One of the fascinating things about the metamorphosis of a butterfly is the fact that just before it transitions into a butterfly, it enters into the cocoon and it seems like it is dead. Nothing happens for about a week or so and from outside it seems as if the caterpillar is dead however, major work is being done inside the cocoon. The caterpillar is going through a major transformation. It is not an easy process and its said to be equivalent to the process of dying but then after this process the butterfly emerges and it looks nothing like the caterpillar. It’s the most beautiful insect.
It now has beautiful wings that will enable it to fly high and soar to heights the caterpillar could only dream of reaching. The caterpillar could only crawl but now as a butterfly it can fly. However to experience this new transformation, the caterpillar would have had to go through the process of inactivity.
Currently there is a pandemic going on and there is a temptation to be busy. There are soooooo many webinars going on. Everybody is talking about how to survive post Covid19, however Covid19 sprung up on us and unless you are a futurist or prophet you were not anticipating it and were not prepared. Instead it would be fruitful to pause, reflect and strategize and then implement the strategies you receive in your quiet time. Once your strategies are successful then you can share and talk about what you did. In the Great Depression Henry J Parson of Quaker Oats business went to the next level when other businesses where folding up. He was innovative with his advertising strategies. I do not think He was talking about what to do post the depression whilst the depression was going on but instead he was receiving downloads from God and implementing his strategies and now today the world can learn from him.
There has been a lot of reference to Noah during this global pandemic. One of the things the Lord said to me is that there is a reason why the ark that Noah was in during the flood, did not have many windows but only one window at the top. The window at the top was there for him to communicate with God. Any other window would have been a distraction. Imagine Noah looking out of the window at all the people crying, screaming and dying. It would have affected his mental health greatly. In the ark He would have been resting from building the ark after so many years and also receiving strategies to build a whole new world post the ark.
What is Rest:
“Thus, the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. 2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” Genesis 2:1–3 (NKJV)
One of the most important things God has taught me is rest. Rest, or being in a state of rest is very important to God. Just imagine that the God of the universe rested from His works after six days of work. He created man on the sixth day therefore man’s first full day on earth was a day of rest. Man was created to operate from a place of rest.
Our generation is a generation that gets a high from chasing goals. Everyone wants to become a billionaire overnight and working hard for long hours is the default option. I’ve heard someone say that there is plenty of time to sleep when we get to heaven. This is not true. While we are on earth we also need to sleep/rest.
Now, there are two kinds of rest. There is physical rest and spiritual rest. Both are important.
Let’s take a look at physical rest.
Physical Rest :
Even though you can rest without sleeping, a lot happens when you sleep. When you sleep, your brain is actually very active doing important things. When you sleep, your brain processes and retains information that you would have learnt during the day. Therefore, it is futile to lose sleep by staying up all night to study or cram for exams. According to Carl W. Bazil, Professor of Neurology at Columbia University Medical Center, “The evidence suggests that if you spend all night trying to learn something new and miss a few hours of sleep to do so, your brain’s not going to retain that information the same way it would have if you’d gotten a full night of sleep, he says. “Your brain really needs to process that information, which you really only do when you’re asleep.”
Bazil also says that “There’s an increase in the release of growth hormones during sleep (this is when kids get taller, our skin cells regenerate, and our hair gets longer), as well as the hormones that regulate appetite. Sleep is also when our muscles repair damage (and regular wear and tear) from throughout the day.”
Another important benefit of sleep according to Bazil is that “Sleep also plays an integral role in regulating the body’s immune system, which is responsible for fighting off all sorts of problems from the common cold to more serious chronic problems like cancer. (Research suggests that the body produces fewer infection-fighting antibodies when sleep deprived.) Studies have shown that individuals are more likely to catch a cold virus when you’re sleep deprived and that vaccines can be less effective after a poor night of sleep.”
Lack of sleep is also linked to mood disorders and even depressions and anxiety. Please note that rest does not necessarily mean sleep. You can also relax without sleeping.
In my life’s journey, God has made it clear to me that I must not neglect physical rest. It was actually a prophetic word. Monday is my sabbath, my own day of rest where I don’t work. Every January, I have been led to go on a stretch of physical rest for the month. Also, during the year, the Lord leads me through other periods of rest. Since 2017, I have been led to rest at least twice a year for month-long periods. This rest includes going off social media. I was off social media from April till September this year. We don’t actually realise how much our brain is affected by how much information we process through media daily. Media breaks are super important, particularly social media.
In the last year, I feel like I have had more physical rest than ever. This doesn’t mean I haven’t worked but at least I have been off social media most of this time and also focused on work that aligns with my vision. I had to decide to decline work such as speaking engagements that keep me busy but don’t align to the vision God has given me. You can be busy doing so many things and those things can be distractions. There was a season where I was accepting almost every speaking engagement I was invited to, but at that time I needed visibility. Now, it is not important. I am in a different season now.
In this time of physical rest, I have achieved so much. I was able to put structure in my business and home, develop a business plan etc. When the pandemic started, there was a temptation to get busy. There were also many invitations to be a guest speaker on webinars but the Lord asked me to clear my schedule and come to the secret place. It was tough but I am so grateful for this. I went off social media and it helped me grow in my relationship with God. I saw Jesus for the first time in a vision. It also gave me the opportunity to be really present for my family. I have four kids and without a nanny, it was stretching, homeschooling, cooking, taking care of an infant etc. I want my kids to come out of this pandemic with great memories. As a family we have grown so much and our bond is stronger. Also, I’ve received so many solutions and instructions for my business in this quiet time. It has been so fruitful. At some point I struggled to stay in a place of spiritual rest which I’ll share details below.
Before the flood Noah received the blue print to build the ark. But in the ark Noah needed to rest and also receive the blue print to build a new world.
We are going into a new world post Covid. We need all the rest so we can receive strength for the new world and the blue print to build afterwards.
As much as physical or mental rest is important, I believe that spiritual rest is even more important to God.
At a conference where I spoke last year, all the speakers were led to speak on different topics of their choice within the theme, “Warship–Worship”. The Lord led me to speak on “Rest”. Now, what is the correlation between rest and worship?
Let us look at Hebrews 4: 1–10 (NKJV)
The promise of rest
Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. 3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said:
“So, I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest,’ ”
although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; 5 and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.”
6 Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, 7 again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said:
“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.”
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.
The revelation I received about spiritual rest is that to rest is to believe. When you enter into God’s rest, it means you believe in God. Let me give an example from the Bible found in the book of 2nd Chronicles chapter 20. It’s a story I love so much.
In this story, three enemy camps came to attack Judah. The King of Judah at the time, Jehoshaphat, called a fast in Judah so that they could seek the Lord. They cried out to God and He responded saying:
“You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.” –2nd Chronicles 20 :17 (NKJV)
The next day the Bible says “So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.” 21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the Lord, For His mercy endures forever.” –2 Chronicles 20: 20–21
The Bible says in verses 22 to 24: “ Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. 23 For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
24 So when Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude; and there were their dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one had escaped.”
How is Rest Connected to Worship?
For the longest time, I always believed that the key to Judah’s breakthrough and deliverance was because they praised God. So, I felt that once you praise God, you would receive answers to your prayers or your breakthrough. The thing though, is that it is fruitless to dance and sing and worship and praise if in your heart, you don’t believe what God has told you. It is when you believe that you receive answers to your prayers. This is evident in the story of Jehoshaphat which I had never realised until I was preparing for the speaking engagement.
Notice that God never told Jehosaphat to praise Him. He just said “You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.” –2nd Chronicles 20 :17(NKJV)
They entered into God’s rest. How do we know? They believed. First of all, immediately Jehoshaphat received this word, he worshipped God. It means he believed. The Bible in verse 18 and 19 says:
18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the Lord, worshiping the Lord. 19 Then the Levites of the children of the Kohathites and of the children of the Korahites stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with voices loud and high.
The fact that they worshipped God is evidence that they believed the word of the Lord.
Then Jehoshaphat told the people of Judah in verse 20 “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.”
Then the next morning they went out to war and praised saying:
“Praise the Lord,
For His mercy endures forever.”
Again, it is because they believed that they had the courage to go out to war. In fact, they didn’t just wake up to go out to war but they put their musicians in the front line and began worshipping God. This means they truly rested in the fact that God would do what He said He would do. They stood still and saw the salvation of the Lord. Rest is truly worship. Therefore, praise and worship are evidence of belief which is rest.
At some point during this lock down even though I was trying to physically rest by going off social media, I began to struggle with spiritual rest. I began to be insecure about the fact that I wasn’t busy working visibly while a lot of my peers where achieving things. There were things I was working on behind the scenes but some of these things were taking time to see results and I began to worry. I began to worry if Gods promises will become a reality. The anxiety was real. I didn’t understand what was going on and why I was feeling so much anxiety until I listened to a podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/fight-hustle-end-hurry/id1480300467?i=1000456173816
They used an analogy of an astronaut. Apparently the silence in space can be overwhelming. There is no single sound even if there is an explosion. It is so silent that when you are there you begin to hear things that you would ordinarily not have been able to hear on earth such as your heart beat, your bones creaking as you move. Most astronauts would not be able to cope with the silence and so they need to practice through trainings on earth before they go to space. The host of the podcast said when you go on a silent retreat, things that were in you begin to come up to the surface. He said most people feel anxiety and then other emotions like depression etc. It’s like being in a refiners fire where the impurities come out. The good thing is that you can then deal with the impurities as opposed to leaving them there and then it becomes a bigger problem in the future.
I didn’t realize that I had anxieties about God fulfilling His promises that I had to deal with but thankfully the rest I’ve embarked on this lock down brought them to the surface. I also learnt how to deal with them. I had to begin to intentionally meditate on the word in the Bible i.e. God s promises concerning me and practice the word. For example one particular word that really helped me is Philippians 4:6–8 . I had to consciously think about things that are lovely. I had to fight negative thoughts with Bible verses. I had to believe and practice Proverbs 18:10 that says “The name of the Lord is a strong tower, that righteous run to it and are safe”.
I called on the name of Jesus. I had to remember that God had always been faithful in the past and that He will continue to be faithful. I was able to write down a list of ways that God had been faithful in the past.
As powerful as physical rest like sleep is to your emotions, spiritual rest is even more powerful because without spiritual rest you can’t even sleep. Spiritual rest precedes every other form of physical rest.
If you are able to rest physically when the whole world is in overdrive mode then you are truly wealthy. If you have spiritual rest then you are one of the wealthiest people on earth.
In your time of rest, whether physical or spiritual, this is when you connect with the Father and receive from Him. Just like a butterfly. When you see a butterfly lying on a flower, it is resting and receiving energy from the sun for flight. It can’t receive energy for flight when it is busy flapping its wings. When you rest, you go further.
Tips on Rest
If you have spiritual rest and are also able to rest physically you are a very wealthy person. Many people can’t sleep and would do anything to be able to sleep. Many have to take medication, pay huge sums to therapists to be able to rest and sleep. Count yourself very wealthy if you are able to rest and sleep. If you have spiritual rest you are also a very wealthy person and would see the promises of God manifest in your life.
1. Take social media breaks especially in this season where there is a lot going on in the media.
2. Take a day off every week as your sabbath/ rest day where you do nothing but relax and spend time with the Lord.
3. Have quiet time daily where you spend time with the Lord. Ensure that you incorporate moments of silence when you say nothing so you can hear from the Lord.
4. Take periodic holidays. You don’t have to travel out of the country to go on holiday. You can go away in Nigeria or even just stay at home. Remember your state of mind is important.
5. Meditate on scriptures and Gods promises concerning you.
6. Read a book called Believing God by Beth Moore
7. Spend quiet time with God daily and cast your burdens onto Him.
8. Go on walks
9. Have silent retreats and moments.
10. Listen to this podcast and the entire series on the podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/fight-hustle-end-hurry/id1480300467?i=1000456173816
In April 1930 during the Great Depression, a research scientist in Dupont, Wallace Carothers recorded the initial discovery of neoprene (synthetic rubber). Although the company’s price levels and sales fell by roughly 10% and 15%, respectively, that year, DuPont boosted R&D spending to develop the new technology commercially. A buyer’s market for research scientists and low raw-material prices helped the company to keep the cost of its research investments manageable.
Neoprene, which DuPont publicly announced in November 1931 and introduced commercially in 1937, became one of the 20th century’s major innovations. By 1939, every automobile and airplane manufactured in the United States had neoprene components. Similarly, DuPont discovered nylon in 1934 and introduced it in 1938 after intensive R&D and product development. ( Culled from Forbes.com)
There is evidence to show that many of the greatest innovations and inventions occur during times of crisis.
History provides evidence that crises are periods of significant innovations. Joel Mokyr and Naomi Lamoreaux have documented the rise of important innovations like the incandescent light, the steam turbine, and the transformer during the Long Depression. Economic historian Alexander Field finds the 1930s to be the “most technologically progressive” decade of the 20th century.
The Long Depression occurred in 1873–1896 and some of the inventions in the period include
1879 — Incandescent Light Bulb by Thomas Edison
1884 — Steam Turbine by Charles Parson
1885 — Transformer by Zipernowsky, Blathy and Deri
1887 — Radio by Nikola Tesla
1895 — Refrigeration by Carl Von Linde
The Great depression occurred in 1929–1948 and some of the inventions are as follows
1931 — Magnetic Tape recording by Clarence Hickman
1936 — First Working Helicopter by Heinrich Focke
1938 — Nylon by Wallace Carothers
1938 — Ballpoint pen by Laszlo Biro
1941 — Terylene (First Polyester) by John Whinfield.
(Data from MPI’s Patrick Adler)
There is a global recession predicted as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic. For those who choose to rest and be quiet, it could be a time of great inventions and innovation. When you innovate you will increase your money earning capacity.
My advice to you is to spend time resting and meditating. If you are a Christian then you should also spend time praying. Innovations require quiet time.