I have lost count of the many nations that I have traveled to over the past 36 years. However, some places that I go are really places of relaxation for me and my family. I would definitely call them an “oasis of refreshing.”
You know those places. They are the places where, as soon as you enter the city limits, stuff begins to fall off of you. It starts very slowly and feels almost like molasses syrup flowing from the top of your head, all the way down. Or, it may be like an onion: layer by layer, the cares of this life and the things that have been encumbering you like a backpack full of bricks on your back begin to shed.
As you begin stepping into the oasis, everything begins to pale in comparison to your surroundings.
For some of us, our “oasis of refreshing” is the beach (my personal favorite), the mountains, or maybe even Disney World!
By the way, did you know that an amusement park is called an “amusement” park for a reason? To be “amused,” means “not thinking.” Yep, that’s right! When you get on those rides, you’re not thinking. You’re walking through and seeing all the sights and sounds; and, at the moment, you are being “amused.”
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. When I have found myself in an amusement park–or, worse, on some sort of an out-of-this-world ride, I can tell you I AM thinking. I am thinking, “I wonder how fast I can get off of this ride,” because amusement parks are definitely NOT my favorite get-a-way! 🙂
The word “oasis” is defined as “a fertile or green area in a desert or wasteland, made so by the presence of water.”
Another definition would be, “A situation or place preserved from surrounding unplesantness; a refuge. A place of peace, safety, or happiness in the midst of trouble or difficulty.”
I love the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30 in the Passion translation:
“Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will REFRESH your life, for I am your OASIS. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear” (Matthew 11:28-30 TPT, emphasis mine).
So I want to talk to you today about finding your own oasis of refreshing.
There are four steps we all have to take. These are:
1. Take note that Jesus said, “COME TO ME.”
In order to enter into your oasis, you must first of all “COME.” Jesus said, “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
I can tell you from experience that there are many things that are always vying for our family’s attention and time. When it comes to going on vacation, we could probably come up with several reasons why we don’t have time to get away.
However, one thing is for sure:
In order to find an oasis …
… in order to get refreshing from a year’s worth of work, deadlines, long days, short nights, and traveling in planes, trains, and automobiles …
… you have to find the place of an oasis for your refreshing.
Yet, it is so hard for all of us human beings to pull ourselves away from our seemingly-monotonous schedules and “come away” to a place of rest.
It seems as if we want to go everywhere, except to a place of rest in Jesus.
I was told of a couple who was going through a very difficult time. They were going here and there, trying to find answers and solutions. One day, friends of theirs asked them, “Have you guys prayed about this?” The couple looked at their friends in near-shock and simply said, “Do you mean to tell me that you think it has actually come to that? Having to pray?”
Yes, they needed to pray. All of us need to pray–and pray FIRST! We always have to be willing to COME before the Lord with total abandonment and humility and let HIM give us the rest that we need. He is THE ONLY ANSWER!
When we come before the Lord, we have a promise that He will meet us there–wherever the ‘there’ may be.
Isaiah 55 encourages us with the following message:
“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters, and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.”
It’s so wonderful to know that He has promised that, when we come, we will find REST for our soul. I love the promises of God, and there are over 10,000 of them that we can look to, take hold of, and claim. Many of those are about refreshing, rest, help, and healing, for He is our Oasis!
2. The next step, which is really a promise, is to drink of the Living Water.
Jesus says, “I will refresh you.” Isaiah 44:3 tells us:
“For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring ….”
Remember that part of the definition of “oasis” is that it’s only possible to have an oasis by springs of water. When we talk about the oasis of Jesus, I would define that water as Living Water. 🙂
Have you ever been in one of “those kinds of church services”–where everything that is breathing is moving? The Spirit of God comes down; and though you may be DOG-TIRED, there is such a refreshing at the end.
I can’t tell you how many times I have been in one of those kinds of services.
When I look back at just one of those moments, I can remember that it was at a time when I was the most tired, drained, and utterly empty that God decided to show up JUST FOR ME!
There are no words in the human vocabulary to explain the sheer GLORY that is felt in those moments. I have a feeling some of you know what I’m talking about.
Here’s what I know:
I have also had Him show up in my house …
In a car …
On a plane …
In my prayer closet …
On the threshing floor (my prayer place at church) …
… and even in this chair where I am typing out this blog post. God is not limited to time, space, place, or anything else. When YOU and HE get ready, HE WILL SHOW UP! And let me be the first to tell you, He is always ready to show up! I can testify: the refreshing will come; that is His promise
And then, step 3. Step 3 is so simple and profound:
3. Understand that JESUS is the Oasis.
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Can I just tell you that your Oasis of refreshing is ABSOLUTELY HIM! Sure, God will use a beach, the mountains, Disney, or anything else to help you rest; but it is HE who will bring you to that place that is the fertile, green area away from the dry, brown desert place.
David knew how to go to God for a refuge. He said:
“God is our refuge and strength, a VERY PRESENT HELP in trouble” (Psalm 46:1, emphasis mine).
When you’re in an oasis, springs of refreshing will be overwhelming you. You will be able to confidently say the words of Psalm 91:2: “I will say of the Lord, He is my REFUGE and my fortress; My God, in whom I will trust!”
It really makes a difference when you can boldly say, “He is my Refuge. ” You have to be fully convinced that it is God–not man, not money, not fame, not your ability–but GOD in whom you find refuge. It is in HIM that “we live and move and have our being!” (Acts 17:28).
And finally, step 4 to finding your oasis of refuge:
4. Jesus says, “Join with Me and learn.”
Here is GOD Himself, giving you a very special invitation. He says, “Join with Me; learn from Me. When you do, you’re going to find out some things about Me.”
There may be some things you never knew about your God. Paul said in Romans 15:4:
“For whatever things were written before, were written for our LEARNING, that through PATIENCE and through ENCOURAGEMENT of the scriptures we might have HOPE.”
The good news about joining with Him is that He assures us “That it is good to bear My yoke, and My burden is light.” John goes on to remind us, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”
You can be assured that He will not burden you down with things that don’t belong to you.
I always have to remind myself to “stay in my own lane.” Once I try to take on things that are not mine to take on, that’s when the burden gets very heavy. Jesus encourages us to join with HIM and learn–not to join with other things. He invites us, “Learn from Me. Discover Me. Consider Me, and I will refresh your life. I will give you comfort.”
I can almost hear you singing as the children of Israel did, “Spring up, O well!” You have a river of life flowing in your soul–and that River has a name; His name is JESUS!
I can hear you shouting and singing it right now. So keep on shouting, and jump in the river. That’s what I challenge you to do today: JUMP IN! Jump into the Oasis of Jesus. Just jump in; come on! The water is great!
Do you need refreshing in the Oasis of Jesus today? Will you stop and “come to Him” right now, letting Him give you REST for your soul? If so, leave a comment below! I want to hear from you!
If this ministry encourages you, would you prayerfully consider sowing a seed? We minister around the world day in and day out, raising up laborers into the harvest field. We would love to have you join this movement. Click here for our secure giving portal.