Invitation to Rest

Rest

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.
                                                             Mark 6:31

Introduction

Have you ever felt like the people in this verse? Are you seemingly always on the go coming and going at all hours of the day? Is the pace of life so frantic you have a hard time fitting in a meal and if you do it is fast food? Do you long for something different?

If you do, let’s listen to Jesus. When he saw all of the activity of ministry and people coming and going and the toll it was taking in Himself and His disciples, he lovingly tells them to stop, take a break and rest a while. In a word… REST!

Rest sounds good but in reality it seems far-fetched.  We can convince ourselves that Rest is beyond our reach.  Do any of these statements sound familiar?

If anyone could come up with a good excuse, it would be the disciples.  After all they were part of a ministry where lives were changing.  There is no time to rest. And yet, we know that’s what we need and long for, but it doesn’t seem possible. People are coming and going all the time, making demands on us that we feel compelled to meet. And yet, Jesus calls us to REST.

Benefits of Rest

Hover over the tiles below for a summary of the benefits of rest.

Physical

When we take the time to rest, we realize we have been running on adrenaline for so long we forgot what it is like to just rest. Our heart rate and blood pressure can lower, our breathing is more slow and steady and we just might nod off for a nap!

Emotional

At rest, we can gain a different perspective on our life and our emotional world. Especially if we are resting in God, we may become aware of many things that are impacting us and we can begin to allow the Holy Spirit to give wisdom and insight into healing and freedom.

Spiritual

The greatest benefit of rest is what can happen in our relationship with God. We realize we have been in a spiritual battle and the enemy has worked hard in trying to discourage and lie to us, deceiving us to the point where we may actually think that voice is God’s. But at rest we have a voice that is loving and not condemning, accepting and not rejecting.

Practicing Rest

It may seem counter intuitive, but we need to practice how to rest.  If rest came naturally to us, we would regularly retreat in rest.  However, that is not our reality. So we can do some practice exercises to get us in the habit of rest.  Below are a couple examples.  More will be added later.  Let me know how you like them or if you have any questions.

A Moment of Rest

Take a moment to rest.  Focus for a couple of minutes on one of the scriptures below.  Let the word of God resonate in you.  Then with the word of God in your heart, click on one of the nature videos.  Put yourself in that scene, use your 5 senses to experience the moment.  Take some slow deep breaths as you immerse yourself in one of these beautiful creations of God. Thank God for His love for you and praise Him.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.

Psalm 23:1-3

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

2 Timothy 1:7

Practicing Rest in Silence

A very helpful spiritual discipline is silence. For most of us, this is really hard.  We tend to fill up any silence with actions, words, music and constant interactions with our smartphones!  It takes practice but it is good to get comfortable with silence.  Sometimes it is in the silence where we can experience God’s presence more fully.  We can hear that “still small voice in silence”.

So, lets practice some silence. When you hit the button below, a window will popup with a beach scene,  Imagine you are sitting in a beach chair on the sand and the water is washing up onto your feet.  The scene will last for 1 minute and then will close.  See how practicing one minute of silence goes for you.  When the scene appears, there will be no countdown clock!  You just have to trust me that the window will close after one minute.

Rest in the Truth

Have you ever stopped and taken an inventory of your thought life? How often is your mind filled with the lies of the enemy who seeks to kill and destroy. One of the benefits of rest is we can gives ourselves time to let our minds settle, to take every thought captive (2 Cor 10:5) and replace any lie or voice of condemnation with the truth of Gods word.  

Below are some truths about your identity in Christ. Take this moment in silence to allow these verses to cover you with the truth of God’s love for you. If you want extra time to medidate on a particular truth, hover over the slide to pause the scrolling.

You are a Child of God
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12)
You are Accepted by God
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. (Romans 15:7)
You are One with the Father
But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. (1 Cor 6:17)
Created in the Image of God
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)
You are fully known by God
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5)
You are Delivered from Darkness
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. ( 1 Peter 2:9)
You are the Work of God's hands
But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)
You are engraved in the palm of God's hands
Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; (Isaiah 49:16)
You are the Apple of God's eye
Keep me as the apple of your eye (Psalm 17:8)
Previous
Next