Five Ways To Relax
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. – John 14: 27
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. – Colossians 3: 15
You will find many Scriptures throughout God’s Word that mention peace, but how many of us know how to relax according to God’s Word? Everyone knows that it is important to relax for physical and mental health. Yet, many of us are full of stress due to worry and fear. I believe that this teaching will alleviate much of that stress and, if applied, will teach you how to relax.
There are basically five (5) ways to relax and we will cover each way one at a time. Of course, the first way is one that you should have guessed by now.
1) Read the Bible – Reading God’s Word first thing in the morning will set your day. You will be listening to God as Matthew 6: 33 states and God will bless you for keeping Him first.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. -- Matthew 6: 33
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. -- Isaiah 26: 3
Perfect peace – it sounds hard to believe, but it is available because God says it is. But God is no respecter of persons, but of conditions. What is the condition of having perfect peace? WE MUST STAY OUR MIND ON GOD. Any believer who stays his or her mind on God obviously trusts in God.
But for now, if you are just beginning to learn the Bible, just sit down and read it. It is so full of positive promises, it simply will give you hope and will bless you, and in turn, you will relax. Take the advice that was given to me. If you can’t understand something, just keep reading. God will only teach you what you can handle at that time. I would say that of the five ways that we will cover, regarding how to relax, this is the most important. Some days I may read a chapter – others a book – some days I may read as much as 16 chapters or more. The minimum you should read is a chapter a day. Remember, God moves when you move. If you’re too busy to study God’s Word, you’re too busy.
The second way to relax regards a basic physiological function of every human being, but yet we abuse this need. Most people today are tricked by this fast-paced world and deprive themselves of this basic need.
2) Sleep – Many people today get maybe 6 or 7 hours of sleep per day and in most cases this is really not enough. Many also have a difficult time sleeping.
I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety. – Psalms 4: 8
This believer lays down in PEACE, and sleeps. What is the condition for sleep? You must be at peace. Why is this believer at peace? Because he believes God’s Word and he knows he can dwell in safety. Do we lay down at night with our mind stayed on God and the almost 1000 promises in His Word? If we do, then we feel safe and can relax and fall asleep. The way God states something is truly beyond any man’s ability. Again, the believer gives God the glory because he dwells in safety allowing him to lay down in peace, and sleep. If you have problems in this area, here is a great principle that will help you be better able to relax and get a good night’s sleep.
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: – Ephesians 4: 26
It is extremely important that, if you are angry, don’t try to go to sleep. You know how our minds can just think thought after thought in rapid succession. If you have a problem of any type, God wants you to take of care of it BEFORE you end your day. That is what that phrase means ‘let not the sun go down upon your wrath’. If you can solve or alleviate a problem before you retire for the day, do it. Don’t wait until the next day. This guidance from God is very important and very effective. Don’t think about it, just do it and you will find that you will lay down in peace, and sleep.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. -- II Timothy 1: 7
In the teaching The Believer’s Only Enemy, I talk about this subject of ‘fear’ in detail. You should study this teaching as it will help you to overcome fear. If you are full of fear, you will have a difficult time trying to relax in almost any of the five areas we will cover. From Proverbs, let’s study an example of a believer who trusts in God and has no fear, and the result.
When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. – Proverbs 3: 24
Isn’t that beautiful and just so simple? When you study and apply God’s Word, fear is simply driven out of your life – AND your sleep shall be sweet. Do not underestimate the importance of enough sleep. It will help you to relax and stay relaxed throughout your day. The adversary tries hard to trick people in this area. People eventually burn out, get depressed and even take nervous breakdowns along with becoming just downright unhappy which can eventually lead to suicidal thoughts. How do I know this?
At one time, I experimented with less sleep. I would get about 4 hours of sleep a night. At first, everything seemed fine, but then slowly but surely, I became withdrawn and started experiencing problems in my marriage. I was doing things that bordered on the irrational. I would go shopping at 4:30 AM. I would try to get as much done in a day as is possible with very little time to relax. I became friendly with the world as the adversary was setting me up for major destruction. I went out and got a job that I should not have gotten. I made it through two days of orientation and quit. All of a sudden, I started to feel depressed and had thought that life was not worth living. You see, the effects of a lack of sleep will eventually get worse and worse. Since your judgement is impaired, YOU can’t see what is happening. This is the most dangerous part of all. It took my spouse to stand up to me and tell it to me straight. I was shocked to hear it but I decided to get 7 to 8 hours sleep after that. My thoughts almost immediately began to clear up and I could see that I was headed for quite a fall if I continued depriving myself of necessary sleep. Physically, I began to feel twice better and I realized that my sleep-deprived lifestyle was a well-arranged counterfeit orchestrated by the god of this world to steal, kill, and destroy me. I believe that some of you will learn from this and I realize that some people can function well on different amounts of sleep. But if you’re falling asleep on your job and dragging yourself out of bed, you need more sleep. I can’t make it complicated.
Now there may be something I said that might confuse some people so I want to go back and tell you what the Word says. I said "I became friendly with the world". You may think that’s not such a bad thing, but who controls this world at the present time?
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity [at conflict] with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. – James 4: 4
Whenever the world starts getting real friendly and nice to me, I take a step back. I fell for this trick too many times. So often, it is the devil trying to set me up in some way by getting me to trust the world – WHICH HE CONTROLS. You can manifest the love of God to people without getting hurt. Unless it’s a believer who studies God’s Word faithfully, don’t get too close! Remember, the renewed mind is a BALANCED walk. We need to keep God and His Word first, but we also need to live and function in this present evil world. There is a balance that God will teach you if you try. Remember He loves you more than you can even comprehend. He wants you to take action on His Word – that’s all He asks. Do what God tells you to do, keep Him first and everything else will fall into it’s proper place.
3) Nature – Most people can identify with this way of relaxing and is probably a favorite. There is something about natural settings that is hard to explain. That’s because we can’t explain God. Do you know from where I just returned? I was walking my dog six miles up in the country. My dog and I have walked at least 20,000 miles so far. This walk relaxes me, keeps my cholesterol level at about 124, my blood pressure at about 106 over 70, helps me sleep, keeps my weight down, etc. Now let’s take a look at our brother and where he went to relax.
As you know, many times the multitudes followed Jesus Christ and he was human and needed to find somewhere to get some peace. Where did he go? It’s not surprising that Jesus Christ chose natural settings to relax. Let’s take a look at the Word where a great multitude followed him because of all the miracles which he did.
And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. – John 6: 3
Christ chose a mountain to relax and have fellowship with his disciples - those who were the strongest in the Word. There are many records like this.
And Jesus departed from thence, and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee; and went up into a mountain, and sat down there. – Matthew 15: 29
He sat down there and relaxed. This Scripture mentions the sea and the mountains. I am going to tell you why natural settings and nature is so peaceful. Because it is not a place that the adversary frequents that often. Darkness cannot stand light. It agitates me when people don’t give God the glory for nature.
Animals can bring a person great peace. It is a scientific and medical fact that bringing dogs onto a critical care hospital unit cheers up patients and lowers their stress levels. Why? Because God made animals in a most magnificent manner – their beauty and grace is beyond our description. I take care of three different types of creatures and they get the best of care I can possibly give them. It is a privilege of life to have animals among us. And yet there are people possessed by the devil who abuse animals. My next door neighbor is one of them. I caught him punching his dog in the face and kicking him in the face – a beautiful golden retriever – and for no reason at all. I yelled out my window that I was going to come over to him and straighten him out. He challenged me. I grabbed a torque wrench and looked him straight in the eyes and told him he was insane. After he squirmed for a while, he jumped on his lawn mower and ran like the coward that he is. I reported him to the police three times and to the Humane Police. They tried to take the dog from him, but they wanted proof from me on video tape. The legal system is a joke. This insane person knows I am watching him and waiting. I put it in God’s hands. Cowards like that make me want to vomit. Remember, self-defense is a Biblical concept. For me to do nothing would have made me a worse coward than him. At times, you have to stand up face to face with Satan and I look forward to it. If you ever see someone abuse a helpless animal, you report it or the god of this world will torment you. Don’t be afraid. God will protect you.
How many people do you know that go to the beach? White water rafting? Hiking? Swimming? There are endless ways to enjoy nature. I used to be such an idiot that I laughed at people who were involved in bird watching. Now I find myself fascinated by the beauty and diversity of this part of nature. The more you renew your mind to God’s Word, the more you will enjoy nature. The renewed mind is your key to power.
I Beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. -- Romans 12: 1, 2
I think the relaxing qualities of nature are understood by almost everyone. If you’re wound up tight, try it. God will not let you down – guaranteed.
*** Important: The next two (2) ways to relax can be abused. Remember, the enemy counterfeits everything the true God does. He is a parasite. Be spiritually sharp when learning to relax by the following two methods.
4) Music – There is a time and a place for listening to music and a type of music to listen to. If I am doing work that involves much concentration, I sometimes find that it is not best to be listening to music at the same time. I like a variety of music, but I will be careful to point out to you that some types of music are counterfeit and will do more harm that good, so let’s go to God’s Word and get the negative example out of the way.
Certain types of music are nothing but organized confusion, complicated and upsetting to the nervous system - composed by the god of this world.
That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up: And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. -- Daniel 3: 5, 6
We have every indication here that the music was of the adversary – the god of this present world. People were forced to worship an idol or face death. Today, devilish music is much more subtle. The adversary always hides so that he can trick people by having them listening to so-called music that agitates the central nervous system and has many negative effects and influences. Let me take you to one of the worst examples of this that I can think of. Some of you are not going to like this.
You should be aware that the enemy has a seed also and some people who have great influence sell out to the devil, especially in the entertainment field. When the Beatles first came upon the scene, they were as innocent as could be. They captured the hearts of many millions of people, mostly the younger kids. The adversary found a vehicle to sway millions to his type of music that is destructive in nature. Slowly but surely, his influence started to dominate this group’s music. By the time the infamous White Album was released, Satan’s influence became obvious.
Charles Manson, someone born of the seed of the serpent, listened to Helter Skelter over and over and over again. Shortly afterwards, he brutally murdered innocent people for no reason at all. He had controlled the minds of his followers as they gave way to possession by Satan. To make an understatement, certain types of music are very dangerous. AND IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE WORD OF GOD, YOU’LL NEVER SEE IT! Now let’s move to the positive side of music – inspired by the true God and Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
There are two types of music – secular and spiritual. Secular music is what is basically played on the radio – oldies – rock – hard rock – country rock – country western – blues – jazz and the list goes on. Spiritual music is played by Bible teaching groups, churches, gospel singers and individual artists. Here is where you need to be sharp.
SECULAR MUSIC – I’m listening to Steppenwolf right now. It is helping me avoid a distraction by my animal abusive neighbor. I have disciplined my mind to be able to do most types of work with music. This was not necessarily by choice, but by necessity. My enemy gets a little upset when I share God’s rightly divided Word. Too bad. Secular music can only be listened to for so long. Believe it or not, hard rock can actually weaken your muscles. It’s a fact. So I listen to it until I begin to feel negative effects. A few aspirin may be good for a headache, but a bottle will kill you. I own two jukeboxes and used to teach guitar, so I think I know something about music. Enjoy your music, but don’t take it too far – to an extreme. It can become an idol.
Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. – I John 5: 21
Literal translation according to usage: Do not seek any help, guidance or instruction from any other source other than our heavenly Father. -- I John 5: 21
DO NOT put anything first before God. This is idolatry. Music can become an idol along with almost anything else. God does have a time and place for everything.
SPIRITUAL MUSIC – the spiritual, gospel music I basically listened to was from the Ministry where I once studied and I’m just going to tell you that it was right on. I knew a woman of God who told me that when she was cleaning her home, the Ministry music seemed to help her energy level while secular music seemed to make her tired. It was inspiring and uplifting – positive in all respects putting the Word of God to many of the lyrics. The musical instruments were played simply, but seemingly in perfect harmony and tune. I found the music amazing. Heart and Steppenwolf makes me want to cruise down the highway at 100 MPH in my Corvette looking for action. Do you see the difference? One type of music gets you going while the other helps to make you peaceful. There are benefits to both, just keep it in perspective. Regarding secular music, I found an artist once that really blessed me and I listened to her music constantly. When I drove, when I worked and taught – every day. I somewhat became obsessed with her music and even her. I even went to one of her concerts (I never go to concerts). I was on the borderline of becoming delusional pertaining to the whole situation. As time went on, things began to go wrong and I was able to see the enemy’s trick. I took a good thing to an extreme.
The overall greatest benefit I realize from music, at times, is that it helps me to focus AND NOT BE DISTRACTED. One example: I often wash my cars and clean them completely with headphones on. It drives the adversary nuts. Remember, devilish people DO NOT want you to be happy.
Be careful [anxious or distracted] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication [be specific] with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. – Philippians 4: 6
The enemy will try to distract you and music is one of the ways to shut off his air. Keep everything in balance and have fun. To conclude this section, I want God’s Word to speak with a record in I Samuel that will have a lasting impact on your life. This is an example of what God’s music can do for your life and the lives of others.
This is a tremendous record of Saul, Samuel and David. Please read I Samuel Chapter 16, verses 1 through 13 and we will begin in verse 14.
But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord [the god of this world] troubled him. – I Samuel 16: 14
TAKE NOTE of the way the translators translated the word ‘Lord’. God does not possess devil spirits and He does not send them to people. Because He is even just to the devil, He allows the devil to do such things. God is all light and in Him is no darkness at all, so how can He send devil spirits to trouble someone? The above is a figure of speech and properly translated, THE WORD LORD SHOULD BE SATAN. Satan is the source of the evil spirit world, not God.
And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God [the god of this world] troubleth thee. Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God [the god of this world] is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well. And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me. – I Samuel 16: 15 – 17
This record is the most distinct story I know of in the Bible of the power that lies in music that spiritually is in alignment and harmony with God’s Word. Saul was being possessed by a devil spirit and it was tormenting him. Possession is a temporary thing, but it can return at any time. Homosexuals may be possessed while in a deviant sexual act, but afterwards, the spirit, now satisfied, may leave the person’s body until that person, by their own free will, gives place to this behavior again. Apparently, at this time it was well known of the power of Godly music since they went through much trouble to find this musician.
Read verses 18 to 22 and you will see that the musician was David. Now for the conclusion of this section in verses 23 and 24.
And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God [the god of this world] was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him. – I Samuel 16: 23, 24
5) Humor – It would be best if you read the teaching A Spirit Of Hilarity so that you are familiar with the enemy’s counterfeit.
This topic is quite familiar with everyone and it very beneficial in helping anyone to relax. Everyone likes a good laugh once in a while. It helps us not to worry or have anxiety by taking many things in life too seriously. In fact, it is more important than it seems.
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. – Proverbs 17: 22
Isn’t that quite amazing that God would compare being cheerful to medicine? Now the type of humor I am referring to is genuine and tasteful. It is not some of the constant, perpetual nonsense you may see on television advertisements. You may have heard the often used cliché that ‘laughter is the best medicine’. Now you know where that saying originated. It’s from God’s Word and it is truth.
I happen to have a family doctor that is one of the most cheerful people I have ever met. Before he gets to your waiting room, you can hear him laughing nearby with another patient. I actually look forward to doctor’s appointments! This doctor always makes me feel good about myself and cheers me up. I thank God that I have found a doctor like this and I pray for his well-being.
Look at the second part of the above verse. It’s about the same as saying that a negative attitude will make you sick – and it will. Positive believing yields positive results and negative believing yields negative results.
A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. – Proverbs 15: 13
Do you know who was the first carpenter in the Bible? It was Eve. She made Adam’s banana stand!
Humor is a great thing when used appropriately and God Almighty has a great sense of humor. Listen to this.
It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house. – Proverbs 21: 9
Now ladies, bear with me, I just find the way God words that verse as funny or humorous, even though it is a great truth.
As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion. – Proverbs 11: 22
God has a way with words. Why does that verse make me laugh? Because it is so true. Have you ever met a beautiful woman that is on a massive head trip? It just seems to negate her beauty. But meet a beautiful woman that is humble also and it only magnifies her fairness. The same holds true for a handsome man.
I have done my best to present to you the tools for learning how to genuinely relax. You can sit on the toolbox or you can make use of these tools. I have enjoyed preparing this teaching more than some others even though it is equally important. The subject is, in itself, relaxing. Teach yourself how to relax – it is necessary and it is important. It will help your mental health and your physical health so that you can be your very best for God.
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth [practices] the will of God abideth for ever. – I John 2: 17