Times of Refreshing
Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord...
Q: What immediately follows turning to God?
A: Times of refreshment.
I know a lot of Believers who are plagued by guilt, stressed by decisions, and claim not to have peace. This should not be. We’ve repented of our sins, we’ve turned to God, and times of refreshment should follow. How is it that guilt, stress, or peacelessness can work its way back in to our lives?
Is it possible that we forget we turned to God even as Believers? He is the solution to all of our troubles. His Way is the foundation for all of our decision making. When we exclude God from our equations we begin to problem solve on our own. Oops! We can’t solve our problems on our own, that’s why we repented in the first place!
This is a real thing that real Christians do; we turn back from our turning back. Jesus points it out to a real church full of real Christians in Revelation 2:4-5.
“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches...”
Turn back to me.
Do the works you did at first.
If I am not enjoying a time of refreshing (And that refreshing comes from the HUGE relief that my sins are not being held against me anymore! And it also comes from the HUGE relief that the One True and Living God is on MY side, loving me, protecting me, and guiding me!), then it might be time to stop taking my life into my own hands again, turn back, and trust & love Jesus like I used to.
Times of refreshment... When a student turns in a big report that they worked on for weeks. When a newborn finally starts sleeping through the night. When a couple in a long distance romance finally get to say “I do.” When you get to use your 2 weeks vacation from your job. When your kids are big enough to do the dishes for you after dinner. But there is no time of refreshment for the student who doesn’t do their work, a parent who picks up a baby every time the baby cries, postponing a marriage, never cashing in on your vacation days, and never requiring your kids to do simple chores. Similarly, there is no time of refreshing for the Believer who gives God their burdens and then picks them all right back up again.
Jesus was totally and completely serious when he said, Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). “Rest” aka: time of refreshment!
Thank you that refreshment from you is the state in which you intend for me to live and is not at all dependent upon my circumstance, just the position of my heart. Help me not to fall into the trap of taking all my decision making and burdens upon myself today, but to just love you and trust you and ask you to help me do your will for my life and not let life just carry me away. I love you and I love your refreshing! And I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.