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Rest … What a strange and mysterious word for most of us leaders! I’m not wired to rest. So, through the years, I’ve had to “work at resting,” and I’ve discovered that those times of rest are when God whispers to my heart the clearest about being sent.

It is hard to hear God on the run. It is when we slow down to relax our minds, hearts, bodies and emotions that we find God. As Psalm 46:10 declares: “Be still, and know that I am God” (NKJV). I have found that when I don’t intentionally take time for Sabbath renewal, God allows me to take a forced period of Sabbath renewal!

Our Creator made us with a need for quietness and rest so that we would more readily find Him. God walked in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day to establish intimate community with Adam and Eve. They walked and talked together in a quiet, solitary garden—what a picture of serenity.

God longs to relate to us in the same way. He still shows up to walk and talk with us when we do these things:

  • Slow down our pace
  • Get in a solitary place
  • Rest in His grace
  • Enjoy His embrace

Abba says: “Only in returning to Me and waiting for Me will you be saved; in quietness and confidence is your strength” (Isa. 30:15, TLB). Notice the two aspects of how God says that leaders are to find inner rest and peace:

  • “Returning to Me”: We sometimes forget who “Me” is. “Me” refers to Abba, who loves us more then we could ever dream of. “Me” refers to Jesus, the One who purchased our peace with God by His cross; and that cross can provide healing for our emotions, souls and bodies. 
  • “Waiting for Me”: Waiting—how leaders hate to wait! Yet it’s only by waiting for the Father and not giving into impatience that we can experience rest for our weary souls. It is this rest that will empower us to lead others. “In quietness and confidence is your strength.”

My leader friend, you and I find inner strength as we develop confidence in God’s love, grace and mercy, and in His desire to help us. Then, when our confidence and quietness are linked together in Him, we will have strength to lead on.

is senior pastor of New Life Church (Bakersfield Southwest Foursquare Church) in Bakersfield, Calif.