This week’s “Mindful Monday” devotion is on a topic many of us take for granted: REST. Besides the fact that we are COMMANDED to rest, we need to remember that God TELLS us to rest for a very good reason. We need time to regroup both physically and mentally. We can’t be productive and happy at the same time without rest. We aren’t just encouraged to rest, we are commanded to.
Why do you think God found it necessary to make resting one of the ten commandments along with the other ones? Alongside do not murder, do not have any other God besides me, honor your father and mother, do not steal, God chose to include the commandment to rest. I didn’t completely understand this when I was young. When I was a child, I thought it was God being the great judge in the sky -the old “cause I said so” thing we hear as children from those in authority. You just honored one day a week to go to church just because the Bible says to. When I got a little older I thought maybe it was that God wanted us to focus only on Him that one day of the week. I always thought I must be wrong about that because it seemed self serving of Him to demand our attention. But now that I’m
older wiser, I think I understand it the way He intended it.
Here’s what I believe now: I think God knows that humans are easily distracted (I sure am) and we tend to plunge into one project after the next which leads to the next and on and on to our own peril. I think God knows that if left to our own devices, we will either become workaholics (believing that it’s our duty to work every second of every day to provide for our families when in reality that is us depending solely on our own efforts without needing God’s help, thank you very much), or will just be too distracted in our working, volunteering, (fill in the blank) that we will get our eyes off Him. We need a healthy relationship with our Creator to be spiritually, mentally, and physically healthy human beings. It’s for OUR benefit to take rest…it isn’t God being the great cosmic meanie in the sky demanding His way or the highway. This is a loving Creator God wanting the best for us…His creation. He knows how our minds work better than we do. He can see down the road and know where the road we are on at any moment of any day will lead us and in His great love and mercy and grace, He tries to redirect us to a road that leads to our best destination possible. So if God says…COMMANDS rest…it’s for our BEST!
Now when I first planned this post, my thought was on finding a time to rest from anything that might overwhelm us or take our attention away from God and regroup. I was thinking about any time in particular. God says we shall labor six days and rest on the seventh. That’s really important and good for us. In ADDITION to that, however, I think we need to keep a mental health sabbath in mind as well. If we are so focused on an activity (good or bad…work or leisure) that we are frazzled and overwhelmed, we need time to regroup. Time to make a new strategy…time to ask God to show us His will for that situation and for Him to bless our efforts if what we’re working on is His will. Time to seek God…period. I’ve found myself overwhelmed with my blogging (I posted here about that). I felt like I needed to post every deal I see other bloggers post, my blog should be like theirs, I need to get as many matchups posted as they do…on and on. I realized during my rest of the past several days that I needed to repent. In all my striving, I haven’t been trusting GOD to guide me in my blogging…I’ve been depending on other bloggers to guide me through the way they post, the way their blog is set up…on and on. Instead, I should let God guide me and show me what HE wants this blog to become, let Him show me how to improve it and let it flower….
He’s shown me this verse and how it relates to my blogging efforts:
“The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.” (Psalm 23:1-3, NIV).
The LORD is my shepherd…nobody and nothing else…the Lord. Not blogger A or blog B, not a pre-designed method for having the best, most popular and productive blog on the planet…the LORD. If I make HIM my shepherd, I will lack nothing. HE REFRESHES MY SOUL. Rest=refresh. The Lord GIVES us rest and through that rest, refreshes us.
Here is a short devotion by Max Lucado I found encouraging. I hope you do as well:
“When God gave the Ten Commandments, He needed only five English words to condemn adultery; four to denounce thievery and murder. But when he came to the topic of rest? Listen to this: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work; you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your servants, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day…” (Exodus 20:8-11). Wow! One word after another…” – Max Lucado – UpWords Ministries, June 18, 2013