I know it’s hard to rest! My mind is thinking of all of the things I need to get done when I try to relax! That’s not very restful.
But then why did God command us to rest?
Remember the sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.Exodus 20: 8
So many associate this commandment as being all about not working. That is certainly what the religious zealots thought. To them it was all about the law. But, let’s consider that it’s about spending time with God. How often do you block off time in your week to spend with God, talking to him and listening for his reply to your questions?
I have to admit that I didn’t use to be good at doing this. I was just too busy with the busyness of our world to block off time to spend with God. I know how that sounds. Think about your week. Are you doing the same thing? Too busy to spend time with the one who created you, loves you above all else, and wants you to follow the path he has laid out for you because it’s what is best for you.
Are we really that busy? When you think about your job, carting the kids to their ball games, ballet lessons, helping with homework, helping with the PTO event or whatever else is on your schedule, it seems that your schedule is full.
If you believe that God is who he says he is, doesn’t he deserve a block of time to share with you? When we think about the sacrifice he made by giving of his only son so that we could live with him in eternity, I think it’s a reasonable request. Although it’s a command, not a request.
When we take time to refocus our lives and spend time communing with the Lord, I think it becomes clear that he really is our God. If we don’t take that time to reconnect, it’s easy to meander through life drifting from one project to another without even giving him a thought.
An hour or two on Sunday is not much of a commitment when we consider the number of hours in a week. 168 hours and we can’t find time to spend any time with God? I think we seriously need to look at our priorities!
We become so busy with activities and service that if we don’t take a sabbath, God gets lost in all that we do even for the church. And no matter how much you do for him, you can never earn his love. It’s a gift he freely gives to you.
Why is rest so hard to come by? Worry. This used to be a huge problem for me. But, when we worry, we’re telling God that we don’t trust him. As we spend time resting in him our faith grows. When faith grows, worry shrinks.
Worry forces us to play the “what-if” game.
- You’re only allowed to think of worst-case scenarios
- You’re never allowed to win the game…you can only lose
- The more you play the greater your losses.
Worry is integral to Satan’s plan. When we worry we press harder, we isolate from and ignore God’s grace and his promises. We have to replace those fearful, worrisome thoughts with reminders. Sabbath rest allows us to take our minds off the “what-ifs” of worry.
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”Psalm 46:10
- Be still, and know that I am God is an invitation to experience God.
- It means admitting that we’re not God.
- Accepting that there are things outside of our control.
- Things I can’t do. Things I can’t handle. That is hard.
- But we’ve been told to not have it all together is a sign of weakness.
- Some have even been led to believe that not having it all together is a lack of faith.
- We know we aren’t in control, but we’re content to live with the idea we might be.
- Some have even been led to believe that not having it all together is a lack of faith. We know we aren’t in control, but we’re content to live with the idea we might be.
If we trust in God, we take a break.
We need to detox from the urgent.
We are more than what we produce.
If God wants to achieve something, it will get done.
Be. Still. Know…and Rest.
This blog post is my take from our sermon at Milan Christian Church in Milan, IN. It just scratches the surface of the sermon topic this is a series we are currently in. I suggest you listen to the sermons on our podcast to learn more. Sept 5, 2021 and Sept 12, 2021.