Stress and pressure are part of our life, and Jesus has given some clear things about how we can deal with it.
When you're stressed out, anxious and uptight you don't live your best; you struggle in your relationships; there's overflow in your health.
God doesn't intend us to live that way. Let's have a look what Jesus said…
Matthew 11. How many people get stressed out easily?
Bill's the honest one. He's stressed out all the time you know!
People come with all these things they want, and stress and pressure are part of our life. Jesus has given some clear things about how we can deal with it.
When you're stressed out, anxious and uptight, you don't live your best; you struggle in your relationships; and there's overflow in your health.
Things are not good when you're living like that. God doesn't intend us to live that way. Let's have a look what Jesus said…
Matthew 11: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you Rest”.
It doesn't mean lie down and do nothing. The kingdom of God's always about work; but He's talking about an internal rest, an internal peace.
Although there are challenges and difficulties, there's peace inside. Many people don't have any peace, they're struggling, tormented, troubled; no peace. The challenge that people have is: how to find that peace.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He said: come to Me, I'll bring a peace into your heart; but there's a way that that happens, and we're exploring the way that that happens.
That rest is a gift to you, something God gives to you; and when it's operating in your life, you remain at peace. You're actually in the middle of the storm, but calm inside.
He says: it's something that you will find. Therefore, there's a path of discovery to ‘find’, and then ‘receive’, the rest that God gives. It's a lifelong journey, learning how to come to rest - when you and I face pressures and struggles and difficulties daily and regularly.
In Exodus 33:14, God is speaking to Moses, and He said: “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest”. It’s the same words: I'll give you rest; but the rest is connected with the tangible presence of God.
When He said “My presence will go with you”, He was referring to a visible cloud of glory - on the tabernacle at day, and like a flame of fire at night.
You and I have something better than that! We have the Holy Spirit come to live within us - the same spirit that manifested in a cloud of glory, comes to live inside you.
Once He lived in a tangible way, over the congregation; now He comes to live inside us.
My presence will give you rest. My presence will be with you, I will give you rest; and Moses said: if we don't have that, we're not going anywhere. Don't take us anywhere! Don't take us into conflicts and battles, any challenges unless we have your tangible presence.
You should never take for granted God's presence. It's something to be pursued, treasured, and valued. He is to be honoured.
It's easy for us to grieve the spirit that gives us rest. Have you ever thought that you might grieve the Holy Spirit, and limit His work in your life?
One of the tragic things is that, when we grieve the Holy Spirit, and His presence begins to withdraw - He never leaves us, but the expression of His presence can diminish, until you feel: God, where are you?
Here's the tragic thing in the Bible: almost every time the spirit of God draws back, or is grieved - most people don't know it. That's a bit of a scary thought, isn't it? Have you ever though that you could be grieving the spirit of God, who has come to give you rest and empower you - and you didn't even know it?
If you go on like that (didn't even know it), you end up religious; just doing lots of activities, and there's no life flow, no joy, no peace.