What a beautiful word!
It’s what we all need.
- not necessarily more sleep
More time in bed is only frustrating to the patient.
- not necessarily a vacation
Travel will not refresh the hotel weary business man.
- but, something different
- a break from the regular work
The beauty of the word is found in its context.
- Like rain after a drought (as opposed to after a flood)
- Or sunshine and warmth after a long winter (as opposed to during an oppressively long summer heat wave)
- Like a rest in music, a pause from sound, a contrast from all the notes, that gives a moment to anticipate what will come next .
The beauty of REST is found in the context that surrounds it, the contrast of the need with God's provision.
- Time to sit down and read does not have the same appeal to an editor as it does to mother who sees a novel as an indulgence
- just as yard work or gardening won’t hold the same lure to the manual laborer as it might to the person with a desk job.
That’s why I love the phrase found repeated again and again in the Old Testament law:
“You must do no ordinary work.” (ESV, Living)
“… no regular work” (NIV)
“… no laborious work” (NAS)
“…no daily work” (GWT)
“…no servile work” (KJV, ISV, ERV, YLT)
(servile – characteristic of a slave, menial, obedient of another’s orders, showing excessive willingness to serve or please others)
Without regular work, "rest" is laziness, but regular work without rest is disobedience.
Basically, once a week (on the Sabbath) and on special days (Holy-days, holidays, days of feasts and days of remembrance), God told His people He wanted them to take a break. Do something different from their regular work. This day is special.
More than that, the Sabbath day is holy to the LORD…
the context of REST is in the Presence of LORD
and the Presence of the LORD is PEACE
…this is why we pray.
The world offers expensive mattresses, spas and bubble baths, vacations, and invitations to run-away and escape. But everyone who woke-up with a hang-over, or tossed and turned all night with worry, or felt empty and lonely surrounded by people and wealth can testify that the world can’t give us what we really need…
- a heart at rest
- rest for the mind
- rest for soul
- rest for the body
REST is the LORD giving us Himself, and providing what He knows we need when we need it. Rest is hearing the LORD’s command and following His example…
“…observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant… in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.” Exodus 31:16-17
“YOU MUST TAKE A DAY OFF!”
– His commands, oh, what a burden! –
Why do we ever resist His will?
So whether you…
- get away or stay home
- have time alone or invite friends over
- sleep in or watch the sunrise
- go to bed early or have a late movie night
“Whatever you do, in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” – Col. 3:17
On Saturdays I ask, “LORD, how will I rest with You today?”
It’s not really about what we do and don’t do. Jesus taught us that, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27) The Sabbath is about the LORD, the Lord of the Sabbath! (v. 28)
Rest, like prayer, is a blessing, never a burden.
Make REST a matter of PRAYER
My Saturday morning prayer time isn’t long, but it’s the day that’s easiest to become distracted, to postpone and forget talking to the LORD altogether.
Especially on Saturday, I want to begin seeking the LORD; so that day can be truly restful regardless of where I am or what I do with the rest of the day. I want to remember the Sabbath day; I want to remember the LORD! He is “holy”. He has called this day “holy”, and he has called me to be “holy”.
These are some verses I have chosen for REST. Consider writing out a few verses of your own to incorporate into your prayer time on Saturdays mornings.
Psalm 116:7 “Return to your rest, O my soul, For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.”
1 Corinthians 14:33 “…for God is not a God of confusion but of peace”
2 Thessalonians 3:16 “Now may the Lord of peace grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!”
Isaiah 9:6 “… and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 26:3,12 “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, for in God the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.”
Isaiah 54:10 “For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My loving-kindness will not be removed from you, and my covenant of peace will not be shaken.”
Isaiah 55:12 “For you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of field will clap their hands.”
Romans 15:13 “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made know to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Psalm 29:11 The LORD will give strength to His people; the LORD will bless His people with peace.
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, so that in My you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but that courage; I have overcome the world.”
Romans 14:16-19 “Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.”
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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 from your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Isaiah 28:12 “…who said to them, ‘Here is rest, give rest to the weary,’ And, ‘Here is repose,’ but they would not listen.”
Matthew 23:37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.”
Psalm 34:15 “Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”
Psalm 85:8 “I will hear what God the LORD will say; for He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones; but let them not turn back to folly.”
As with the other days of the week in this PRAY 7 Days season, I’m focusing on praying scriptures and claiming promises related to key words I have chosen. Then praying briefly through the most important requests as I do each morning.
To find links to all the posted related to my PRAY 7 Days notebook or join in on the “LEAP year” challenge, see: “1-1-1-1” (pray)