This past week, the North American Christian Convention took place in Orlando, Florida. This is their mission statement. “The North American Christian Convention exists to provide ideas, inspiration, and identity to Restoration Movement Churches, ministries, and their leaders.”[i]
Because of my affiliation to ministry through my lifetime, I’ve been blessed to be able to attend the NACC on more occasions that I can count. I have learned countless principles, listened to a zillion sermons, sang even more worship songs, and at the end of each convention returned to ministry with a renewed view of my role and a closer relationship with God.
My desire was to attend yet again this year for several reasons. My church minister was the president of the NACC this year. The worship leaders from my church led worship all week. The theme was “Refreshed.” And it was in Florida!
The problem? I’ve already been on two trips this year and have another one coming up in about a month. There was no way that we could afford for me to attend this convention.
But God placed some brilliant people in the path of the NACC this year. Each main session was streamed across the internet for those of us who couldn’t attend to watch. And now, after the NACC is complete, the sessions are available to view on demand.
I was able to watch and listen while sitting at my desk. I was able to hear the wonderful sermons each morning and evening. I participated in the worship services. I gleaned Biblical information from the wise leaders of our brotherhood. And I was blessed beyond imagination.
The theme for the convention was “Refreshed.” One of my thoughts landed at my computer screen. Sometimes my screen freezes or loads slowly. I hit the “refresh” button and the screen begins again loading images and words. It returns to working the way it should.
In our spiritual lives or in ministry, we can get into a rut. We can become stalled. We aren’t finding joy in studying God’s Word. We don’t see others the way God views them. Our attitude toward life is far from God’s view.
Perhaps a discouraging time has taken place. Maybe there has been failure. Or perhaps life just hasn’t turned out the way you thought it would.
Regardless of what has happened, refreshment must be found. The “refresh” button must be hit. So how can we be refreshed in Jesus? What steps can we take to be refreshed? In my search for refreshment, I found five ways to be refreshed.
Spend Time in God’s Word
God’s Word is living and active. Each day I find new and exciting thoughts that I know I’ve read before, but for some reason, that particular section had great meaning in that moment. You’ll be amazed at how God can work through His Scriptures.
Psalm 19:7a (NIV) says, “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.” God’s Word will refresh your soul! But you have to read it. You have to study it. You must spend time in it to be refreshed.
Rid Your Life of Sin
Sin is a refreshment killer. It is separation from God. And if we are not in God’s presence, there is no chance of refreshment.
Sin can sneak in and take over areas of our life before we know it. We must be diligent in asking God to reveal these areas of sin to us. Remember Psalm 139:23-24? It should be a daily prayer on our part.
We see in Acts 3:19 (NIV) to, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Times of refreshment are just around the corner. It’s time to repent.
This may be the most difficult for us. We are so busy. There is so much to do. Especially in ministry. But God gave the example in the beginning. Genesis 2:2 (NIV) tells us that “God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.”
I know you’re saying, “My work is never done!” Perhaps that is true, but you need to rest. God gave the command to the Israelites and it is something we need to consider in order to find refreshment.
“Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and so that the slave born in your household and the foreigner living among you may be refreshed.” (Exodus 31:17 – NIV)
When we are a blessing to others, we will be blessed beyond anything we could have imagined.
Proverbs 11:25 (NIV) says, “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” I love this verse. Not because of the outcome, but because of something that I might be able to do. Refresh others.
We can have a tendency to be a little short with friends, family, or strangers. Our comments may not be in line with Jesus’ teachings. Our actions may prove that we don’t belong to Him. We must be careful of how we treat others. Proverbs says we should refresh others. Have you done so today?
Allow God to Be in the Middle of It
God wants to help. He begs us to come to Him. God’s Word proves this over and over. But the verse I’m using is from Jeremiah 31:25 (NIV).
“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”
Are you weary? Are you unsatisfied? Are you feeling faint? Reach out to God. He will refresh far beyond your comprehension. He’s just waiting for the opportunity.
I was refreshed this week by the NACC. Perhaps there is still time to be refreshed by a worship service in your area. Maybe you have a close Christian friend you can spend some time with to be refreshed. If not, spend time with your faithful God. He is willing to refresh your soul. Why not take Him up on His offer?
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,