I think of “rest” when I think of summer. It’s the season of vacations, hammocks, and slowing down.
But summer was only like that when I was seven.
The lazy hazy days of summer no longer exist unless I intentionally make them days of rest.
Life is like that; isn’t it?
We have to be intentional about everything that’s important to us like spending time with our significant others, our friends, or children.
Rest is important. It affects our health and our moods.
I’ll never forget when my children finally began to sleep all night. I got up one morning and thought, “I can be a good mommy! I’ve just been tired all of this time!”
Yet resting doesn’t only involve sleep or sitting on the beach catching some vitamin D. Many of us are striving in other areas in our lives where we really need to take a break from the worry and work and let God do His thing.
3 Places of Needed Rest
- Weekly, physical rest
Rest was commanded by God. “Remember to observe the Sabbath day be keeping it holy. . .” -Genesis 2:3. This rest demonstrates our trust in God’s wisdom, our obedience, and our humility that the world really won’t stop revolving if we take a day off. This is a principal, no longer a specific command. It doesn’t have to be on Saturday or Sunday, but we need a day set aside to rest. This too must be intentional. It doesn’t mean you have to sleep. Watering my plants, reading, and staying away from my computer is resting for me.
- Emotional rest, not worrying.
“ Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” -Phil 4: 6,7 I know, it’s easier said than done, but simply ask yourself how God can use what you’re worried about for good? If the very worst happens, how could God use it?
- Salvation rest,
No longer striving to earn salvation.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2: 8-9
Nothing we do earns our eternity. All that we do like reading our Bible, loving God and other people, worshiping and attending a Bible study or worship service all draw us closer to Him, but He paid the price for our sins. He redeemed us. God is not disappointed with you. He loves you.
Bible Reading Plan
This week we will focus on these three areas where we need rest and how they can deepen our faith walk to make our lives more productive.
Sneak Peek of Verses and Prompts
Psalm 46:10: He says, “Be still, and know that I am God I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
- Is it hard to be still? Is it hard for your mind to be still? Take a deep breath in, fill your lungs, and hold it
for three seconds. Let it out slowly. Ask the Lord to clear your mind and help you be still for five minutes
listening for him.
Exodus 33:14: The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
- Practice his presence today. Write a prayer thanking him for being with you and asking for eyes to see
him and ears to hear his voice. Picture him sitting in the car with you and walking in Walmart. Ask him
for guidance and grace when you run into difficulties.
Psalm 3:5: I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
- As you lay your head down to rest at night, repeat this verse. Memorize it this week and wake in the
mornings thanking him for your rest.
Matthew 11: 28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
- Write down the two greatest commandments according to Jesus. That was his yoke.
Psalm 91:1 “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
- Do you have a hard time trusting God? Journal your thoughts and a prayer to trust him in deeper places.
Psalm 37:7 “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
- Journal your worries and reasons why you can trust him. Close the journal, set it down, and know that
you’ve deposited those worries to him. He’s got it.
Psalm 62:1,2: Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
- Take a deep breath in and let it out slowly. God’s grace is found in Jesus. Grace can’t be earned. It can
only be received. You cannot be good enough. He loves you. Bask in that love today. Sit still and picture
climbing into the Father’s lap. Rest there.
Download this reading plan printable here.
Different Ways to Use this Plan on Rest
- Print off this post to have the reading list. (The print icon is with the sharing buttons at the top of the post.)
- You can join me Monday -Friday at 8:20 AM ET on Facebook for my Daily Broadcast to unpack the “bite” with a bunch of other believers who love to dig into the Word of God. Or you can watch it later on my You Tube channel.
- Click here to download a free Printable of the reading plan with the scriptures typed out and extra questions and prompts to deepen your time with God each day.
- Or you can simply take a screen shot of the Bite of Bread meme.
Take a deep breath and read God’s promise to Moses in Exodus 33:14.
Did you need to read those words today?
They are great words, but they mean more than our translations reveal.
There is so much going on in the context of this scripture (Exodus 33).
Do you know why God promised to go with Moses?
Only a few verses before, God had told Moses and the Israelites that He would send a warrior angel to go before them to help them take the Promised Land, but He would not be going because He didn’t want to get mad at them on the way and kill them because they were a “stiff-necked” people.
Unthankful. Fearful. Always wanting to go back to Egypt, people.
But when God said He wouldn’t be making the journey with then, they mourned and took off all their “ornaments” and humbled themselves., and after that God told Moses He would go.
Read the scripture image again. What did He promise to give Moses?
But God Promised More Than Rest
The Hebrew word, Nuhal means “rest,” but it also means “settle.” The Israelites needed a home.
They had been camping for a long time since their escape from Egypt, but they didn’t trust God. Read Numbers 13 and 14.
Only Joshua and Caleb believed God would help them take the land. The others spread fear and false rumors that caused the people to rebel (again), and not trust God or Moses, and stomp their feet demanding to go back to Egypt. Because of their refusal to trust God, they wandered in the desert for forty years. They didn’t believe or accept God’s rest. So, they didn’t get it.
We look at their story and shake our heads. “Those silly Israelites!” we say, but there is so much to learn from this story. We are just like them, aren’t we?
Everything in the Bible has been written for us to glean and apply.
- I must trust Him even when fear makes me want to run back to the safety of where I’ve been. If He’s led me there, He’ll make the way.
- Resting in His Word and trusting that He’s taking me to a good place is essential. Even when it looks scary or there are battles to fight, I must trust. God’s will is not always easy.
- If I don’t obey, trust, and go forward with His Presence, the calling, the dream, the Promised Land will take longer to get to.
I must trust that He’s taking me to a good place even when it looks scary or it’s difficult. #restCLICK TO TWEET
“My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” does not mean we get to go take a nap. This verse promises that He will walk us to the next place to settle. Maybe that’s a literal place or a figurative place, a job, a season in life, a calling or a dream.
Resting in Him deepens our faith walk, and that makes our life more productive. We will get to where He is taking us.
Worry blinds us to His blessings.
Trying to do it on our own hinders us from receiving all He has for us.
Remember: Keep your neck loose, my friends!
Do not fear. Trust =Rest.
He’s leading us to good places.
Listen to this great teaching by Graham Cooke about Rest. (It’s about 9 minutes.) He talks about “rest” being a weapon. Pour some tea, take off your shoes, sit down, and close your eyes as he speaks.
God loves you. Let Him love you.
Digging Deep in Rest,
Photo by Jordan Bauer on Unsplash
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash
Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash
[…] It’s called a Sabbath. It means to cease from working, and in the Old Testament, the Sabbath lasted from sunrise to sunset. Yes, we live on the other side of the Cross, but this rest demonstrates our trust in God’s wisdom, our obedience, and our humility that the world really won’t stop revolving if we take a day off. This is a principal, no longer a specific command. It doesn’t have to be on Saturday or Sunday, but we need a day set aside to rest. This too must be intentional. It is imperative to our balance. Work hard and then rest hard. Here’s my article last week on rest and the Bible reading plan. […]
I must be in desperate need of rest and balance because both of these posts have struck a cord in me. God knows what we need and when we need it! Thank you! :)