A Resting Place
The next thing that I get to on my much needed nightly walk is the ‘Passing Place’ sign. Essential in the single-track road utopia that is Gravir. So apart from the occasional sheep using it as a scratching post what do people use these passing places for ?
- Of course the most obvious use of the passing place is to pull in to let oncoming vehicles get past you.
- It can also be used to pull in to let faster vehicles past.
- And during a particularly long journey it can be used as a resting place.
In our daily Christian walk , and in our Christian life as a whole we are faced with many dangers and problems that often come our way.
In the Word the Christians life is likened to a narrow path , on the broad road that the rest of the world walks on there is more room to avoide the problems, pains and burdens that arise . But on the narrow road that the Christian walks on we must face our problems head on as they come to us. I have heard it said a few times by older Christians that the Christian is faced with many more burdens than the unsaved can ever know , and in a way I do agree with this. As Christians we have the ability of seeing the world as it really is with all its sin ,pain and unsaved sinners heading to a lost eternity. But with this extra insight our God has also provided us with the equipment to deal with any dangers that we will encounter as we go along this narrow road, and if we make use of this equipment we can rest safe whilst the dannger passes us by.
Firstly God has provided His Holy Word, the Bible as a means of warning us of the possible dangers that we will face. If we look to the Psalms we find David faced with many dangers from all sides, and we can also see Jesus being faced with trials and temptations form the devil and also from his peers.
But in the Bible God also provided us with plenty of instruction on facing up to the dangers that we will encounter, one of the most quoted but beautiful descriptions of Gods protection for his children is found in Ephesians 6 verses 10 to 18 :
” Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication…”
Just by glancing over this we can see that God fully equips his children for the battles that they will face, there could easily be many blogs written looking at each piece of this armor ,and I am planning on doing that in the weeks to come.
I recently heard a n interesting points about this equipping that God provides to us. In the all the bits and pieces of armor there is not one of them to cover our backs, this just shows that the enemy will not overpower or overtake us -our back is not covered because the enemy simply will not get that far.
God also provides us with his Holy Spirit , that will teach us what to say in difficult times, give us wisdom and lead us down the right paths.
If we are in God then he provides us with an area of saftey to protect us from all the oncoming dangers, he also fully equips us to deal with these dangers. In Psalm 91 an verse 4, David sums it up beautifully :
“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your sheild and your rampart”
pull In to the passing place of satey provded by the Lord and you will avoide all head on collisions,
Sometimes in my own Christian walk I am guilty of wanting to be centre stage and in the limelight when someone else has a better skillset or grasp of what is to be done, and sadly I know that this is something most of us will suffer from.
Its the sin of pride , a sin that permiates all other sin and one that we all so quickly and easily fall into, a great example is this cracker of a phrase :
“Im much more humble than him”
For those of you that have ever seen me ‘Go-Carting’ you will know im never the speediest car on the track, even though im sticking the pedal to the metal , my considerable weight leaves me travelling a lot slower than everyone else on the track. Plenty of times ive seen a blue flag waved in my face , the flag means to pull over and let faster riders past. If the flag is ignored it can end in crashes, cut and bruises and the whole race being slowed down.
It is no different in our spiritual journey some of us are just better suited to dealing with a situation than others.
But pride often takes over, leading people to disregard the obvious God given gifts of the other person. Proverbs 13 verse 10 sums it up well :
“Pride only breeds quarrlells ,but wisdom is found witht those who take advice”
If God had made us to work in solo he would not have provided us the church.
God has gifted us all with skills and gifts that can be used to his glory, the problem arises when we see our gifts as more superior to that of someone better suited the role. The word of God again deals with this , in 1corinthians 12 :
15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.
16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.”
Sometimes we need to pull in , so that the more suited people get to where they need to go . If we stay on the road it will only slow down the rest of the traffic and may causes unecessary pain to others round us.
During a long journey a rest is often needed , for all my readers that have ever been to the Oswestry free church camp you will know just how essential the toilet and food stops are , after 16 hours of travelling in a bus every single stop is needed and well appreciated.
Like we said before the Christians journey is not an easy one , we are faced with problems and concerns that the unsaved will not even know exist.
That’s why it is essential that as well as seeking protection in God we must also rest in him.
There is a real danger in carrying on our Christian journey without resting in God. The danger is falling asleep at the wheel, And possibly going of the road.
If we life our Christians life’s in a cavalier and macho way , not wanting to stop working or to rest then we will start to loose energy and start to do a shoddy job. As Christians we were are given work a lot of responsibility , we are after all servant sons and daughters to God. As We see in Psalm 127 and in verses 1 and 2 :
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord guards the city, the guard keeps watch in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives sleep to his beloved.”
If we do the tasks set by God in our own strength we will falter and fail , but if we live our lives giving it all over to God he will give us rest.
Another reason to take a rest on a long journey is to have a meal , so you can be built up to carry on further. You can snack along the way but in order to fully get the benfits you need to stop , rest, and have a proper meal.
It is the same for the Christian on our journey, we can read a few chapters a day or do a daily reading ,or whatever our bible reading plan is. And of course there is nothing wrong with this but we still need to take time fully stop ,study and pray about the Living words of God that we are reading. Off course this does not have to mean doing a full bible study into whatever chapter/verse that we are reading but rather that we take the time to stop and listen to what God is saying to us through his Holy word. Hebrews 4 verse 12 conveys the true extent and power of the Word of God :
” For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
God may communicate to his people in many ways, prophecies and visions may be vague or even be false, but we can be assured that through his word he will always communicate something to us, as Isaiah 55 verse 11 tells us :
” so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;it shall not return to me empty,but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it .”
The longer we spend taking time out of our day to pray to God, study his word and listen to him , the more refreshed and prepared we will be in the rest of our journey.
It is essential to our continuing walk that we take rest in God so he can protect us , so we do not hold back any better suited workers stuck behind us and so we can be rejuvenated and revived through him