Pastor Sam Adeyemi Matt. 11:28-30
For most of us, our greatest joys have come from family and our greatest pains have come from family. Many of us are carrying heavy burdens; of being of marriageable age and yet not finding someone to marry, being married and yet not being happy, deep disagreements with our husbands or with our wives, raising difficult children that we don’t quite understand that bring us pain, raising children with special needs and so on. It’s important for us today to remind ourselves that God’s provision for us is rest.
A lot of the times when we have those challenges coming from the family, we forget where the real problem is coming from. It’s coming from Satan, the enemy of the family. From the Biblical story of creation and the start of Man, there was the first man and the first woman made perfect by God and then Satan shows up. He introduces the sin nature and from that point onwards it’s pain. Sometimes even Christian families fall apart and label the other person as the enemy. Siblings having deep problems and see themselves as the enemies. If you go to a war and you can’t recognise your enemy, you may shoot and miss.
In Ephesians 6:12, Paul the Apostle tells us that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, rulers of this world, spiritual wickedness in heavenly realm.
Satan wants to use every means to disable the family unit and make it dysfunctional. Jesus says “I will give you rest”
How do we get this rest? We know that the principle of rest shows up from the story of creation. God worked till the 6th day and rested on the 7th, established it as a principle that runs our planet. So you have day and night. We’re not designed to run endlessly or with limitless resources. We’re made to take breaks. Since Man was the last of God’s creation, Man was created on the 6th day so Man’s first full day was the day of rest. It was meant for focus, cultivating intimacy with God and downloading because God already has a blueprint for our planet and eternity. In our interaction with God, we download His plans, we build in line with His plans and purposes as the resources of heaven back us up. We achieve God’s purposes with miracles following an John 5:19 describes this.
Everyone in the Bible who obeyed God and walked in line with His plans and purposes found alignment with God. This is how we get help; we find rest when we find alignment with God’s plan, purposes and rythms. The first thing God wants to do is to rid us of the sin nature. God sent Jesus Christ to die for us because the wages of sin is death. The day we accepted Jesus died on our behalf, the death is credited on our behalf, God sees us as sinless and our sin nature is replaced by His nature because it is that God nature that has the capacity to communicate with God and to live like God. If as a Christian you’re not living like God, loving like God, It’s because you’re not building your God nature but your human nature.
There’s a provision of rest for the single person. Christ who modelled rest for us was single and still found maximum fulfilment in God by finding alignment with God’s plan and purposes. If you’re aligned with God’s plan and purposes for you, no one can make you feel your life is incomplete simply because you’re not married yet. If you marry when God wants you to be married, you’ll have rest. If you marry when God doesn’t want you to be married, you will not have rest. This is why the life of a Christian ought to be different Rom 12:2 .
In John 4 Jesus made it clear that there’s nothing that they told you would give you lasting satisfaction that would actually give you lasting satisfaction if it’s not in line with God’s plan and purposes for your life. Even if it gives you satisfaction, it would be temporary; sex, money, career etc. The fulfillment comes from the inside with God.
If you’re married, the big question is “Are you having rest?” “Can you say that your marital experience is in alignment with God’s plans and purposes?” What’s uppermost on God mind is human beings that can fulfil the plans and purposes of God on the earth. Is your marriage fulfilling God’s plan and purposes? Are we even aware of what these plans and purposes are? It’s not about us, it’s about God.
1st Cor. 7, Paul the Apostle says you don’t own your body. If we’re walking in love towards one another and focused on God’s plan and purposes then we won’t have a problem in the first place. Somebody will not be making only withdrawals without making deposits in the heart of the other person. Each person is focused on the other person’s happiness.
There’s heavy assault on Marriage all over the world and man created solutions including divorce. Even in the days of Jesus people came to ask about divorce in Matthew 19. He told them that wasn’t God’s original plan for marriage. Let’s factor God in and not seek immediate bail out.
This pandemic, do not jump into activities. Cultivate your relationship with God. Spend time to pray, meditating, studying and hearing from God. The things you hear from God this season will take you, very likely, for the rest of your lifetime.
Don’t waste this pandemic. Before you get into a quarrel keep quiet and be silent and go ask the Holy Spirit what to do or say. There’ll be more peace, more love, more joy that way. You will experience constance flow of revelation from God’s word as seen in Psalm 1.