How To Rest

Someone I follow on Twitter tweeted a link to one of Shawn Blanc’s weekly newsletters entitled How to get it all done. I’ve never really read Shawn Blanc’s content. This piece, however, may change all that.

Spend less time on counterfeit rest: things like television, video games, social media, mindless internet surfing — these things can be time sinks. Moreover, they don’t leave us feeling refreshed, motivated, or recharged. You most definitely need breaks and time to rest, but there are some great ways to do it other than zoning out.

During this school year I have been attending Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) on Monday nights. One of the themes that keeps coming through as we’ve studied in Exodus 20, 34, Leviticus 25, and Deuteronomy 5 has been taking a day of true rest every week. So when I read Shawn’s post, it really resonated with me.

While taking a Sabbath may sound really legalistic and “Old Covenant”-y, it’s not. God rested at the end of the creation account. Christ came “to fulfill the law”. I recommend you check out Tim Keller’s excellent sermon on resting in a modern context.

For Christians, taking a Sabbath to truly rest, is for our good in multiple ways.

  1. It demonstrates, to an increasingly busy world, that God will provide for our needs when we trust Him instead of our own works.
  2. It causes us to put our faith in God in specific ways and see the miraculous outcomes. Concerned that X won’t get done and your life will unravel because you didn’t “do anything” on Sunday? Trust God to provide and see what happens.
  3. Obedience to God deepens our relationship with Him and pleases Him.
  4. It gives us the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual rejuvination necessary to continue loving Christ to the best of our ability.

I’m not saying that nothing that resembles work can be done: we still need to cook and shower and take care of our kids on Sunday. Churches still need people to be ushers, serve communion, and preach and clean. What I have been so encouraged by through BSF is the heart attitude we need to take to resting on Sundays. That can be through the no-work, only paper plates and MRE’s on Sundays or it can be through joyful, active service to God. The BSF notes say it better than I could:

The important question is: do you observe the [Sabbath] in any significant way?

And one of the other core issues BSF has really hit home this year as we’ve studied The Life of Moses is the importance of obedience. Obedience does not gain us salvation, but it is an outward demonstration that indicates that we are children of God.

Thinking about obedience makes me paraphrase the Mute, Demon-Possessed Boy’s father from Mark 9:24 (ESV)

“I obey; help my disobedience!”

May we rest in the finished work of Christ tomorrow.

Scripture quotations marked “ESV” are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.


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