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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Just REST!

I haven't blogged this year because life has been a real roller coaster for us, and I have been trying to prioritize my time with the Lord and my husband and kids, and ministry, and so at the end of the day, staying up late to write a blog post, just has not happened.  However, while nursing/rocking the baby to sleep, I have often shared small snippets of what I'm learning via Instagram, so if you are curious about catching up with us, you can look at that here, where I am honeabeemama

I was asked to be do a short opening devotion for our local "Community Bible Study." I suppose it went well, because several ladies asked for a copy for what I spoke about.  I promised I'd come home and put it on here for any of you who wanted to reread/share. This is exactly what was in my notes:

Good Morning! Thank you so much for inviting me to share with you this morning. When Ms. Teresa asked me to do something back in February, with all the crazy snow, I first began praying about what God would like me to tell you about.  I immediately told him my ideas and He told me instead that I should talk to you about Rest.  I told the Lord that was really funny, because with two small children, I often feel like the most exhausted person on earth! However, the Lord continued to quietly and consistently nudge my heart and mind toward rest.  Even when I thought I wouldn’t be speaking on this, I continued to research and pray through it because I felt God teaching me about more of what I need to rest in Christ.  Join me in prayer, so that hopefully this will help you too!


I only have TWO points:



 Because the Creator of the Universe has told us to rest in His Word! He is our Creator, and he MADE us to thrive when we get adequate rest. Let’s walk through some of the scriptures together.  I have them here in my notes, but if you’d like to turn, please join me in Genesis, where He sets the example:

  Genesis 2:2-3:And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

God Himself rested.  We are created in the image of God.  We are called to be holy as He is holy. We need rest.  

Exodus 20:8-10:“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.

From the 10 Commandments that the LORD gave Moses.  The 10 most important rules He gave in the Old Testament, and one of them is to remember to REST!

The New Testament, and the arrival of Jesus taking the place of the sacrificial law changed a lot of the Old Testament rules, but here in Hebrews, it clearly states that God still desires us to observe a Sabbath.   When we do not rest, we are being disobedient.

Hebrews 4:9-11: So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. 11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.

Then Jesus HIMSELF instructs his disciples toward the end of the Sermon on the Mount:

Matthew 11:28-30: 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

We are called to rest, specifically by going to Jesus and asking to take up His Yoke, His Burden. Over and over He tells us to lay our burdens at His feet, and to pick up His yoke, because then, He is shouldering the load with us, and showing us exactly what is worth our concern. 

Mark 6:31: 31 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.

Jesus instructs and helps His Disciples to see that they need to Rest. We, as his disciples today, still need to rest!

If you have ever seen a tired child throw a temper tantrum because it is getting close to naptime or bedtime, then you should also realize that our Father God knows that our behavior is much better when we take time to rest.

If you want to just set the Bible aside in this argument, and look at all the world has proven through science and studying the human body, you can read for years on the subject of how valuable rest is to our human bodies. We need it to survive, to ward off sickness, disease, depression, and all sorts of things. Even atheists acknowledge that we need rest. How much more then, should we who trust in Christ, obey His call to rest? That is your Why.

2.  Now let’s talk about WHAT.  What is REST?

Let’s use an acronym for the word REST to describe it adequately:

R – Relax
E – Energize
S – Sleep
T – Trust

When we experience true rest in Christ – it meets all 4 of these needs of our soul. Let’s break it down:

RELAX – the opposite would be to Stress.  So what helps you to relax? Hot bubble bath? Massage? Quiet Walk? Prayer time? Getting into God’s Word? Stress is proven to cause you to function at a lower mental capacity, cause numerous health problems from heart disease, to obesity because when we are stressed our bodies hold on to fat longer.

ENERGIZE – the opposite would be to feel exhausted and weary.  So what energizes you? Exercise? A Date Night? Rearranging furniture? Hearing a good sermon?

SLEEP – the opposite here is being awake, but specifically being awake when we know we need to go to bed – you know, wasting time watching tv or scrolling through facebook/IG when you know you’re tired, but you just don’t feel like going to bed.  What obedient children we are, eh? Lack of sleep is actually a torture tactic in wartimes, because it causes you to become so mentally deranged.  When we don’t get enough sleep, our body has far less defense against viruses, and the longer we go without sleep, the more it causes long-term cellular damage.  How do you sleep best? Do you need to set an earlier bedtime? Do you need to turn your air conditioner on? Do you need to put your kids to bed earlier so that you can go to bed earlier?

TRUST – This is the facet of REST for our SOULS – when we REST in CHRIST – we really trust Him in all of life’s circumstances, and have peace.  The opposite here would be worry, fear, anxiety. 365 times in the Bible, God references how we should not be afraid, and many times, follows the command to not fear, because we should trust Him. How do you teach your soul to Trust? Prayer. Reading God’s Word. Fellowship with other believers where we are encouraged to seek him and to tell each other about all the ways God has been so GOOD to us, all the ways He has shown up and blessed us.  Keeping a prayer journal can help you with this, because you can go back and see answered prayers.

So, it is our job to figure out what is the most RESTFUL in all 4 areas.  Here is where we should think of activities on a “Rest-O-Meter” just like our cars have a speedometer, on a scale of 0-100, how restful is an activity for you?

Honestly, you may think as I have, that watching a comedy on TV is restful, but all it does is help you relax, so that’s only 25%, because it does not provide you with sleep, energy, or trust.

So up it a notch, what about that bubble bath? Well, now we’re getting a little higher, because that helps me to relax, and physically gets my body prepared for better sleep, and if I can pray a little while I’m in there, or listen to worshipful praise music, BAM I’m at 75%!

A good night’s sleep should help with lowering stress levels, and giving you more energy, and mentally you should be able to recall more scripture that helps you fight anxiety, so I’d say SLEEP is undoubtedly a 100% restful activity. We sometimes need to just be obedient to the Lord and go to bed!

A personal quiet time when you pray and read your Bible, and maybe do some of your CBS notebook, should help you to relax, to feel like you have more energy and strength to accomplish whatever is before you, and to trust God more, which should lead you to more peaceful sleep with less anxiety, so there again you’re up to 100%. (And that was Jesus’ favorite way to rest).

An outdoor run for me does all of that as well, because I use it as a prayer time.  Exercise releases physical chemicals, endorphins that help us to relax, releasing stress, to build more energy, to sleep better later.  I chalk a good outdoor walk or run up to 100% rest for me.

Here’s a kicker: God made us all as unique on the inside as He did on the outside.  You may not rest the same way I do, and that is OK! I have a friend who finds cooking to be restful.  You go girl. Just be careful not to find your rest in eating – that’s a dangerous trap towards an unhealthy lifestyle. My mom likes to work in her garden. My husband likes to play racquetball. We are so different in ways we rest!

However, we are ALL created to NEED and THRIVE on REST. 
What do we begin to look and act like when we don’t rest enough? 
The world.  
We start cruising on toward crazy town like we don’t know any better. 
Here’s what crazy town looks like for me:

(Hair rumple, hold coffee cup, yell “WHY WON'T YOU POOP IN THE POTTY!!!??? DO NOT HIT YOUR SISTER! I’m going to SPANK YOU!! NO dinner is NOT ready!”) This is the video segment that may have gotten you interested in reading.

But when I’ve found my rest in God alone? I can be more like Jesus and intentionally and calmly parent my kids and love my husband well.

We need to look more like Christ, and pull away and rest.

 It is MY responsibility to be OBEDIENT to rest in Christ, BEFORE I cruise into crazy town and start acting like I don’t know my Savior or have any sense.

Pray, ask God for wisdom and obedience for him to help you rest better.  I’d like to leave you with this last scripture from

ISAIAH 30:15:

This is what the Sovereign Lord,
    the Holy One of Israel, says:
“Only in returning to me
    and resting in me will you be saved.
In quietness and confidence is your strength.