Do You Need A Break?
After this, Paul stayed many days longer and then took leave of the brothers and set sail for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had cut his hair, for he was under a vow. — Acts 18:18
Paul during this time did stay quite a long time in Corinth, which is to infer that God made good on his promise of peace to him. And that his work as a tentmaker and his ministry in Corinth started to take off.
But just for a minute, I want you to see the entire travel route of Paul because this section is going to bring an end to a very sweeping second journey. So if you are watching the video today, I will put a map up for you. For those of you who have been reading with me, you will remember we began in Antioch. In Antioch, Paul's home base, there was a notable break between Paul and Barnabas. They were the two who made the first journey together. So Paul chose to bring Silas with him as his companion for this second journey. And they travel back through some towns they visited on their first journey. Towns like Derbe, Lystra, and Iconium. And during this time, Timothy, Paul's famed protege, joins them. Paul, who now has both Silas and Timothy with him, travels to Asia. But for some reason, the Spirit will not allow them to enter Asia, so for a couple of weeks, they travel around Asia, coming finally to Troas where Paul gets this vision to go to Macedonia. He eventually comes to a town named Philippi, shares the gospel for a short time, and leaves before Jews hunt him down. But a small church develops here. Next, he heads for Thessalonica again, where he preaches the gospel, but the vengeful Jews from Philippi travel here to hunt him down. Next, he goes to Berea, and there he discovers many who search the scriptures and want to hear more about the Messiah. And there, he has his most fruitful experience yet. Next, he travels to Athens and encounters a very different culture and brings the news of a risen Jesus to a very religiously diverse and educational culture. And finally, he travels to Corinth, a major metropolis full of debauchery, where he encounters some opposition but over time shares the gospel and gathers a vital church that is strategic for future expansion. Here Paul spends most of his time, more than he spent anywhere else on the journey. And after Corinth, he takes a break and heads back home. And I want you to notice how much ground he will have to cover to return home to Antioch.
I would assume that at this point, Paul is exhausted. He has been stoned and beaten. He has been chased out of town. Religious officials have opposed him. Civil charges have been filed against him. And there have even been moments he has been emotionally discouraged. And so Paul is going to take a break. And this is marked by taking a vow. Now we do not know anything about the vow he took. We don't know the theme or practices other than shaving his head at the culmination of the vow. But the only reason to take a vow would be to purge oneself from the world. To be cleansed from the gunk of life.
So a few times a year, I take a break. I take a break from work, family, and life to be with God. And every year, this is a time of purification for me. Whether we realize it or not, the world and its issues affect us. They have an impact on our souls. Media. Marketing. Entertainment. Sin. Work. Family. Life. They all affect us. And for me, an annual retreat is an excellent time to reset, assess, evaluate, and purge my soul of the gunk of life. Even this week, I am taking a retreat with about 20 men. Men I know will be spiritually impacted by some time away from the gunk of life who will rest their souls to things of God.
I want to encourage you to consider something like this over the coming 12 months. A break from the things of this world. A guided time to reset your soul. It's a blessing not only to you but to those around you.
So here's a shameless pitch for you. Regardless of where you live, if you need something like this and you think you could gather a few guys, let's talk about bringing a small retreat like this to a location in your area. And as men, let's take a break, make a vow, and reset our souls to God to become better men, husbands, fathers, and leaders.
But regardless, if not with me, reset your soul and — take a break!
ASK THIS: When are you going to take a break this year? (Share it below).
DO THIS: Put something on the calendar and commit to a reset.
PRAY THIS: God, I need some time to be purged of this world. Reset my soul to you.
PLAY THIS: Rest For Your Soul — Austin French.
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