Wednesday, June 17, 2015

One Thing We Never Allow Ourselves To Do But Need To Do

"And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation."  Genesis 2: 2-3

I am a doer.  I always have been.  I actually find enjoyment in working and getting things accomplished.  I enjoy setting goals and reaching them.  I enjoy writing To-Do lists and I find even more enjoyment out of checking things off my To-Do lists!  I enjoy having a big project, big event, or big anything in front of me and working step by step to get everything done that needs to get done.  It just feels good.  I find great joy in it especially if I'm serving others in the process.
You Want Me To Do What?
But ten weeks ago, God showed me something that I never allow myself to do but need to do...REST! 
"I sleep at night, God.  Isn't that resting enough?" 
"No, it's not." He said...loud and clear!
It was then that He asked me to do something that He has never asked me to do in my 41 years of life...take a Sabbath and rest every Sunday. 
Are you ready for my honest reaction?  Panic...sheer panic.
"WHAT?  You want me to do what?  God, please don't make me do that!  Sunday is a day I can get so much done.  My husband is home, and I am able to check so many things off my checklist!  I have a book drive coming up that I need every minute to plan for.  Please, please, please don't make me give up such a productive day!"
Once again, His words were loud and clear, but very loving:  "You need to rest, My child.  You need to pray...listen to quiet.  Rest every Sunday.  You're working too much...too hard...all day...every day.  Just stop.  Spend time with Me.  Listen.  Read.  I have things to share with you.  I love you."
I Surrender...
Sigh..."You really know how to make a girl listen, God." 
And obediently yet reluctantly, that very Sunday...ten weeks ago, I followed the Lord and rested.  I shut off my computer.  I didn't check my phone.  I didn't look at my emails.  I didn't get on facebook.  I didn't blog.  I didn't check anything off my To-Do list.  I didn't post anything or plan anything.  I didn't do anything...well nothing work-related, that is. 
I spent undivided time with my family, and I even took a nap when the kids had quiet time--which I never do anymore.  After the kids went to bed that night, I read the bible for two hours and started a new prayer journal so I could write down everything that the Lord wanted to share with me throughout the day.  
God is Always Right... 
I quickly realized that God was right.  Duh! I don't know why I ever question Him! Taking this day to rest was really good for me.  I actually enjoyed my day more than I thought I would.  And I was surprised that I got more done throughout the rest of the week too! 

Now?  I look forward to my day of rest. 

I almost get giddy when I shut my computer down on Saturday nights and completely ignore my phone on Sundays which has now become the best day of my week.
And God has used each Sunday to talk to me and share with me about all the ways He is working in my life.  I've written page after page of His words of wisdom, bible verses, questions He wants me to ask myself, and ways that He is calling me to grow.  These last ten weeks have been challenging and eye-opening and yet full of much fruit and growth. 

My walk with the Lord has deepened to a whole new level, and my life feels less busy. 

Even though I've completely taken out a day of doing, I still accomplish everything I need to get done and sometimes more!  That's just what happens when we listen to God, right?
So now, let me ask you...
  • Do you feel busy, tired, overwhelmed or on-the-go?
  • Are you allowing yourself to rest? 
  • Do you unplug from technology once in a while?
  • Do you take time for yourself?
  • Do you take a nap?
  • Do you sit and read a book?
  • Do you allow yourself extended quiet time?
  • Do you take a whole day to do nothing but spend time with your family?
  • Do you find undivided time to pray and to listen to God?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you're doing better than I was, so keep it up.  But can you answer yes to all of these questions? 
I of ten weeks ago.  And I want you to be able to do the same in your life! 

Don't Resist... 
If you're thinking no way, no how, not ever would I be able to give up a day of the week to rest (like I did), then that's a great indication that you need to take a Sabbath too!  Sorry, but it's true!  The more you don't think you need one and the more you think you need that day to get things done, the more you need to take that day off and rest!  I promise.  You won't regret it! 
You'll be more productive...more in-tuned to the Holy Spirit...more fulfilled...more well-rested...and more joyful. 
Trust me, I know it sounds impossible to give up a day of doing.  I know it may feel like laziness to allow yourself a day to rest (admittedly, sometimes I do feel a little antsy on Sundays), but we all need rest.  Even when we are spending our time doing good things for others, we can overdo ourselves. 

We can fill up our time with too much doing and not enough being---being still...being quiet...being in His presence. 

We all need to be still for a moment in this busy world.  We all need to fill ourselves with more of God's word and truth and love and peace.  We all need to stop kidding ourselves that we can keep up with this fast-paced, hurried, rushed, go-go-go life.  God has something to say to all of us...He has something to say to you!  Stop and listen.  God wants to spend time with you.  Stop and praise Him.  God wants you to enjoy His wonderful creations.  Stop, look around, and enjoy your surroundings.  God wants your soul to be restored.  Stop and pray for His healing touch.  God wants your body to be refreshed.  Stop and just rest. 

Stop what you're doing and rest, but be prepared for your life to change! 
And finally, if I haven't convinced you by this point, I figured if God himself needed to rest on the seventh day, who am I to think that I don't need to do the same?  Right?
What would taking a Sabbath mean to you?  Would it be easy for you or difficult?  How would your life be different if you took a day each week to rest?
Lord, thank you for reminding us about the importance of rest.  Each week, help us to stop and give a day to You.  Bless the time that we allow ourselves to be quiet.  Speak to us clearly.  Refresh our souls!  Shine your light into our need to do and allow us to just be in Your glorious presence!   In Jesus' name.  Amen. 

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