Anything But That 

April 25, 2024
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“Tell me to do anything, just don’t tell me to do nothing!” One man said this to me after talking to him about the power of being still. In the Way of Rest, we train people to relax back into the love and faithfulness of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Let them go first in all things. Learn to be a receiver and not a manufacturer. This is the joy and difference of Christianity. And this is grace. Well, for many Christians still drunk on the American way of striving, the true message of Jesus is an affront to their indoctrination. Being still is akin to laziness.   

Another man asked to get to together for lunch because he wanted to understand how to go deeper in the Lord. When we met, he shared all that he was doing – the devotionals, the Bible studies, and, even, the mission trips. Yet, he knew there was more and what he was doing was not getting him there. I told him that the key to depth is not more but less. As a hard-charging, hill-climbing man, my comment confused him.   

I shared with him that depth comes from allowing the Holy Spirit to take one aspect of our faith deeper and deeper. To be still. To allow Him freedom to move as He pleases. And then I gave him the “death blow.” I shared that if he wanted to go deeper, then he would have to allow the Holy Spirit to affect him emotionally. He said, “I don’t know how to do that.” 

Kingdom depth is antithetical to worldly depth. In worldly depth, if you want to go deeper in a topic you study more, try harder, and burn longer. In Kingdom depth, you rest more and breathe deeper. Mind you, Kingdom depth, as we will see, is anything but lazy or ineffective. In fact, Kingdom depth will make you far more productive and effective than worldly depth ever could.  

Psalm 1:1-3 is great training ground for depth.  

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, 
Nor stand in the path of sinners, 
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! 
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, 
And in His law he meditates day and night. 
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, 
Which yields its fruit in its season 
And its leaf does not wither; 
And in whatever he does, he prospers. 

King David, under whose leadership Israel would become a dominant geo-political power, began his collection of Psalms recalling the blessing and benefit of meditation. Being still. Considering things deeply. Allowing content to penetrate levels of the heart and spirit.  


The Way of Rest is five ingredient recipe for how to BE a follower of Jesus. Anyone who embraces this recipe can experience Jesus’s promised abundance. The fifth ingredient is FIVE DISCIPLINES. The foundational discipline, upon which all other disciplines sit, is reflection. Biblically, to reflect is to abide or to meditate. Reflection is foundational because of passages like Psalm 1, Joshua 1:1-9, John 15:5, and others. It is also foundational because of the impact of reflection on my life.  

Notice a few things in Psalm 1. First, there are active forces seeking to lure the psalmist away from believing, trusting, and following the way of the LORD. The forces are real and they are quite powerful. The antidote to those forces is meditation. Second, meditation produces emotional stability. The one who meditates will, “be like a tree planted by streams of water.” How would you describe the emotional reality of one whose life is likened to a tree planted by streams of water? The emotional strength and resolve of the one who meditates is durable. They are not tossed about by the waves, or even by gentle breezes.  

Third, reflection generates productivity. Again, too often our image of reflection, of one sitting cross-legged, in solitary, chanting some chakra or remaining silent seems like a waste of time. However, no less than King David declares the productivity of the one who meditates. They will yield fruit, never wither, and prosper in all things.  

It seems that David has given us a clear path to success that also generates emotional stability.  

My wife, Brooke, taught me a valuable lesson about reflecting early in our marriage. I was in the kitchen doing dishes. I was scrubbing one casserole dish that had caked on food. She saw my effort and said, “You know you don’t have to scrub like that.” I was confused. How else can you get something clean? She told me all I had to do was fill the dish with water and let it soak. I did not believe her. Soaking cannot be the answer. Surely the answer is harder scrubbing with more effective cleaner.  



So, I filled the dish with water and let it soak. A few hours later I came back. I dumped the water out of the dish, and, like magic, the caked-on food slid out and down the drain! An absolute miracle. 

To reflect, to meditate, to abide is to soak. To immerse oneself in a particular truth of the faith in such a way that caked-on wounds, doubts, fears, and uncertainties “just” fall off.  

Let me give you an exercise to try. You’ll need something to write with, your Bible, a journal or, at least, a piece of paper. Silence your cell phone. Before you read, take several deep breaths, and allow yourself to relax into this moment. Then pray to your Father and ask Him to speak to you in this time. Read Matthew 6:25-33. Do not be in a rush. As you read, mark in your Bible anything that stands out to you. Notice the various things Jesus says our Father will take care of in your life. Notice the value you have in the eyes of your Father.  

When you are done, consider that Jesus is inviting you into a relationship where His Father will be your Father. He will love you and provide for you in powerful ways. Breathe. You are not in control of this time. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak. Write down what you are seeing, hearing, or feeling. After you are done writing, do not move. Breathe. Consider again that Jesus’s Father is your Father. How does this affect you emotionally? How does this truth make you feel? What fears, hesitations, or wounds are coming to mind? Breathe. Nothing is more important than this moment.  

When you are ready, pray. Thank your Father for the time and the revelation. Be filled for the day, trusting Him for everything in that day.  

Be careful of superficial disciplines. You can read Scripture and pray and never go deep. Oftentimes the Holy Spirit wants to give us D, E, and F but we leave at A and B.  

Learn the power of reflection.  

LIFE in the OVERFLOW is not a microwave and it’s not fast food.  

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