Rest: Why fight for it?

I am a Sabbath attempter.

What I mean by that is, I actually try to set aside 24 hours per week when I attempt to rest. An intentional space I create to rejuvenate my mind, body, and soul, to put aside my idol of productivity, and to remember God as my provider. I am so thankful that someone introduced the seriousness of Sabbath-keeping to me in my 20s because it never crossed my mind.

Sabbath-keeping is a commandment—oooooh.

As I begin to attempt to claim back my time to create margins, rest was a beautiful gift I did not even realize I needed. As of late, my attempting has been a bust, and I feel it. I feel that I am trying to live beyond my means and capacity which leaves me drained and not the best version of myself. I feel the worry welling up inside of me as I input data without filing it away. I feel my trust in God dwindle because I am training my mind to make a way for myself.

It is crazy how 24 hours a week can change my attitude and redirect my perspective to create an openness to follow God’s leading, and yet rest does.

So, if I logically and experientially know that rest or Sabbath-keeping gives life, why do I let busyness get in the way?

If I logically and experientially know that rest or Sabbath-keeping gives life, why do I let busyness get in the way? Share on X

I have many reasons that seem important and urgent at the time, yet fade away when I weigh the life change that Sabbath attempting brings.

Here are four reasons to use your time investing in rest.

1. Rest is a Command to Obey.

Yes, God views Sabbath-keeping as important. It goes hand-in-hand with the rest of the 10 commandments as a life-giving way to live in relationship with God and others.

Of the commandments, resting may seem like small beans, yet in the omission of setting aside sacred spaces of time for God and for us, we are more likely to not keep the other nine commandments.

I often think of John 10:10. “The thief (Satan) comes to still, kill, and destroy, but I (Jesus) have come so that you may have life, abundantly.”

God gave Israel the 10 commandments as guidelines to have life abundantly, and the same is true today. God chose to show us the example of rest, remind us of its importance, and allow us to have rest through him.

2. Rest is a Reward for Hardwork. 

When God made the world he too stopped to enjoy His work.

While American society has made a cultural idol of productivity, the Bible tells a different story about the need to stop after working hard. You may feel a little guilty for resting, yet that fear does not come from God.

God longs for us to carve out space to be with him so that we can be sent by him (Mark 3:14).

3.  Rest is an opportunity for God to Provide. 

Being self-sufficient is another cultural idol, Christians must fight. When we train our brains to take care of it, we leave little room to trust God as our provider. So, when we stop and allow God space to work, he usually blows our minds.

In Exodus, Israel was out in the wilderness. God told them to go out every day and gather food for the day, yet on the sixth day, they were to gather twice as much to prepare for the seventh-day Sabbath. The Israelites thought they would be slick and gather more than they needed during the first six days and the next morning the extra they had gathered had spoiled. Some went out on the seventh day and found nothing.

God as provider is an important reminder. While we are not looking for mana, we are looking for God to meet our needs in any other ways.

Resting on the Sabbath gives us a visual of God at work for us.

4.  Rest is a Pause to Breathe. 

Envision the bustle of a newsroom versus the serenity of a quiet secluded park. Our lives often resemble the newsroom as we attend to our schedules and commitments, yet notice Jesus was not in a hurry to get anywhere.

Stopping helps us gather our thoughts, decipher crisis from hardship, and determine the best direction to proceed.

Something powerful happens when we breathe. The stopping fills us much like how rest has a way of breathing life into our marriages, our finances, our jobs, our time, etc. When we rest, we give space for our lives to be filled with refreshment.

So, are you treating rest like it is something that you will get to one day, or like the gift that God provides? How will you intentionally set aside sacred time with God this week?

Watch Pastor Andy’s message called Rest is Good.