Summer in Colorado: Crisp blue skies in the morning, thunderstorms in the afternoon, and beautiful sunsets. Frankly, anyone who complains about the heat in Colorado is being picky. (Confession: I complain about the heat!) After recently spending a week in Florida, I promise not to complain about our heat here anymore!
Something about our cool mornings is incredibly refreshing. I guess a good night of sleep helps; but sitting on my front porch and drinking a cup of coffee is one of my great joys and always brings temporal refreshment. Even my dog lives for these moments! In fact, at this very moment she is relaxing on her porch, smelling the smells, watching all the activity, and sprawled out like there is no concern in the world worthy for her to move. But at any moment, she can get distracted and disturbed in her soul by the slightest of things.
Everyone has a longing to relax and breathe deeply – generally resulting in a deep sigh that says, “Everything is right in the world!” Some of us, at any moment can be disturbed from our refreshment. Others, no matter how beautiful of a day it is, cannot sigh positively. Their sighs are more like groanings from the depths of their soul. It is in these moments of distraction or disturbance that we long for refreshment. Are you groaning for refreshment or sighing from refreshment?
If you are old enough, you probably remember the Coke commercials that captured the sighs of refreshment. You may even be old enough to remember the “Nestea Plunge” commercials. All of these sought to capture the longing of the heart for temporal refreshment. But is there any refreshment that satisfies the depths of our souls, or should we just pursue anything that gives us pleasure, albeit momentary?
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after the righteousness of the Kingdom, for they will be satisfied, filled, and refreshed.
As the leader of this church family, let me just offer a few things that I hope will help you sigh with refreshment – no matter the weather forecast. First, make it a point, every day, to consider your rightful position before God through Jesus. Let this be the greatest source of joy in your life – knowing that your name is written on the guest list, not as a friend of the family, but as a member of the family of God! Let me go further, if you are clothed with the right-standing of Jesus, you are given a place at the right hand of God Himself as His son. Take joy and sigh in that – even if you don’t feel like it.
Second, live in the dependence and abundance of the Holy Spirit as one sealed, filled, and baptized by the Spirit. When you are sighing in desperation because you don’t know how to pray, rest in the confidence that He has given you His Spirit to pray, live, and have your being. This is refreshing! It is isn’t up to you to create activity, it is up to you to submit to His power, authority, and energy in your life. Jesus came and then left so that we could have life in the Spirit.
Third, God is at work in you and He will see it through to completion. Stop striving after something that is just within your grasp and start taking hold of Him who first took hold of you. Seek the Spirit of the Kingdom instead of some perception of humanistic Christianity. Too many believers don’t know what it is to live in abundance because they are pursuing a form of Godliness but lacking His Power – the Holy Spirit. We must rest in the confidence that He is at work in us. If Jonah couldn’t get out of God’s will, then how could you possibly get out of His will by pursuing Him? How arrogant is that?
This is not a comprehensive list, just some simple but complex steps to point you in the right direction of the Well where you can find refreshment. He did not come to give us more burdens or yokes that would crush us. He came to give us life – a life of refreshment and abundance. Don’t be like my dog who lives in refreshment and abundance but is so easily distracted, disturbed and agitated. Keep your eyes on Jesus and the authority, power, and energy that He affords you.