Unleashing Hope: Recharge Your Batteries
“…so on the seventh day he (God) rested from all his work.” vs.2b
My Daily Shave
I have a daily routine I go through. It almost always starts the same way. I have two alarms set; one electric and my phone so that if the electricity goes out I still wake up on time. My alarm goes off and as I awake I move to the side of the bed and sit for just a moment. From there I go into the bathroom and pull out my shaver, this one here. This is a rechargeable shaver. It works great when the battery is fully charged.
In fact, I thought I might as well take a picture of me shaving in the morning; here it is.
(Picture of young handsome guy shaving) (Wait for laughs)
Yes, I look much younger and more handsome and I have a lot more hair. But hey, that’s how I roll, or roll out of bed, in the morning.
My shaver is a rechargeable one. When it is fully charged, it works fantastic. It’s fast, it glides better and it does its job fantastically. But when the battery is low, when it slows down and is running out of juice, it pulls at my whiskers which hurts, it doesn’t cut nearly as well, and shaving is not so easy. In fact, it’s kind of a pain. When that happens, I pull out the cord, plug it into the wall, and let it charge for a few hours. When the little green light goes on and says it is fully charged, I am good to go again for a week so and shaving is a breeze.
We live in a world where lots of things work this way. They have rechargeable batteries and in order for us to use them properly, they need to be charged and recharged. You and I work the same way even though we don’t run on batteries. In fact, this is a practice that goes all the way back to the beginning of time. Let’s look at how God talks about this in Genesis 2:2-3. If you are able, please stand as we read God’s Word.
Read Passage – Genesis 2:2-3
“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”
If It’s Good Enough for God…
How do we determine if something is good for us? Maybe because we read it somewhere, we listen to people who have done something and it worked for them, or there is some proof that it helps us. So why do we look at Genesis 2 today? Here is one way to determine that something is good for us; If it’s good enough for God, it must be good enough for us. So if God does something and it helps him, why wouldn’t it help us too? Notice what takes place in these verses. God has been working hard. He has been creating; not just anything, but the whole world, universe and everything in them. Verse 2 ends with these words; “…so on the seventh day God rested from all his work.”
“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.” vs. 2
Now I want to be careful here. I am not suggesting that God got tired. If God is really God, which I believe He is, then I doubt he gets tired. But…notice that God builds in breaks. He builds in times of rest. He rested. When we rest it rejuvenates us and helps us. And if God built in breaks for himself, why are we so resistant to breaks for us?
We live in a very fast paced world. Many people struggle to take time for themselves and breaks to rejuvenate themselves. In many ways much of the world pushes us hard.
We are pushed hard in our jobs
We are pushed hard in our personal lives
We are pushed hard in our hobbies
We are pushed hard in just about everything we do. Most of the time nobody will insist you to take a break and rejuvenate your batteries and your energy. Some do but they are far and few between. Many times we are our own worst enemies. We push ourselves and feel we have to keep going when we need a break.
Ex. Breaks needed while working on a computer. It is suggested that we take a short break every -20-30 minutes while working on a computer. Most of us don’t and then we wonder why are sore, why we are burnt out, and why we are exhausted when really we feel like we have just been sitting all day. Most experts tell us:
Take short 1-2 minute stretch breaks every 20-30 minutes. After each hour of work, take a break or change tasks for at least 5-10 minutes
How To Recharge Your Batteries
Now that is one of the more simple fixes in life. What about our lives as a whole? What would it take to recharge your batteries? God’s Word guides us in this. God created us. He knows how we work and what helps us and is best for us. So let’s look at a few ways God guides us on recharging your batteries.
- Plan, Plan, Plan For Rest
First, you have to plan, plan, plan for rest. Remember our passage from today. God purposefully planned a day of rest in his schedule. Then he did it for us too. He built in a day of rest, a Sabbath, for us. That day that is to be different from all the others. He even built this into the land the people were using for crops. Every 7th year they were supposed to let the land lay fallow so it could rest and rejuvenate. Here’s the key: plan. It won’t happen by accident. It has to be intentional. Recharging your batteries gives you more strength, more drive, and a better focus and it allows you to bring renewed energy to what you are doing. Solomon wrote in Prov. 21:5:
“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” Prov. 21:5
Solomon is pointing out that if we don’t plan, we can run into ruin and difficulty.
When we plan, it can lead to a greater gain. Not just gain in energy but in our profits as well. Most of us have hear the saying:
No plan is a plan to fail
Challenge: When is the last time you planned a break? Many people get proud they don’t use their vacation or the time their company provides for them to charge their batteries. How about you?
As I said, we live in a fast paced world. We feel the pressure and we put the pressure on ourselves to work, produce and sometimes just keep going. Be careful. You were built to have breaks. You were created to need recharging. You need to plan for rest.
- Renew Yourself In Worship
A second step in recharging your batteries is to renew yourself in worship. Again, you were created to worship. Worship brings renewal, focus, and rest. Romans 12:1 says:
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1
Unfortunately as our world has progressed, we have these expectations that we are to be running 24/7. It used to be that Sunday was a day of rest. Stores, gas stations, and restaurants were closed. Now businesses are trying to get the edge, trying to one up their competition, and trying to get as much profit as possible. Sunday has become just like the other days of the week.
Ex. Another example of this is Thanksgiving and stores opening on Thanksgiving and offering huge discounts to get you in. Stores are opening at 6 p.m. on thanksgiving Day.
Worship is super important. Worship keeps us focused on God; focused on his will and his plan for our life. Worship encourages us by being together with each other, in relation to God and it can be uplifting. Worship renews us. It brings life and peace and joy and hope.
- Let The Word Be Your Guide
A third step in recharging your batteries is to have the right guides in your life and a great guide is the word of God. Sometimes people are at a loss of how to proceed forward in their lives. They’ve lost hope, they’ve lost perspective, and they feel tired and burnt. One important step in renewal is to have a vision and plan for where you want to be. God tells us in His Word that we have that guideline by spending time reading and allowing His Word to guide us. David says in Psalm 119:105:
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105
We can get sidetracked by our own thoughts, by our own ways of doing things and by our own plans. David’s words encourage us to know that God’s Word is our guide and the source that lights our way. You may get distracted by thinking that every scenario that you encounter is not in the Bible. It’s not that every scenario is listed or talked about but more that it lights our path. In other words, it shows us the proper way(s) to respond to the specific scenarios that we encounter and in those times, we have a personal responsibility to make the decision(s) on what to do. When that happens, we are renewed because we feel the affirmation of God and assurance that we are on the right path.
Ex. For example, can the Bible really tell me what I should be doing with my life? Yes,
- Build Great Relationships
A fourth step in recharging our batteries is to build great relationships into our life. Note this: Jesus built great relationships while her on earth. He went out and developed relationships with people because we are created to be in relationship. We are never meant to be alone. Jesus is in relationship to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. He is also in relationship with us. That is why when he is praying in John 17 that he says he has to die and go to heaven, so we can have the Holy Spirit. Jesus couldn’t stay with us forever but the Holy Spirit can. Jesus had three really close friends he poured himself into; James, John and Peter. Beyond that he had 12 disciples he invested in. Beyond that he had many people who walked with him and encouraged them and he in turn encouraged them.
1 Thess. 5:11 says:
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
1 Thess. 5:11
Here is a key ingredient for building great relationships: encouragement. You never go wrong when you take the time to invest in someone else by encouraging them. Think about those that you think of as good/great friends. They are people who probably support you, love you, take the time to be with you, might even confront you when things need to be brought to your attention. But most of all, they are probably people who encourage you. They build you up. And…here is the kicker on this; when you encourage someone else, you are not just building them up, you are recharging your batteries. It’s good for you too.
Ex. How I met Chris and built our friendship
- Listen! God’s With You
And finally, you can recharge your batteries by being a person who listens; and more specifically, listens to God. I stated this earlier and I’ll state it again, we live in a busy world and we are taught to be active and on the go. This finds its way into our relationships as well. We talk with people but usually in short spurts. We seem to always have to be getting somewhere. We need to stop and listen. How many times have you hard “Oh, let me just get this in before I have to go.” Very rarely do you hear, “”Is there anything else you want to tell me before we go?” This even works its way into our relationship with God. Just ask someone to pray and watch what happens, they start talking. Ever been with someone who hesitates or waits before they talk? People think they maybe have forgotten what they were asked to do or that there is something wrong. I propose to you today that we need to spend more time listening to God. Jesus many times said these words we find in Matt. 11:15:
“Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Matt. 11:15
I want to encourage you to take time to listen to God. It’s not easy. It takes practice, an open heart, a willingness to just clear your mind and discern to what where God is directing you. I find I listen to God best when I get away from everything and clear my head.
Sometimes it’s a walk around the block
Sometimes it’s a walk in the hills or by the ocean
Sometimes it’s a walk around the parking lot
Sometimes its laying in bed with the lights and TV off
Sometimes its kneeling at the front of the church
Respect God enough to not always give him a monologue of your wants, desires, and wishes. Take time to listen.
Challenge: If you are not listening to God, who are you listening to?
Praying For Ice Cream
A young mother took her child to a restaurant. He asked if he could say grace, although he never did anything quietly. He bowed his head and prayed so loud the entire restaurant could hear him: “God is good, God is great. Lord, I thank you for the food and I will thank you even more when Mom gets me ice cream for dessert! And liberty and justice for all. Amen.”
Some customers laughed, but a cranky woman nearby said loud enough for all to hear, “Kids these days! Asking god for ice cream? He should be ashamed!”
Hearing this, the boy burst into tears and said, “Mommy? Did I say something wrong?” Is God mad at me?” As she reassured him, a gentleman approached the table. He leaned close to the kid, winked, and said, “Young man, I happen to know God . And I happen to know God thought that was a terrify prayer.”
“Really?” the boy said. “Absolutely.” Then the man turned toward the cranky woman and said, “Too bad she doesn’t ask God for ice cream. A little ice cream is god for the soul sometimes.”
At the end of the meal, the mom bought her son the biggest dish of ice cream the restaurant served. His eyes lit up when it was placed in front of him. Without a word, he picked it up, walked over to the cranky lady, and said, “Here ma’am. This is for you. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes. My soul is good already!”
The first, most important pathway to hope is to figure our what recharges your batteries and then do that.
Portions of this sermon are adapted from The Hope Quotient by Ray Johnston