Resting can be spiritual, really…
In our day of hurry, get-it-quick, microwave living, we don’t know the meaning of the word “rest.” But in reality, resting can be spiritual – one of the most spiritual things you can do at certain times. You may not understand… so let me give you a quick rundown of the concept.
Resting can be spiritual – Old Testament
God instituted the Sabbath in the Old Testament (Exodus 20:10-11) as a day of rest for His people, Israel. Depending on what religious background you hail from, you may have heard any number of things about the “Sabbath” being the LORD’s day, a day of worship, etc. But the Old Testament truth is that it was all about rest. Six days were for work, one was for rest.
Resting can be spiritual – New Testament
The New Testament does not require observance of the Sabbath by those who place their faith in Christ. That’s because all of the Old Testament laws were fulfilled in Christ, so we Christians are not required to observe them as a means toward receiving favor from God (Colossians 2:16). But that doesn’t mean the principle behind the Sabbath is not a wise one for today. Jesus Himself said that “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27). TRANSLATION: The Sabbath was made for your benefit, not to be a tyrant over you.
What benefit is the principle of Sabbath? Rest… that’s the benefit. You are a human being, made to NEED rest. God designed you in such a way that you spend 1/3 of your life unconscious (sleeping). That fact alone tells you, YOU NEED REST! God’s command to His Old Covenant people (Israel) to take a day off each week was designed to keep them from running themselves ragged… to PROVIDE a much needed rest for them.
Suggestions for putting it into practice
- Do it. Don’t make excuses, make it happen.
- If you married couples can pull off a Sabbath on the same day, more power to you. We couldn’t do it. Inevitably Mindi wound up at least fixing meals even on her “day off.”
- Husbands take care to make sure your wife is getting time to rest. She works as hard as you (or harder), even if she is not earning a paycheck.
- Teach your kids about rest, and give them “days off” too.
- Include thoughtful times of reflection and prayer, to bring a sense of peace and rest to your spirit as well as your body.
- Don’t kid yourself… you really DO need the rest.
- Don’t get all “legalistic” about it. If circumstances periodically keep you from having your down-time, flex – but make an extra effort to ensure you get it the next week.
After practicing this almost 10 years, we can’t imagine our lives being sane without it. The difficulties we’ve faced in life have been HUGE, and these regular times of rest have been instrumental in helping us weather those storms. And more importantly, we are honoring God by resting. How’s that? By resting we are reminding ourselves that we don’t have to be striving to keep life in check. God does that, and we learn to trust Him.
Do you have a regular time of rest each week?
If not, why not?