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Jennifer Miskov: "Receive the Gift of Rest"

Jennifer Miskov
Dec 24, 2018

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The Sabbath rest is one of the most rewarding gifts we've been given. If God needed to rest after six days of creating the world and everything in it, then we can follow in His example. Too many times though, we overlook this gift of rest that is built into the rhythm of abundant life offered to us by God.

Is There Purpose in Our Busyness?

"The more you practice cultivating space to listen and be present for God to move in your life, the easier it gets.

There's something numbing about keeping ourselves busy and running around from here to there—it gives the illusion of importance. If someone asks me how I am doing and I tell them that I am super busy, does my busyness make me feel important because I have so many things to do? If I am not busy does that mean I no longer have worth, am loved, have value, or am important?

I think if we're honest, filling up the moments of our lives with stimulation, busyness, going from one place to the next, checking our social media accounts, and driving with one hand on the wheel while we eat fast food in the other on the way to another meeting, is a normal part of some of our worlds. What's the true benefit of working overtime again and again, striving to get more so we can continue to be encaged in the hamster wheel, running faster and faster to nowhere? At the end of our lives will we be satisfied?

I am not saying that we can't fill our schedules up or that if we do have full schedules it means something is wrong. What I am saying is this: as we enter toward the end of this year, let's take a step back to re-evaluate our commitments to make sure that what we are intentionally investing our time into are things that we are born for and that are building the Kingdom of God. What was ours to carry in one season may not be the same in the next.

As we dive into the new year, we must be able to choose the best over the good and let go of the silver to embrace the gold (Hebrews 12:1-2). Too many times it's those good things that fill up all the space in our lives leaving no room for the best to enter in...until we are courageous and willing to let go.

A Lesson on Rest

This summer I learned a very important lesson on rest. I decided to take a small sabbatical time of rest and refreshing in Maui after running hard for 6 years with my ministry and entering into our 7th year. While there, I felt like God was inviting me to extend my time on the island more than once. The first extension was easier to say yes to. But then when I had to decide in the second month whether to stay yet another month, I struggled. I had to choose whether to come back to the mainland in October to teach and fulfill other obligations, or stay another month in Maui extending my time of rest, surf, play and to be refreshed for a conference in Virginia in November that I felt was significant.

I didn't want to let down all the people I had committed to. Would they think I was a flake? Would they think I was irresponsible? I am a person of my word and I felt I would be letting so many people down. I still hadn't secured housing for my time on the mainland, so I would have to sleep on a couch for a month. All the while doors kept opening for me to stay longer in Maui.

Would I do what I felt I should do or would I follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and give my soul the attention it needed? What would I choose if I knew I wouldn't let anyone down and they would understand my need for soul-care? Would I trust that God would provide for me still? What season did God have me in and how was I to position my life accordingly? The real question I needed answered was: What was God saying in the midst of all this noise in my head? (Photo via Pixabay)

I knew deep down that I wasn't ready to return and dive back into full-time ministry and teaching. I knew that my heart still needed more restoration and rest. I knew that being at the beach and surfing the waves is one of the gifts God put in my life that helps restore my soul. I wondered what it would look like to enter into the clear "yes" in my spirit about the Virginia trip in November, fully rested; rather than worn out and tired from running around doing good things that I really do love, but didn't fit the extended season of rest God was inviting me into. I knew what my heart needed, but I still battled with what other people would think and how they would view me. I didn't want to let people down.

Can't You Talk Louder, God?

I also felt like this decision would be a turning point for the next era of my life, shifting me from what I've know and always done and into the spirit of pioneering. The fact that I was presented with these choices at the same time, while in the midst of filming an e-course in Maui and getting ready to launch a ministry school, is not an accident. These are all about following the leading of the Holy Spirit to be closer to Jesus at all costs. Staying in Maui another month would be me letting go of what had been familiar and stepping out of the boat into the unknown. It would mean going off of the map into the unplanned and into a completely different direction.

"As we dive into the new year, we must be able to choose the best over the good and let go of the silver to embrace the gold..."

Then I did something I rarely ever do. After seeking counsel and getting confirmation in my spirit, I called to cancel all of my engagements for the month of October. I was able to give some of these opportunities away to other friends so they could be blessed by them. I let go and trusted I heard God. I chose to make space for what my heart needed. I positioned myself to enter more fully into this season of rest God was giving me. I extended my time in Maui for the sole reason of resting.

When the time in Maui was complete, I finally did come back to the mainland to go to the conference in Virginia in early November. There God moved in great power and touched many lives in a significant way. I even extended my trip another week to hold a few more meetings and will go back to continue the work soon.

All that to say, when God invites us into a season of rest we can trust that He will take care of us and all of the details. There's no way I could have lived three months in Maui without God providing the Body of Christ to welcome me in. So many beautiful saints poured out hospitality again and again, for which I will forever be grateful. My prayer is that my recent journey deeper into God's heart through rest will be a prophetic encouragement for you to embrace the Sabbath gift of rest God wants to give you today.

The 10 Minute Challenge: Stewarding Rest During the Christmas Season

What would it look to steward rest in the midst of this busy holiday season? What would it look like to not run around trying to please everyone with extravagant gifts, but instead slow down and give people the gift of our presence? Now I know not everyone has the freedom to be able to stay in Maui for months, but we do all have 10 minutes each day or even once a week where we can get alone with God to encounter His love.

What would happen if today we STOPPED everything and spent 10 minutes in pure silence waiting upon God?

If you want to know what's really going on in the depths of your heart and experience deep peace in the midst of the craziness all around, I want to encourage you to take 10 minutes today and STOP everything and just be still. Stop all intake, all reading, all listening, all moving and simply BE. Put down your journal writing, Bible reading, and phone until after the time. Turn off your music and any other stimulation just for this sacred, set-apart time. Take a deep breath. Listen to God. Welcome Him to meet you in a special way. For just 10 minutes today, let's practice Psalm 46:10 where it says, "Be still and know that I am God..."

I will warn you right now, to get 10 minutes of absolute silence and focused engagement on God, to be fully present with Him alone, you may need to fight a million battles. So many distractions might try to come against you. King David says in Psalm 27:4, "ONE THING I ask of the Lord...that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple" (emphasis mine). The more you practice cultivating space to listen and be present for God to move in your life, the easier it gets. (Photo via Unsplash)

So I pray, as you begin to build this beautiful gift of stewarding rest into your life and are intentional to plan it into your new year, that God's grace would be upon you and that He would give you rest. Rest for your souls. He is waiting with open arms for you to enter into the secret place with Him and to remind you that JESUS is the reason for this season. May we never let busyness distract us from this simple truth. May His stillness go deep into your heart and permeate you with His rest for your soul.

"Simply join your life with Mine. Learn My ways and you'll discover that I'm gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in Me." (Matthew 11:29 TPT) (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)

Jen A. Miskov
Jen Miskov Ministries


Jennifer A. Miskov, Ph.D., is a revival historian, author, writing coach, and itinerant minister who loves to lead people into life-changing encounters with Jesus and invite them to receive a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit. She recently launched the School of Pioneering Revival which is an online platform to raise up revivalists around the world. She regularly facilities Writing in the Glory Workshops around the nation to catalyze authors to write their first books. Jen is ordained by Heidi Baker with Iris Global and licensed with Bethel Church in Redding, CA. She received her Ph.D. in Global Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies from the University of Birmingham, U.K.

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