Derek Prince - It's A Sin To Never Take A Holiday
This is an excerpt from: The Headship of Jesus - Part 1
I want to come particularly to the area of taking the initiative, which I think is the crux of the whole issue. What I want to say is this. God is only committed to complete what He begins. If God hasn't begun it, He's under no obligation to complete it. Let's give you a number of Scriptures. Revelation 21:6. We could read verse 5 because this comes from the throne. Revelation 21:5-6. Then he who sat on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And I think that must have been such an astonishing statement that John the Revelator paused. And so He said: Write, for these words are true and faithful. You can trust me, it's really going to be that way. And he said to me, 'It is done. I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.'
Those are two titles that God reserves for Himself. Alpha and Omega, beginning and end. But what I want to say is this. If He's not the Alpha, don't expect Him to be the Omega. If He isn't the beginning, don't expect Him to be the end. God is not committed to complete anything that He hasn't begun. Understand? If we take the initiative out of God's hands and make our own decisions and our own plans, the end will be frustration because God will not endorse what He has not begun.
In Hebrews 12:2 we have the same truth again. Hebrews 12. Verse 2. Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. And my margin says the originator and perfecter of our faith. It's exactly the same truth again. If He hasn't originated, He won't perfect it. He's only committed to perfect that which He has originated. And then the same thought again in Philippians 1:6. Being confident of this very thing, that he who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
See, my conviction is that if you are really sure God began it, you can be confident He'll complete it. But if you don't know for sure that He began it, you never have the confidence that He'll complete it. This has become extremely real for Ruth and me in our ministry. I think almost every time we pray about our ministry I end up by saying, God we're confident that what you have begun you will complete.' I think Ruth would bear me witness, we are more and more cautious not to get involved in anything which God hasn't initiated. And that has meant many changes in our attitudes, and our reactions. I have to tell you honestly I am afraid of being involved in something that God hasn't initiated.
In 1983, if I remember rightly, right at the end of the year Ruth and I took a holiday on the west coast of Florida which is a good place to take a holiday. We used to talk about vacations. You know, the American form of speech is vacation. Well, a vacation means when you don't have anything to do, that's the essential meaning, and it's from the same word as vacant. Which is all right. I mean, it's good for people not to have anything to do sometimes. But we felt it was the wrong word for our times away so we call them holidays. You know what a holiday is, it's a holy day, that's right. And for us, we're very particular about our holidays. God has shown us that it's a sin never to take a holiday. It's not virtue, it's not spirituality, it's slavery.
You check Israel's calendar as God ordained it and you see how many holidays they had to take. There were no options. We are usually in Israel about the beginning of the Jewish New Year. And for about the first half of that month it's difficult to get anything done because people are all taking holidays. And they're God ordained holidays. They're not holidays because somebody wants to be lazy, they're holidays because God has said you take a holiday. This is just by the way, but, as I say, there's no extra charge. Many, many committed Christians follow the practice of tithing, of giving God a tenth of their income. I don't believe that it's actually commanded in the New Testament but I think it's a very good practice.
Actually, I think for the Christian the tenth is only the foundation, it's not the roof. What about God's demands on Israel's time? Did you ever stop to think about that? He demanded one day out of seven. A higher proportion than He demanded of their material possessions. How many people in the church today really give God one day out of seven?
That's one reason why there are so many nervous breakdowns, so many frustrated frantic people, so many busy people who never get the job done. I would not claim that Ruth and I always do this but basically I would say we have learned if we take time for God we do much more in the remaining time than we would if we hadn't taken time for God. God was the first one that rested. God worked and God rested. I have a friend who is a Palestinian Arab and the owner of many restaurants. He's really good at getting people to work. He has a message on work. But he says God didn't work because He had a family to support.
And God didn't rest because He was tired. It was on a much higher level than that. God worked because He's a creator. And why did God rest? I'll offer you my idea. I think God rested because He wanted to enjoy what He created. And if you never take time to enjoy what you've created, you are in a miserable condition. Let me ask you this, too. This isn't part of my outline, it's just come in. Which takes more faith for a Christian? To work or to rest? Which? To rest, that's right. Do you know why Israel didn't enter into rest? Because of what? Unbelief, that's right. Why can Christians not rest? Because of what? Unbelief, that's right. You diagnosed your problem! You see, relaxation comes when you know God initiated it. I was saying we went away for a holiday. And we take our holidays very seriously. We put them in our itinerary and they're just as fixed as our commitments for meetings. We discipline ourselves to take holidays.
So we went away and our ministry was in trouble financially. We weren't in debt but our expenses were exceeding our income by about $20,000 a month. And you can't go on for long like that. When we were away and waiting in God's presence, God said, 'I don't want you to sell your materials so much, I want you to give it away. Because the people who really need that material can't afford to buy it. They don't have the money, or they don't have the exchange.' So we began very small scale, I think. We chose twenty-five leaders known to us in eight nations and we said we're willing to give you this material, this teaching material, if you will promise to make good use of it. And we had various ways to check on the use that we made, we didn't just throw it out.
Last year we gave material to 1400 leaders in 100 nations. And in that period we have given away 200,000 books, cassettes and videos. I say we. It's not our personal income, it's the people in the body that stand with us. Do you know what? We're in a much sounder position financially now than we were then. It was a step of faith, but what I'm trying to emphasize is God initiated it. When we went back and told our staff, they were shocked. It took awhile to convince them that we really heard from God. I think that was a tremendous lesson for us. If God initiates, He'll see it through.