Saturday, 28 November 2009


What is it? A change is as good as a rest – or is it?
1. Cessation of work, exertion, or activity.
2. Peace, ease, or refreshment resulting from sleep or the cessation of an activity.
3. Sleep or quiet relaxation.
4. Relief or freedom from disquiet or disturbance.
5. Mental or emotional tranquillity.

Remember to take time
Ease off, ease down,
Turn to tranquility
This seems to be a progression.

How do we rest?

1.Remember to take time, Remember God’s goodness: Time and again the Bible tells us to rest one day a week. This is not about being ‘religious’ – it’s for our health!
eg Exodus 35:2
For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD.
Yes but how? Deliberately choose NOT to do things on the ‘to do’ list, try to get chores done on other days, ease off on the email or texting…Choose to spend the time with God. Sometimes I’m too wound up to be able to collapse in my chair with the Bible or a ‘good book’ – but I can go for a walk, put a praise tape on and dance round the kitchen, even start speaking out loud to God.

Psalm 33
1 Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
2 Praise the LORD with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
3 Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.
4 For the word of the LORD is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
5 The LORD loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.

Or, in The Message:
Good people, cheer God! Right-living people sound best when praising.
Use guitars to reinforce your Hallelujahs!
Play his praise on a grand piano!
Invent your own new song to him;
give him a trumpet fanfare.
For GOD's Word is solid to the core;
everything he makes is sound inside and out.
He loves it when everything fits,
when his world is in plumb-line true.
Earth is drenched
in GOD's affectionate satisfaction.

We can rest when we know we are 'in true' with God.

2.Ease off, ease down,

2 Samuel 7 God gave David rest from his enemies, Deuteronomy 25:19
‘When the LORD your God gives you rest from all the enemies around you in the land he is giving you to possess as an inheritance’ The Israelites received rest from their enemies, we can trust God that he too will give us rest from our enemies.

Who or what are our ‘enemies’?
I venture to suggest that these can be things and people which rob us of our relationship with God. Identify them. Demanding children or parents? Demanding colleagues? Demanding friends? A demanding self, giving ourselves an impossible ‘to do list’ or even a ‘do it perfectly’ list. It’s hard, but possible, to say ‘no’ from time to time. Some of the things we do we don’t need to do. ‘It’s as good as it gets’ is a useful phrase.

3. Stop

Psalm 16
7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me. 8 I have set the LORD always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,

10 because you will not abandon me to the grave, [c]
nor will you let your Holy One [d] see decay.
11 You have made [e] known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand

When I am stressed and over busy, the first thing to suffer – apart from my temper – is my sleep. My mind starts churning and, even when I am not consciously worrying over something like a dog with a bone, there is still so much churning around subconsciously that I stay awake.
Sometimes, it is only by repeating the words of Scripture over and over again that I can actually slow myself down enough:

Psalm 33 again: this puts my life in perspective as I look to God and who HE is and that my plans and purposes will only come about in HIS will:

10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
13 From heaven the LORD looks down
and sees all mankind;
14 from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth-
15 he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.
16 No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
20 We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD,
even as we put our hope in you.

4.Turn to tranquillity

Psalm 91

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. [a]
2 I will say [b] of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."

Psalm 116:6-8 (New International Version)
6 The LORD protects the simplehearted;
when I was in great need, he saved me.
7 Be at rest once more, O my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you.
8 For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,

So REST in God and HIS purposes. Find God’s good way. Jeremiah 6:16
This is what the LORD says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 11:28-30 (New International Version)
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

For more inspiration, look at Lisa Notes post...

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