**taken from Eddie & Alice Smith Newsletter for June – article by Robert Smith
Seasons of Rest
There are times when God calls us to extended seasons of rest. It may be a total cessation of activity or simply laying down particular activities or assignments.
Although these seasons may be difficult to appreciate and enjoy, they are for our benefit. Sometimes we mistakenly draw our identity from the things we do instead of who we are in Christ. When we do this, we feel significant, connected and favored when we’re working. Then when things slow down, we feel purposeless, forgotten and discouraged.
When you find yourself in a season of rest, enjoy it. Relish, appreciate and be grateful for it. Following times of refreshing and rebuilding frequently come seasons with a quickened pace. As we walk with God, every new season of your life comes from the season you are in.
God doesn’t cancel, nor rescind His gifts and callings (Rom. 11:29). Seasons of rest do not disqualify you or invalidate His call upon your life. They are a matter of character development. During these seasons we’ll find our strength in a healthy revelation of who God is to us and who we are to Him.
Be patient. In His time, vision will return and gifts will be reactivated. The fires of your spiritual passion will burn hot once more and any perceived loss will melt away. You’ll likely discover that your rest was necessary for God to facilitate the next step in your calling. Don’t lose heart! There will always be time for kingdom building.
Enemies of Rest
One way the enemy steals the strength of the saints is to make us feel guilty about resting. At that point our effectiveness is reduced and we are less of a threat. His greatest tools – the enemies of rest are: fear, anxiety, need for man’s approval, personal pride, busyness and distractions (even with what seems to be good things). Beyond that, activity can become addictive to some. They become so engulfed with continual input and output that it becomes increasingly difficult for them to slow down.
Learning to rest may require re-training. It may even resemble “detoxing” as when a person breaks an addiction such as drugs or alcohol. Becoming content with quietness may require warfare. The greatest weapon at this point is trust and thanksgiving. We overcome the enemy when we cultivate a deepening trust in the Father and sincere gratitude for all He is doing in our lives from finances to ministry to families.
In our obedience and response to God in periods of rest, let’s not be driven or distracted by the enemy’s fear tactics. Instead, let’s take each thought captive, as it says in the message version :fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).