which is why you need time for REST!

Declaration of Faith:

Father, I thank You for blessing me to understand the importance of sufficient rest.  I make time for a Sabbath rest every week.  I know I need time to rest, and I make sure I get it.  I don’t want my life to be “full of other things.”  I want my life to be full of You.  So I make time to spend time with You.  I give myself license to release myself from email, text messages, and my to-do list, long enough to sit, rest, meditate and listen in Your presence.  As I do, I declare that You speak, I hear, and I receive the insight, wisdom, knowledge, revelation, and the understanding I need to become the person You sent me to this planet to be.  I come out of my time of rest rejuvenated, restored, revived, and ready to face another day or another week.  By getting sufficient rest, I resist burnout.  I never allow myself to get to the point where I am not healthy enough to make sound decisions.  My decisions are sound because they are bathed in prayer,  based on Your Word, aligned with Your purpose for my life, and congruent with the leading of Your Spirit.  Living this way, I level up in 2021!  GREATER IS COMING FOR ME!  I declare this by faith, in Jesus’s name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word.  Apply it and prosper!

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