Have you ever felt at the end of your rope and yet determined to keep going, only to have a loved one push you with an insistence to rest? Their insistence to rest came from their concern for you to take care of yourself, something we as women are not always good at doing, right?
In our Gift of Rest Series, we talked about our eternal rest in the introduction found here. What relief there will be when we know all our struggles will be over and we’ll finally be safe at home! We also talked about an invitation to rest that comes from Jesus and because of Jesus. You can find that post here.
But we know that life right now can just get way out of hand with all the demands on our time and rest seems far from possible. Thankfully, we have a Savior who cares enough about us to push us with an insistence to rest.
I am happy to be sharing with you an audio teaching I heard recently called Sabbath Rest – The Church.
This is Week 13 of an extended teaching titled The Biblical Identity and Lifestyle of the Church by Jason English, Teaching and Vision Pastor at theHEART church in Boone, NC.
I really hope you’ll listen to this teaching. Yes, it’s 45 minutes and you’re probably thinking, “When do I have time to sit and listen to anything for 45 minutes?”.
Why not listen while doing something else? I find it’s extremely helpful when I’m doing mindless jobs to listen to something in order to keep my mind engaged. I’m very susceptible to listening to random thoughts that enter my mind so it helps me to always be engaged with the truth.
Podcasts are wonderful for this! You can listen while doing things that don’t take a great deal of concentration – washing dishes, folding clothes, cleaning house, working in the yard, even driving when you’re going somewhere familiar. You CAN listen to this teaching if you use your time wisely and multi-task!
But I know – for some of you, you just don’t have a second to spare to listen to a teaching. Maybe you don’t think you’ll even have the attention span to listen. I understand how busy and full your life is right now.
So even though I really want you to listen…I want you to hear these truths even more. I’m going to give you the highlights of my notes, and hopefully, they will speak to you and maybe even be the incentive to listen! (Note: I’ve grouped my notes in a way that makes sense to me. This teaching comes from Jason English, and he does a much better job explaining this than I do!)
The Pattern of Rest
- We were created to be in a rhythm of work and rest, just like God. He rested. Why do we think we can work better than the rhythm of God?
- How dare we think we have anything to offer anyone without rest? How dare we think we can offer anyone anything if we don’t obey God? (Yes, I found myself saying “Ouch!” when I heard this!)
- We’re not supposed to crash. But if and when we do, God will be there to show us compassion.
The Purpose of Rest
- No amount of work will ever be enough. There’s always something else to be done.
- On a deeper level, Jesus has already finished the work that was needed.
- God wants to rest with you! (This was eye-opening to me! He’s not insisting we rest like a mother would fuss at her child. He’s giving us an invitation to intimacy!)
- It doesn’t matter what you did right this week or what you did wrong or how the world sees you. God just wants to be with you. To rest with Him – that’s His gift to you .
The Perspective of Rest
- Rest is a thing – it’s not the same as nothing. What if rest is when “nothing” gets accomplished?
- On the Sabbath, “nothing” can be accomplished because nothing is needed from you.
- On the 7th day of Creation, when God rested, there was no mention of evening and morning – God’s rest is not limited by time because it’s eternal.
- Therefore, being in His Presence as you rest is entering into eternity where time is unlimited. (You really need to listen to this part!)
The Power of Rest
- Many people don’t rest because they’re afraid of what they’ll find about themselves.
- Who am I when I’m not doing the thing I do?
- The Sabbath reminds me of my identity – apart from what I do.
- It’s not about what you do – it’s about who you are. (Yes! Yes! Yes!)
- Don’t be afraid. Fight for your rest! Make every effort to enter that rest. You will find HIM!
Dear one, there is an insistence to rest from your Father that is calling for you to respond. He knows every item on your to-do list. He knows what’s on your plate. But He is calling you to come away, to enter His presence and transcend time to find Him waiting there for you.
He’s waiting just to be with you.
You have permission to accomplish “nothing”. You might just find what you’re looking for.
Choosing to rest with you,
PS In the comments below, please share with us one practical thing you’ve done to make more time for rest with God. We can learn from each other! Thanks!
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