Don't Be Next!

Don’t be next! 92 people lost their lives and many of the deaths were preventable if the people had just listened to the warning. If they had just followed the signs and trusted that, others knew what just might be best for them. Stay behind, stay away and respect! Those are clear directions, yet they still did not head the warning and it cost them their life.

As I looked over the sign and onto the cliffs, I could see why such a warning would be necessary. The rough jagged edges of the rocks, the pounding of the waves on the cliffs and the unforeseen undertow was enough to keep me faraway from ever taking such a journey. For a minute, I couldn't’t help but think to myself “they need to put a sign up for that?” It was obvious that danger lurked just inches away from me, it was obvious that the cliffs would win and the rocks would rule, yet people still ignored the signs.

I quickly thought about my own life and how God has given me warning signs in the form of commands all through out His Word. The more I studied the warning signs in front of me, the more I started to reflect on the writings in Hebrews I had just studied hours earlier. It was God’s warnings, His commands that He gave to our ancestors through Moses and then I heard Paul loud and clear again this morning about warning us as followers to make sure we are resting.

As I stood there in front of the man made sign, I could not help but picture our ancestors, taking an early morning stroll, probably similar to the one I was taking and all of a sudden, they come across a warning sign as well and it read something like this.

____________________________________________________________________ Don't Be Next!
Since the crossing of the Red Sea, from the days of Moses leading, whole generations have lost their lives due to their unbelief. Along the journey and through the desert, they never made it into the Promise Land, they never entered into His rest.
Help Prevent Exhaustion, burn out and death!
Stay Behind and rest.
Stay Away from just one more thing.
Respect His commands.
This warning sign is the reason I am away from my family, friends and ministry at this moment. I arrived here in Santa Cruz on Monday afternoon, a much planned and intentional time of pulling away and pressing my ears into the voice of God.
I understand the consequences of not resting and I am so grateful for His command to do so. It is written that God gets angry with His children because they do not follow His warning. He got angry when the Israelites did not rest in Him. I thought about that and as a parent, it makes perfect sense. When my teenage daughter is up all night, going all day and not hearing my warning about resting and then spends a day in bed, sick and tired, I find myself angry as well, not at her but at what she has done to herself and the toll it takes on her body, mind and sprit. My anger is healthy and it’s because I love her that I want her to rest, so that she can be all that she has been called to be.
That is the kind of anger I see my heavenly Father havening, because He loves me so much and has such a wonderful plan for my life.My creator knows me so well that on my own, I would work myself to death, and I would live an empty unfulfilled life and wonder why? The Promise Land is not found in the doing but in the being, which is why it is so important that I find time to rest in Him. The scriptures make it clear that unbelief prevents all of us from resting in Him, their for, unbelief will keep us from entering The Promise Land. I don’t care how hard we work for the Lord, His requirement for access to the Land is rest not work.
How many of us have died outside the very place we were trying to reach?So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.Hebrews 3:19Many of you have shared with me that you just don’t have the time. That is a false belief, which in turn is unbelief and why entering His rest is impossible. The truth is, we all have the same amount of time. We have to make time to rest, we have to belief that God will take care of the rest even when it seems like it is impossible to step away for just a while. Don’t hold on to your false beliefs any longer. Don't be the next!
Here is my encouragement my challenge to any of you who are dying in the doing and missing out in the rest. STOP! Even if it is just for a moment, you can find rest in Him anytime, anywhere at any place. It doesn’t feel right at first because it goes against the grain. We live and breath in a society that does not stop, 24/7 access to every need, want and desire. We live in a society that promotes this kind of work ethic and to pull away could actually be a perceived as laziness or lack of commitment to a job, ministry or perhaps your even your family.
The reality is, I am committed even more to the areas of my life after I pull away and rested. It is in the resting where I get clear direction, rest and refilled up so that I can Run The Race set before me. I don’t want to die in the middle of my race because I haven’t rested.
I learned years ago that the key to running my race is knowing when to rest, knowing when to run and knowing where I am running to. So my friends, Don’t Be Next! Rest In Him!Well, it is time for me to pack my bags, say a prayer of thanksgiving and head back home to my life, with my map in hand, my journey plotted out and my relationship stronger then ever with my creator, I am ready to face the race.
If you choose to take the challenge, then I am looking forward to see you on the track.
Much Love
Cris Nole
Running My Race

Letting Go So I Can Be!

Have any of you ever given something up, only to take it back again? A good friend of mine brought me a book to read this past Sunday, written by a local Pastor and in it, he spoke of coming to the Lord daily empty handed. As I read those words, I was quickly convinced, put the book down and realized that the heaviness of my day and the weight of the load I had started to feel was from my own doing.

It did not happen over night, it actually has been a very slow process, creeping up on me ever so slowly. I found myself recently frozen in my tracks, unable to move forward in the things that use to mean so much to me and just going through the motions of my everyday life.

I had chalked it up to this time of the year, this season in my life and even an illness I deal with daily. But the truth being told is that I took back my own agenda, schedule and to do lists, I started holding on to them rather tightly over the last several weeks and months, instead of coming to God every morning empty handed, actually handing over what I thought I needed to do trusting that He would lead me.

This morning I made a commitment to myself to do just that. Woke up, took my list of things I had to do and surrendered them all, every one of them. What I came to realize is that when God is leading me, it is relationships first and the rest falls into place. The tasks for me naturally follow, I am fueled by connecting with others, which then gives me the energy to get the tasks done naturally, and they become second nature.

When I hold on to my lists, my schedules, I become task driven, success focused and I loose sight of the most important calling of my life and that is to just wear HIM well. Jesus set the ultimate example of being in the moment and being in relationships, He was never to busy, too tired or too consumed with His to do lists to stop and listen to those in His path.

Today, my goal was not to check off every thing on my list but rather accomplish those things that I felt led to accomplish and be OK with those I did not but amazingly enough, everything got down, something I haven't been able to say in quite sometime.

Between all this I was able to meet a good friend for breakfast, finish most of my Christmas shopping, touch basis with three different ministries, attend a doctors appointment, make dinner, go on a run, spend time with some good friends this afternoon, read a great book, make dinner, clean out my office, prepares to wrap Christmas presents, make a handful of phone calls, set a date with my husband and end the evening reading with the kids and my mom, WOW! All because I came empty handed before the Lord at the beginning of my day.

Friends, I share this with you not to boast but rather to give you hope. Because it is a struggle for me, it is such backwards thinking in our world today. On my own, nothing ever seems to be done, completed or started. Many good ideas are thought about, goals are set and a few things happen but when I trust God, it seems like the impossible happens and I find myself ready to wake up with open arms once again, truly surrendering, not so that I can do but so that I can be.