When considering this upcoming challenge, I had several great ideas come to me throughout the weeks leading up to November. All fantastic. All at inconvenient times. And all completely unrelated. When the time came to buckle down and “get ‘er done”, all these wonderful possibilities rolling in my head caused me to both stress out and draw a blank. This proved to be the best inspiration.
We all wear many hats: spouse, parent, housekeeper, chef, chauffeur, personal shopper, M. Fixit, (insert your personal favorites here). With all these responsibilities, and the added frenzy of the holidays, comes little time to just be still.
“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” (AKJV)
Other renderings include: Stop striving, let be or let go (of your concerns), and, finally, be in awe and know…
Jesus came to bring us rest, yet, like many of our Jewish spiritual or actual ancestors, few of us reside there. For the next two months, your challenge is to:
Labor to Enter God’s Rest (see Hebrews 3-4)
What does that mean? Well in a nutshell, it means to believe Him. Believe that He came to give you rest. Believe that Jesus has united you back to God, so that you can intimately know Him now. Believe that He is no longer counting your sins against you, so you are free to live for Him. Believe that if you stop to take time to be with God that the earth will not shatter. Your to-do list does not own you, God does! In this age where time has become as precious as gold, make it your labor to trust Him with yours.
This faith will carry action with it.
Putting It in Practice: Take one full day each week to just rest.
Before you gasp and throw the whole challenge out the window, I want you to put this in perspective. Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for man (Mark 2:27). It wasn’t something designed to be a legalistic burden. This is a day for you. Even science backs up the benefits of taking a day off.
Give yourself permission to rest and use it as a full day to study God’s Word for treasures of Jesus, enjoy your family, spend time with other believers to talk about what God is doing and encourage each other in the Lord. Your value is not found in what you do or have; it is grounded in the blood of Jesus, the most precious commodity in the universe. You can take a whole day off.
Ultimately, Jesus has fulfilled every Law and He Himself is our Sabbath. Taking this day in faith will help you to walk in the rhythm of His grace throughout your whole week, so use this moment of rest to ask Him to direct you. What would He like you to do this week? Ask Him to open your eyes, ears, and heart to His leading each day and to help you to walk in it by His Spirit. You may be surprised to find that He still speaks and increasingly blessed to know that He is most certainly God.
It is not a coincidence that I am choosing to start this during the hectic holiday season. We need Him most during the crazy times in our life! The Hebrew word Sabbath means “rest” or “cessation”. He knows how to choose what’s best for you much more than you ever could, so stop striving and let Him be God.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
(Matthew 11:28 NLT)
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
(Romans 8:5 ESV)
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
(Galatians 5:24-25 NLT)
(Featured image courtesy of wonggy @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net)