Rest Over Rush
By Jolee Paden
This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it." - Isaiah 30:15
Resting is a spiritual discipline of the mind, body and soul. As athletes, we are often convinced that if we are not working than we are not making progress. Yet, it is biblical to find consistent rest in the Father that restores your soul.
Taking a Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments! It sits in the commany of commands like do not kill, steal, lie or commit idolatry. But why do we bathe the Sabbath in culture and decide it is no longer relevant or as important as the others?
Is it possible that we could actually see more fruit in our labor if we make a commitment to rest for God's glory?
When we neglect rest we make bold claims that can be demonstrations of disobedience to God:
- We think we are better than God. Even he himself rested after he created the world (Genesis 2:3)
- We trust in ourselves and don't leave room for God to be glorified. When we are always doing, we feel like we are responsible for all achievement as if we can earn our satisfaction and rewards. (Psalm 127:1-2)
- We don't believe in the need to be still. We are moving so much (mind and body) that we don't take time to be still and know that he is God. In the stillness, we can hear his voice and know him more. (Psalm 46:10)
- We think our strength is sufficient. All too often, we end up giving out more than we can handle, because we are not be filled up. We find oursleves physically worn down and exhausted. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
When we can make room for rest, we are living out of God's strength rather than our own. The time first belongs to God. When we can take a step back from the daily grind (cell phones, social media, email, etc.), we realize it's okay if we don't respond right away. The world does not fall to pieces. In addition, we no longer expect things instantly from others. We give them to grace and space to take time and rest also. We don't want to live our lives in a hurry. We want to live in the abundance of God's rest and grace. When we are filled with his heart for rest, we can bring that hope to others. And believe me, it's counter cultural. People will take notice.
We don't want to be legalistic in regard to the Sabbath, but we do want to be obedient (see Mark 2:23-27). Press into God's heart on this matter and see how he is personally guiding and convicting your heart to rest.
- When is the last time you took an entire day of rest?
- Do you get frustrated when people don't respond to your emails, calls or texts right away? Ask God how he wants to guide your heart on this matter.
- What boundaries or accountability do you need to set up to obey and understand God's heart to rest?
Psalm 91:9; Psalm 62:1-2; Exodus 33:15; Matthew 11:28-30; Romans 12:2
Lord, thank you for being a God who sets the standard for rest. Forgive me for believing I can do everything on my own time in my own strength. Do not let me conform to the pattern of this world, but rather be transformed by the renewing of my mind. Help me with practical ways to be a child of rest than a product of the world's rush.