Stress is so much a part of our lives that we seem to accept it as inescapable. Some types of stress are beneficial. Mostly, however, we can be and need to be stress-free. We need adequate rest. This is true physically; it is true spiritually. How can we get proper rest, spiritually? Let’s start by considering things that hinder or prevent spiritual rest. Here’s a sampling: 1. Busyness. 2. Distractions. 3. Worry. 4. Not accepting or asking for help. 5. Trying to do too much.  “God doesn’t drive His sheep; He leads them!” (Source unknown). There is one priority that must out-rank all others and that is time spent alone with Jesus in the Word and prayer. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus urged: “Come unto me, all (ye) that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke (is) easy, and my burden is light.” We must order our days wisely, according to Scriptural principles, not taking on responsibilities without guidance from our Lord, looking to Him for strength and enabling, and except for a genuine emergency, not neglecting rest. “Near to the Heart of God,” by Cleland Boyd McAfee, musically describes this essential rest: “There is a place of quiet rest, near to the heart of God, a place where sin cannot molest, near to the heart of God. There is a place of comfort sweet, near to the heart of God, a place where we our Savior meet, near to the heart of God. There is a place of full release, near to the heart of God, a place where all is joy and peace, near to the heart of God. O Jesus, blest Redeemer, sent from the heart of God, hold us, who wait before thee, near to the heart of God.” Selah! Walking in the Spirit, not walking in the energy of our “flesh,” brings comfort, strength and rest!    Ron

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