Release from Self-condemnation

Devotions for those who are weary of feeling not good enough, regardless of the source of those feelings.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Discipline of Rest

Week 4  Obey and Submit

Day 23 

Submit to the Discipline of Rest

Via, Veritas, Vita is Latin for Christ’s description of Himself as The Way, The Truth, and The Life. No other food satisfies so well, no other pain relief is so effective, and no other rest is as complete;
Jesus is our way, our truth, and our life.  


leep is much touted as a cure-all for the exhaustion of overwork and stress, but there is another kind of rest that is even more important. People have forgotten how to be still. The kind of rest that occurs when our bodies are quiet but our minds are awake and focused on the Lord provides physical, mental, and spiritual rejuvenation.

We tend to think of rest as relaxation, but resting in the Lord is an active state that requires focus and yes, determination. Scripture portrays rest as a command from God that requires action on our part; we must enter in (Hebrews 3:7-4:13). The imagery is not that of sinking into a comfortable chair, but is more like walking through a doorway. 

We treat the idea of rest as though its purpose is to distract us from the burdens we carry, but God’s rest is a location, not a distraction. In God’s resting place we are asked to leave our burdens outside the door. We exchange our hearts’ perspectives for God’s perspective.  

The great deterrent to entering God's rest is unbelief. Thus, if we are to enter into His rest, the discipline required of us is a valiant struggle against unbelief. The opposite of unbelief is trust; have we entrusted the future into His hands? Do we believe His promises are good? Are we willing to bank not only our own welfare but also that of our loved ones on the facts of His goodness and love? The ability to answer a heartfelt "Yes, Lord" to these questions is the requisite for entering God's rest. 

Most of us hesitate to answer God’s call if we believe we will suffer lack of sleep as a result. We must trust our God, who knows what we need and is able to provide a more complete rest than sleep if we will only come unto Him. It seems counterintuitive that entering into His rest sometimes requires leaving a comfortable bed earlier than we would like or even in the middle of the night, but our Lord knows what we need physically, spiritually, and mentally, and desires to provide us the rejuvenation that comes only through prayer. We must each find a quiet place to be still before the Lord. 

Pray:   Lord, please forgive me when I don’t find a quiet place to focus upon you apart from the pressures of the day. Please teach me to be still before You, and help me to answer your call when you say, “Come unto Me.” Change my beliefs, nurtured by the world’s wisdom, that sleep is the most important rest of all; I acknowledge that the rest I can’t do without is the rest I find in You. I entrust my own welfare and that of those I love into Your hands.  Amen.


Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.”
Mark 6:31 NLT

 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
Mark 1:35

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