Renewing through Realignment and Rest

What to Do When You Need Renewal—Part 2

In the previous post we looked at three steps to take when you find yourself empty and depleted. By way of a quick recap, here they are:

  1. Retreat—Make time to initiate a renewal process.
  2. Assess—Ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart on every level.
  3. Repent—Respond to the Holy Spirit’s conviction, calling sin what it is.

Identifying the problem, however—while a great start—isn’t enough. Where do you go from here. I have found two final steps to be needful:

4. Realign

It does little good to assess if there is no resulting change. Based on the assessments you made with the help of the Holy Spirit, what do you need to realign moving forward?

And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.—Psalm 139:24

For me, the realignment I need is usually in one of these four areas, and so I immediately look for potential adjustments in these:

  • Priorities—Are my priorities as they should be? Am I spending enough personal time (not sermon preparation time) in God’s Word? Does my prayer life need to grow? Does my schedule reflect a priority on my walk with God and my family relationships?
  • Practices—What time-wasters can I cut?
  • Personnel—Do I have responsibilities I should be delegating to others? What have I already delegated that needs to go to a different person or needs me to more thoroughly train the owner?
  • People—Do I have replenishing relationships in my life? Am I taking time for them?

5. Rest

When God renews His servants, He intends that we reengage in the work of the Lord remembering that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

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.—Matthew 11:28–30

There are three good places to find rest:

We rest in His work. There is no rest when we are trying to prove something to God or to another person. Jesus paid it all, and we can rest in His acceptance through Christ. Our identity is firmly anchored in His accomplishment—not ours.

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.—Ephesians 1:6

We rest in His Word. All through the pages of Scripture we find promises that bring hope, courage…and rest.

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.—Psalm 37:7

We rest in His Spirit. The Christian life need not be a continual process of “trying harder.” It is to be a continual process of yielding to the Holy Spirit.

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.—Galatians 5:16

We will not go through life serving others in ministry and not experience times when we are in desperate need of renewal. And yet, God has provided—in fact, He is Himself—the source for our renewal.

When you find yourself empty and dry:

  1. Retreat—Make time to initiate a renewal process.
  2. Assess—Ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart on every level.
  3. Repent—Respond to the Holy Spirit’s conviction, calling sin what it is.
  4. Realign—Change in the areas that matter.
  5. Rest—Reengage in the work of the Lord with a soul at rest.

If there was anyone who had reason to feel depleted, it was the Apostle Paul. Physical persecution, the hardships of first-century travel, and the burden of caring for young churches could have crushed him—were he not experiencing the continual renewing power of God. Like Paul, I want to get to the end of my race still in love with Christ and still full of joy.

But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.—Acts 20:24

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