So, I know that might seem like a rather odd question considering the fact that most people consider sleep as a period of rest, which i agree in no doubt it is but I recently became aware of the concept of ”intentional rest”. Now, what does that even mean?! To rest with intentionality.
This is a concept that I considered foreign until quite recently when I realised I was becoming so consumed by a very busy schedule that it started affecting my physical and emotional health. So, I decided to take a break from Instant Messaging in order to prioritize my activtities in my life to the most optimal arrangement to improve this and get some rest. But guess what, I realised I wasn’t resting right.
Okay, okay…before you start wondering what the big deal is about resting and why am going on and on about it, let me share a few things I learnt in the last couple of weeks. The 3 Ws
- We were deigned to rest. This might seem like a very obvious fact but its something not many of us pause to think about in the middle of our very busy schedules. I believe its safe to infer that if the creator took a whole day to rest then the created was also designed to rest also after hard work. This requirement is highlighted so perfectly in Mark 2:27, which says: ”The Sabbath was made on account and for the sake of man, not man for the Sabbath”
- Rest is an exercise of faith and obedience.
…For those earlier ones never did get to the place of rest because they were disobedient….Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience – Hebrews 4:6;11 (NKJV)
Hmmm..interesting right?! It would surprise you to know as it surprised me that for us, rest is practically mandatory and is done from a place of faith in the one who we believe has everything under control. It is impossible to rest if one’s mind is fully preocccupied with all the cares and worries of our lives but the ability to fully truly trust that everything works together for our good can only come through faith.
For he who has once entered [God’s] rest also has ceased from [the weariness and pain] of human labors, just as God rested from those labors peculiarly his own – Hebrews 4:10(AMP)
True rest then can be considered an act of worship because it allows us to fully surrender our will to His.
- How often must we rest? Daily. Yeah, you read right…we are to enjoy some moments of true rest daily. I don’t mean to sleep but a consciousness of taking a couple of minutes a day to rest in His embrace. To forget the worries of this world – our tight schedules, the demands to be a good friend, employer, employee, employer, child, mother, father, boyfriend, girlfriend – and truly rest as the ‘created’ in the arms of the ‘creator’
Again, He sets a definite day, [a new] Today, [and gives another opportunity of securing that rest] saying through David after so long a time in the words already quoted, Today, if you would hear His voice and when you hear it, do not harden your hearts – Hebrews 4:7 (AMP)
So seize the moment TODAY if its in some quiet meditation with a book, a song or in your own bubble in a noisy environment. Whatever works for you as long as you are able to spend a few minutes resting in the assurance of his promises and what lies in store for you. The works were finished from the beginning of time
…On the 7th day, God rested from ALL his works…Hebrews 4:4(NKJV)
We are all trying to make that meeting, beat that deadline, keep up with lightening pace of things but let us not get so accustomed to being busy that we believe in the strength of our works alone. I recently read in a devotional plan, in my Bible app, titled: The Lies of Busyness
‘Busyness by itself isn’t wrong but busyness requires intention…The prayer is that in our pursuit of life, we do not busy ourselves in vain but in alignment to God’w will and with intention’
I believe the only way to remain ‘busy with focus’ is to take a few minutes each day to REST. Heather Lindsey put it so perfectly in the image below:
Ref: Hebrews 4:1-8; Mark 2:27; Matthew 11:28; Psalm 39:6