Taking a Break? :: by John Lysaught

Do you ever feel like you need to take a break from life? Life can be a challenge. It can be burdensome at times. It can be like hell. It’s not my faith that I need a break from, not even close. It’s the world, that I’m tired of. Society’s goal of snuffing followers of Christ from the mainstream to the outskirts of society is wearing on me. It’s like battle fatigue and I’m worn out from it. Yet, I’m pushing on as you all should as well.

The enemy wants to wear us down. Satan wants to grind us so much with this world that our fatigue will lead to surrendering our faith. Not a chance! The enemy is on our backs unrelentingly, thrashing at us day and night. We can take it though.

Satan is trying to thrust his spear into our hearts and minds to get us to give up, even if it is to take a rest from our battles with him. He is relentless in his efforts. We need to be even more relentless in our hearts and minds. We know the outcome of the battle—Christ defeats him, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t casualties along the way for those who can’t stand on their own or have never been told about Christ.

There is the holistic battle with evil that we fight against and there are the battles we face individually. We each have our faults and weaknesses that the enemy will attempt to capitalize on. He will poke and poke at us until we either shut him out or give in to his ways and give up. Some give up by stating that they just need to take a break from God.

What? I’m serious. I’ve thought of it before but the intervention of the Holy Spirit fixed that. Sometimes people can reach a steep hill in their lives, and instead of conquering the hill through persistence and hope—they take a break at the bottom of it and can be lured to walk back the way they came to find an easier way around that steep hill.

The easier way is the wrong way, of course. Satan will deceive those in this mindset into believing there is an easier way in life, but it is all deception. He will twist and turn anything and everything to get people into believing his lies. He’ll put thoughts in our minds to tell us it is impossible to continue our walk to the finish line, that there is no hope for us or that it is too hard to achieve (you get the point).

We all are human and fallible because of our condition with sin. We have weaknesses, doubts, fear, and as with everything else, we do need rest. God gave us rest on the seventh day of creation. So we may think we should get a rest from Satan every once in a while, right? Wrong!

Satan doesn’t take a day off. Satan’s workers of evil, both spiritual and human, don’t take days off. Therefore, since they never rest, we can never put down our guard. Will there be lulls in the battles with evil, and ebb and flow, as we fight? Yes, and we can take short breathers to catch our breath.For those of you who have done sports and push yourself when you exercise, know what I’m talking about. You push yourself to the limit and then when there is an opportunity for a small break, you savor it only to get back to pushing yourself just a little more. This is how we are to fight evil. Push, push, and push and then push a little more each time and savor the small ebbs of battle to savor the rest.

Now, to be clear, I’m not neglecting the rest we always have in God. He affords rest to us at all times in his presence. We can of course dip our cups into the well water of God’s rest, take and knee and drink, but the battle still rages on and we must jump back into it. We are never to give up. We are never to take a break from our faith—that would be paramount to desertion.

In Psalm 31:24, those in the faith are encouraged to be strong and courageous. Romans 12:12 admonishes us to rejoice in hope, to be patient in tribulation, and to always be praying. Verse 12:12 brings about a good point of discussion. Patience is a lacking virtue in our times. Satan has used the world and society to keep us too busy. Because of this, we have lost our ability to be patient for things.

We want things now, not later. Instant gratification is the name of the game. It seems innocent enough but Satan uses this era of instantaneous information and fulfillment of our wants and needs in this world that we transfer this mentality to our spiritual lives. We have lost patience with our faith.

In our society, when we face delays, we shift direction to find a quicker way to get a response to what we are looking for. This mentality translates over to patience in tribulation by giving us an excuse of giving up easily. Just as we want information and things right now, we too want tribulations to be resolved quickly.

While we battle Satan, the battle may be drawn out deliberately because Satan knows that we want quick resolutions and if we can’t achieve them, we are more likely to give up and walk away from the fight.

We can’t give up. We can’t afford to walk away. Our souls and our eternal destination are at stake. Walking away because it’s too hard or because we need a break is not the right mind set to have. Psalm 144:1 (KJV) tells, “Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.”

When we feel like we need a break, when we feel like we can’t win or when winning seems like an impossible achievement, we need to remember that our lives are like being in overtime in a sporting competition; we have to dig deep inside and hold onto that strength God has given us to keep going.

Notice that the verse says to teach, not to give. Some hold they will automatically receive the tools to fight without training. When taught we learn and with practice in conjunction with teaching, we refine and excel at the subject taught to us. Not many people could be introduced to a calculus problem and be able to solve it on the first try. No, we need to be taught how to calculate the problem by going through the correct steps to reach the final solution to the problem. It’s the same thing with fighting Satan.

I’m not saying you won’t be able to fight right off the bat, but we need to tap into the strength of God and be patient when being taught by Him how to refine our skills through prayer and study of the Bible.

If you keep the attitude of never giving up and never letting down your guard, you won’t feel like you need a break from the fight or from the faith. God is our strength (Isaiah 40:31). God is our power (Ephesians 1:19). He will never forsake us (John 6:37), nor will he place us in a situation that we cannot handle or that will cause us to lose faith in Him (1 John 5:4).

We can be successful in our battles. We can be the warrior God wants us to be. If we look at the short game, we can feel overwhelmed at what we will face. If we look at the long game, we know what the outcome is already—Satan is thrown into the lake of fire. He is defeated. He is quashed from our eternity with Christ.

What, then should we do? Take a break from our faith because we feel tired of fighting for our faith in this awful world? No, I’m not suggesting that Not only are our souls are at stake, but the souls of others as well. If our loved ones see us step back in our walk with Christ, or if those that look up to us see us do that, then we are giving them a bad example of having strength and hope in God. To some this is an undue pressure, but for me, I see it as an opportunity.

Showing strength and hope and not taking a break shows the tenacity of our faith and walk with Christ. If you study the Bible, you know there are a plethora of examples of men, great and small, who held to their beliefs regardless of obstacles and continued on.

I know when I read of these people in the Book, I get energized and see my troubles and desire to just take a breather for a while very miniscule compare to the grand scheme and plans God has for me. This is the same for all of us. When things seem too tough or never ending, be assured taking a break from your faith is not going to solve any problems but will make them worse.

I don’t recall reading in the Bible anything that says to take a break away from God. What would have happened with Job if he did that? What would have happened to the Israelis if Moses got tired of their rebellious attitude on the way to the Promised Land? What if he gave up, threw his hands in the air and walked away to take a break from them? I don’t want to know.

Don’t take a break from your faith. Hold fast to God. When exhausted from fighting against evil day in and day out, just remember all those in the history of our faith that didn’t give up, not even for a moment. I’ll leave you with this from 1 Corinthians 15:58:

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord (KJV).”

God bless and be strong in the Lord.