The importance of rest…

Hey there BCU Fam,

You have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the podcast blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study! 

Generally speaking, we are a “busy” society–especially women. Many ladies work (in and/or outside of the home), are married, have children, care for aging parents, are on a committee, in ministry of some sort (choir, ushering, teaching, etc.), and in some cases, all of the above, right?  Furthermore, one or more of these plates we are spinning can get a little heavier as we add housework, homework, school plays, practices, games, spouse time, family time, self care,  appointments, bake sales and week-long anniversary services. All of these things can cause pressure and stress at any given time, making the already heavy load we carry about 40 pounds heavier and leaves little to no time seemingly to get some down time or rest properly. In fact, I did not get into bed until after 11p.m. last night and was up this morning about 5:30 a.m. Can you tell I speak from place of experience?

In the list of all we need to do, intentional rest needs to be at the top of that list.  God has designed us to need rest. What exactly is rest, though? The dictionary defines rest as:

 Ceasing work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.

An instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity.

An interval of silence of a specified duration.

Additionally, AustinPrecept.com has an even more wonderful detailed definition:

Rest is freedom from work, toil, strain or activity. Rest is the cessation of motion or action of any kind, and applicable to any body or being, as rest from labor, rest from mental exertion or rest of body or mind. A body is at rest, when it ceases to move. The mind is at rest, when it ceases to be disturbed or agitated. The sea is never at rest! (And many believers live their lives more like the sea than their Savior!)

I am a firm believer that many of us do not rest in the body or mind properly. We have so many things to do and “not enough hours in the day” (not true–God made the hours we need–we have to manage the things we PACK those hours with) that we get anxious, frustrated, nervous, upset, angry, depressed, or any combination thereof when we do not get everything on the list done. Then we lie in bed mentally replaying the list and berating ourselves as we attempt to get the schedule right in our minds for the next day. The stress of trying to get it all done keeps us awake, has us taking sleep aids and medication to try and rest for short periods and using artificial stimulents to stay awake. We have to break this cycle, BCUFam! I know it seems impossible, but with God ALL things are possible!

Rest comes through prayer —Above all things, we need to go to Jesus in prayer. As much as possible, this NEEDS to happen at the START of your day. Our time with Jesus need not be two hours if that’s not possible, but quality, quiet time in prayer and reading the Word will help to frame your day for success.  David said, “O God, thou are my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirstest for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.” (Psalm 63:1). The more we thirst for God, the more want and need to get into his presence. Also, Proverbs 16:19 says commit your works to the Lord and He will establish your thoughts. If we are asking God to help our thought process, He will regulate our minds for the day, which brings us to the next point.

Rest comes through going God’s way––meaning as we go about our day, we should be asking God what need to do. Sure we know we need to go to work, drop off the kids, do housework, run errands, et cetera, but Proverbs 3:6 says, in ALL YOUR ways acknowledge Him (The Lord), and He shall direct your paths. Maybe the path we take to get to work or the direction God wants us to go is different from what we normally do and for His purpose and glory.

A few months ago, I really wanted to go to a particular restaurant for dinner, but the Lord put it my mind to go to a different eatery. Thankfully, in being obedient and following the Lord’s directed path, I ran into a dear sister whom I haven’t seen in years! It was wonderful to fellowship and actually pray with her on a few things she was waiting on the Lord for. In another instance in following God’s instructions for the day, I bumped one of my elderly friends who had been on my mind, but had lost contact with. What does this have to do with resting you ask? When following God’s will, some things on our to-do list just WILL NOT GET DONE, and we need to rest in that. While it would have been “easier” to go where I wanted to, in doing what God said, His plans became mine—and I was rested in my heart and mind that I was in His perfect will for the day.

Speaking of heart and mind, it is tantamount to our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health to ensure we are adequately rested here. Let’s go to the Word about that.

Rest comes through letting burdens go–Are you tired? Overwhelmed? Feeling like things are crashing down on you? Jesus said, come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).   

The heaviness comes in because many times, we are handling the cares of this life ourselves. We sometimes say “Lord, help me”, and we do not wait or listen for or to His directions. We run from task to appointment carrying frazzled, frustrated and agitated mind–and that’s heavy! BCU Fam, we will likely always have things to take care of and the weight of responsibility can get to us. What we need to do is take Jesus up on His offer and come to Him about whatever is weighing us down. Allow Him to exchange our heavy load for His light load. Now, God may absolve not us from the responsibility altogether, but if we learn of Him, He will show is how to deal with the situation His light and easy way. Amen? Amen!

Rest comes through “care-casting”. Casting all your care upon Him [Jesus] for He cares for you (I Peter 5:7). The cares of this life— work, family, bills, conflicts, situations, what will I have, why does she have more? When is it my turn? Those things we care so deeply about that we cannot do anything about? We need to cast them on Jesus. As we begin to trust the Lord with our cares, He will direct us in the path of what, if anything, we need to do about the concerns. 

Rest comes through getting your mind right. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:6-8). After we pray, with fervency and thanksgiving, we have to mediate on what God recommends, rather than the situation. By the time we ruminate on the list of eight things to think of in Philippians 4:8, we will be so busy praising God, that the anxiety-inducing situation you handed over to God will make the victory list as well!  

BCU Fam, I could go on and on about the importance of rest—-our bodies and minds need to rest on the regular in order to hear God and to function optimally. Why needlessly continue to be restless in your heart and mind when our good Father wants to take care of us? Let’s practice resting starting today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rest is freedom from anxiety or disturbance.
To rest is to dispose oneself at ease in order to relieve or avoid fatigue (cp spiritual “burnout”)
In poetry, a rest describes a short pause of the voice in reading (Can we not apply this truth to our lives?)
In spiritual terms rest means primarily to cease from one’s works with the idea of release from anxiety, worry and insecurity. This rest is offered to all and is freely available by grace through personal faith in Jesus Christ (Mt 11:28, 29, 30). Only in Christ is our soul fully and truly at rest. In this context rest means to be done with self-effort as far as salvation is concerned. It means the end of trying to please God by our feeble, fleshly works. In short, God’s unmerited perfect rest is a rest in free grace which can only be entered into or appropriated by faith.
John MacArthur adds that…
Rest also means freedom from whatever worries or disturbs you. Some people cannot rest mentally and emotionally because they are so easily annoyed. Every little nuisance upsets them and they always feel hassled. Rest does not mean freedom from all nuisances and hassles; it means freedom from being so easily bothered by them (Ed: It means freedom in the face of whatever would disturb your rest!). Rest means to be inwardly quiet, composed, peaceful. To enter God’s restmeans to be at peace with God (Ro 5:1-note), to possess the perfect peace He gives (Is 26:3). It means to be free from guilt and even unnecessary feelings of guilt. It means freedom from worry about sin, because sin is forgiven. God’s rest is the end of legalistic works and the experience of peace in the total forgiveness of God.
Rest can mean to lie down, be settled, fixed, secure. There is no more shifting about in frustration from one thing to another, no more running in circles. In God’s rest we are forever established in Christ. We are freed from running from philosophy to philosophy, from religion to religion, from life-style to life-style (Jn 8:36). We are freed from being tossed about by every doctrinal wind, every idea or fad, that blows our way. In Christ, we are established, rooted, grounded, unmoveable (Col 2:7-note). That is the Christian’s rest.
Rest involves remaining confident, keeping trust. In other words, to rest in something or someone means to maintain our confidence in it or him. To enter God’s rest, therefore, means to enjoy the perfect, unshakeable confidence of salvation in our Lord. We have no more reason to fear. We have absolute trust and confidence in God’s power and care.
Rest also means to lean on (Ed: Play Leaning on the Everlasting Arms). To enter into God’s rest means that for the remainder of our lives and for all eternity we can lean on God. We can be sure that He will never fail to support us. In the new relationship with God, we can depend on Him for everything and in everything-for support, for health, for strength, for all we need. It is a relationship in which we are confident and secure that we have committed our life to God and that He holds it in perfect, eternal love. It is a relationship that involves being settled and fixed. No more floating around. We know whom we have believed and we stand in Him. (MacArthur, John: Hebrews. Moody Press)
Know Christ and you will know rest.

No Christ and there will be no rest!

… In this life or the one to come!
Relation of rest to refreshment: Rest was built into the natural rhythms of life by the Creator, Who Himself rested on the seventh day of creation (Ge 2:1, 2, 3). The rest of God includes the crucial element of refreshment. Exodus 31:17 tells us that God not only rested on the seventh day but also “was refreshed” (Hebrew = napas = renewal of energy of mind and body, Lxx = katapauo = to put to an end, give rest to) (Cp “refresh” in Ex 23:12, Pr 25:13, Ro 15:30, 31, 32-note, [Do others find refreshing rest in your company beloved? cp 1Co 16:17, 18, 2Co 7:13, 2Ti 1:16-note, Philemon 7, 20] Acts 3:19, 20 [Where {Who} does true refreshment come from? What must we do to enter the times of refreshing?], Je 31:25NIV, Pr 3:7, 8 [fear of the LORD causes us to turn from evil and brings refreshment to our bones! Beloved, if you are reading this and sensing a deep “inner gnawing”, perhaps God is calling you to an attitude of reverential fear which might prompt you to turn away from evil and experience His refreshing!] 1Sa 16:14, 23 = “evil spirit”, ponder the power of God glorifying, Christ exalting, Word centered spiritual music to refresh! Does your time in worship yield such “times of refreshing”? Why not?)

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth (Psalm 46:10).

Mark 6:30-32 King James Version (KJV)

30 And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.
31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
32 And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.

Hebrews 4
4 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.
6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
Proverbs 3:24 King James Version (KJV)

24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

Psalm 4:8
I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety

Psalm 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

Mark 4:37-39 King James Version (KJV)

37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Matthew 11
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

 

 

Resting is biblical and essential to our health and well-being.

On the seventh day, God rested…

Come apart and rest.

Yes, you’re likely saying, well I’m not Jesus. I agree–that position is filled.

You don’t understand my schedule.

If I don’t do it, it won’t get done.

No one is here to help.

I completely understand what you are saying. And what’s even better is that God does, too and WANTS to help you. Yes, He does.

 

Honest look:

 

If you say yes to one thing, you say no to something else. Let’s just face it, some of our busyness is self-inflicted.  I cannot tell you the number of invitations I agreed to out of guilt, obligation or concern go what the requester would think if I didn’t or not wanting to go thought the verbal gymnastics of explaining my “no”.

As believers of God, we are admonished to not be too hasty to utter anything hasty out of our mouths. (Ecclesiates 5: ). Unless God gives you an answer right away, it’s very okay to tell you need to get back to them before committing. This gives you time to pray and weight your “yes” against other commitments you may have.

 

Let your yay be yay and your nay be nay. Once you say yes or no to something, with the help of the Lord, and outside an emergecy,  stick to what you said you’d do, even if you’re not feeling it. Psalm 15 Unrest comes when we flip-flop between the two answers or lament about saying yes and spend hours trying to think of a way to get out of the commitment.

When your mind is settled about what you are committed to doing, it rests and helps your body to rest.

 

Let go of what’s unnecessary.

Do we need to be on the school bake sale committee? How important is that paper drive? How many XXX meetings have you attended, only to be scrolling through your phone or making grocery lists under the guise of taking notes? After inventorying excess rest-snatchers, do what you can to serve out your time, find a replacement (if needed), and give your notice with a brief explanation:

 

Enlist help:

Within: Get the family to pitch in. If you ask Jr. to vaccum, he may miss a few spots, yes–the job got done. Gently coach him on it after you thank him. Kids can help tidy up rooms, separate and  folk clothes and

 

If you can get someone to clean, take care of Mom and Dad for a few hours a week,  use a grocery service and get the kids

 

 

 

 

Generally speaking, we are a “busy” society–especially women. Many ladies work (in and/or outside of the home), are married, have children, care for aging parents, are on a committee, in ministry of some sort (choir, ushering, teaching, etc.), and in some cases, all of the above, right?  Furthermore, one or more of these plates we are spinning can get a little heavier as we add housework, homework, school plays, practices, games, spouse time, family time, self care,  appointments, bake sales and week-long anniversary services. All of these things can cause pressure and stress at any given time, making the already heavy load we carry about 40 pounds heavier and leaves little to no time seemingly to get some down time or rest properly. In fact, I did not get into bed until after 11p.m. last night and was up this morning about 5:30 a.m. Can you tell I speak from place of experience?

In the list of all we need to do, intentional rest needs to be at the top of that list.  God has designed us to need rest. What exactly is rest, though? The dictionary defines rest as:

 Ceasing work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.

An instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity.

An interval of silence of a specified duration.

Additionally, AustinPrecept.com has an even more wonderful detailed definition:

Rest is freedom from work, toil, strain or activity. Rest is the cessation of motion or action of any kind, and applicable to any body or being, as rest from labor, rest from mental exertion or rest of body or mind. A body is at rest, when it ceases to move. The mind is at rest, when it ceases to be disturbed or agitated. The sea is never at rest! (And many believers live their lives more like the sea than their Savior!)

I am a firm believer that many of us do not rest in the body or mind properly. We have so many things to do and “not enough hours in the day” (not true–God made the hours we need–we have to manage the things we PACK those hours with) that we get anxious, frustrated, nervous, upset, angry, depressed, or any combination thereof when we do not get everything on the list done. Then we lie in bed mentally replaying the list and berating ourselves as we attempt to get the schedule right in our minds for the next day. The stress of trying to get it all done keeps us awake, has us taking sleep aids and medication to try and rest for short periods and using artificial stimulents to stay awake. We have to break this cycle, BCUFam! I know it seems impossible, but with God ALL things are possible!

PRAY–Above all things, we need to go to Jesus in prayer. As much as possible, this NEEDS to happen at the START of your day. Our time with Jesus need not be two hours if that’s not possible, but quality, quiet time in prayer and reading the Word will help to frame your day for success.  David said, “O God, thou are my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirstest for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.” (Psalm 63:1). The more we thirst for God, the more want and need to get into his presence. Also, Proverbs 16:19 says commit your works to the Lord and He will establish your thoughts. If we are asking God to help our thought process, He will regulate our minds for the day, which brings us to the next point.

VAYA CON DIOS (Go with God)–meaning as we go about our day, we should be asking God what need to do. Sure we know we need to go to work, drop off the kids, do housework, run errands, et cetera, but Proverbs 3:6 says, in ALL YOUR ways acknowledge Him (The Lord), and He shall direct your paths. Maybe the path we take to get to work or the direction God wants us to go is different from what we normally do and for His purpose and glory.

A few months ago, I really wanted to go to a particular restaurant for dinner, but the Lord put it my mind to go to a different eatery. Thankfully, in being obedient and following the Lord’s directed path, I ran into a dear sister whom I haven’t seen in years! It was wonderful to fellowship and actually pray with her on a few things she was waiting on the Lord for. In another instance in following God’s instructions for the day, I bumped one of my elderly friends who had been on my mind, but had lost contact with. What does this have to do with resting you ask? When following God’s will, some things on our to-do list just WILL NOT GET DONE, and we need to rest in that. While it would have been “easier” to go where I wanted to, in doing what God said, His plans became mine—and I was rested in my heart and mind that I was in His perfect will for the day.

Speaking of heart and mind  it is tantamount to our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health to ensure we are adequately rested here. Let’s go to the Word about that.

Jesus said, come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30). Now this is an invitation we want to take Jesus up! He wants to take on our heavy loads while He gives us the light load–the thing is we have to go to Jesus and leave every burden there. Why needlessly continue to be restless in your heart and mind when our good Father wants to take care of us?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the storm comes: peace or panic?

Hey there BCU Family!

Typically, you have the option of listening to our podcast, reading the notes or both. For this post, because of the informal format, please tune into the podcast recording and refer to the written post for the highlights. We pray the post blesses and encourages you. If so, please thumbs up AND leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

Podcast highlights:

  • No matter where we live in the world, at some point we will experience a storm (i.e. rain, snow, wind..)
  • Depending on the type of storm and our preparedness or attitude about it–they can produce a feeling of peace or rest. OR they can invoke waves of emotions such as anxiety, worry, fear or nervousness.
  • Similarly, at some point/points in our lives, we will experience a/storm/s. And we either rest in the peace of God, or be tormented in our minds with anxiety.
  • Even in the stormiest and scariest storms in our lives, Jesus is with us and wants us to have His peace.

Scripture references:

Mark 4:35-41

35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.

36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.

37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.

38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.       (1 Peter 5:10).

I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Hebrews 13:5 b).



So what are your thoughts on our topic-du-jour? What is your go-to behavior when the storm clouds rise and the ship is full of water? Do you immediately go to fretting? Or take the storm to our mighty God? A bit of both? Please head to the comments section below and let’s chat some more!

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Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU