Day 31: True Rest – the Beginning to Never Needing

fall roadThe month of October has sped by and I feel like I’ve barely touched on the topic of rest. I think I was hoping to uncover some secret to feeling at rest, but instead, I ended up frazzled and stretched throughout the whole month.

Much like I wrote in the very first post for this series, Called to Rest, I long for the break. In this case, the end of the month. Here’s what I said 31 days ago:

We spend so much of our lives striving for something. We work to fit in with peers, we fill our calendars with events, we climb the corporate ladder…But how many of us, when the day is done and the party is over and we’re finally alone in our homes, are just plain worn out? We kick off our shoes and get into some comfy sweats and sigh deeply. We long for the weekends, vacation, a holiday or just a day off, but even then we fill those to the brim, finally exclaiming, “I need a vacation from my vacation!”

I’m starting to wonder if we really ever do feel at rest, completely rested in this life. The success of that involves us totally surrendering our lives and schedules, hopes and dreams on the Lord. But since my sinful heart continually fights to grasp at control of my life, it only comes in bits and spurts. Moments of peace, seconds of rest. A Sabbath here and there.

It’s good to want the rest, but it becomes tarnished when rest becomes an idol consuming our days.

The reward may not be in the resting after all. The goal may be the One in whom we rest. That desire we all have for rest may be a longing for Heaven and home with God.

And it keeps me wanting
That mysterious thing
Like a night is waiting for a dawn

The joy is in the waiting
Somewhere in the grand design
It’s good to be unsatisfied
It keeps the faith and hope
A little more alive

This is such a fun song with which to close out the month, from my Canadian friends again.

Every prayer I say (a little closer)
To my resting place (a little closer)
Where my final breath
Is the beginning
To never needing
And I will find my last Amen.

Doesn’t that sound like true rest – the beginning to never needing? Total, 100% surrender to God, trusting him absolutely?

Rest indeed.

Until we reach that last Amen of true rest, continue to give up those bits of crazy in your life to find glimpses of rest. Keep reminding each other to surrender control, to trust God, and to rest in Him. Encourage “one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” — Hebrews 3:13

If you want to a little further reading on rest, take a look at Hebrews 3-4, comparing the Israelites who were not allowed to enter God’s rest with those who believe and are allowed to enter His rest.

Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts…

Thank you for journeying with me through 31 Days of Rest. I pray that you find that true rest.

Day 25: Truth to Rest Upon

Yesterday, I let you peek inside a dark corner of my heart. And thank you to everyone who commented, both on the blog and off.

Secret Garden

What was purposefully missing was the wrap up. The promises. The blessings. The hope. And I was so encouraged that so many of the comments brought those to light.

God is always with us. He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us.

Everyone feels alone at some time. Our sin which separates us from God, also separates us from each other.

Comparing ourselves to others comes from hearts prone to sin. Hearts that are deceitful and don’t tell us the truth.

There is grace for when we fail others. There is grace when we fail ourselves. There is grace when we fail God.

Light inside the garden

These are truths to rest upon.

What other truths of God do you need to rest on right now?

Today is day 25 of 31 Days of Rest. If you missed any days, click here to go back to the beginning.

Day 13: Rest from Idolatry to Worship

Ps_122_glad

Has your soul felt rest today?

It was wonderful to be in Karis Church worshiping the Lord with my brothers and sisters.

The sermon focused on idolatry (Exodus 32:1-33:6), which tied in well with my post from yesterday about cracked pedestals. The gist of the sermon was roughly this:  like the gold-powdered water that Moses made the Israelites drink in that passage, idolatry leaves us with a bitter taste. But Jesus calls us away from idolatry to worship.

There were a lot of great points, which, unfortunately, I couldn’t get down fast enough, but I did note one quote from Tim Keller:

Fear-based repentance makes us hate ourselves.  Joy-based repentance makes us hate our sin.

Cool stuff, eh? I highly encourage you to listen to the sermon, by a Karis Church deacon, Billy Glosson. You can either listen online or download the mp3.

How have you been learning to rest this month?

Ps_84_lovely_dwelling_place

Today is Day 13 of 31 Days of Rest.

Day 6: Rest in the Beauty of Creation

Sometimes rest is found by dwelling on beautiful things. For this Sunday, I want to share some of the gorgeous scenery I used to live in, near, and around.

Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, from Shenandoah Valley:

Photo credit: Hamiltonl at en.wikipedia (Creative Commons)

Fall foliage along the Blue Ridge Parkway:

Photo credit: abi.bhattachan via flickr (Creative Commons)

Why the North Carolina/Virginia/West Virginia mountains are called the Blue Ridge Mountains:

Photo credit: BlueRidgeKitties via flickr (Creative Commons)

As I pulled these photos, I was reminded of Psalm 1 and it seems fitting to rest on these words:

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

See how that ties in with these beautiful images? The man or woman, whose delight is in the Lord, will be like a tree, yielding fruit in season and not withering, walking uprightly and meditating on the law of God continually.

Rest in this today.

31Days_Rest_thumb ←Click to find links to each day in the series.

I’m only one of 1500+ blogs participating in the Nester’s 31 Day Blog Challenge. Stop by to read some other great posts.

Day 5: Sabbath Rest

Sabbath

I had the amazing opportunity to go to Israel in 1996 with my Mom and, like, 998 other people – we were part of a 1,000 voice choir singing in various historic places around Jerusalem as part of the 3000 anniversary of Jerusalem being named the capital of Israel by King David. NBD. Okay, it was awesome.

One of the minor details that stuck with me was the bank of elevators in our hotel. It was a huge hotel with four towers of rooms, and I think I remember 8 elevators in the main wing. But one elevator was labeled a Shabbat elevator, with a note that indicated it would stop at every floor during Shabbat. Shabbat is the Hebrew word for Sabbath.

What this meant is that during the hours of Sabbath, the elevator would automatically stop for each floor, so that an Orthodox Jew observing Shabbat would not have to push a button, which could be considered work (or the using of electricity could create a tiny spark which is the equivalent of kindling a fire or the electricity could close a circuit as equal to building something), which is not allowed during Shabbat.

Now, I don’t say all this to go into debate about whether or not an elevator should be used. But one reason the elevator stuck in my mind is because the Jewish people remember the command. They observe Sabbath – a ceasing of work, a remembering, a resting.

I was really excited to find out that Aarik Danielsen will be preaching this Sunday on the Sabbath, not the verse from the 10 Commandments, but later on, Exodus 31:12-18.

12 And the Lord said to Moses, 13 “You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you. 14 You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you. Everyone who profanes it shall be put to death. Whoever does any work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. 16 Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever. 17 It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’”

18 And he gave to Moses, when he had finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.

Now I want to be honest and say that when I first planned out this series on rest, I did not even think about the Sabbath. But this passage clearly indicates a day of solemn rest that is holy to the Lord.

I know Aarik has put hours of study into preparing for Sunday’s sermon, part of our Set Free series in Karis Church, so I’m not even going to go further with this post. I just wanted you to start thinking about the Sabbath and rest, as I did when I heard about the sermon. I’ll have a follow-up post where I share some things I learned and link to the audio from the sermon.

Praying you have a restful Sunday.
Blessings.

31Days_Rest_thumb ←Click to find links to each day in the series.

I’m one of 1500+ blogs participating in the Nester’s 31 Day Blog Challenge.

Day 20: When Fighting Unbelief

Indelible Grace Music has retuned an old Isaac Watts hymn. We’ll be singing it at Karis tomorrow morning. I love when a song can be sung as a cry from the heart to the Lord.

This is just a sampling of the lyrics, some of my favorite lines.  The lyrics seem to range from every high and low:  from obedience, to unbelief, to acknowledging unworthiness, to hearing the call and, finally, to answering with ringing confidence in Christ. Whew! Powerful words, Mr. Watts. (more…)

Day 10: When You Need To Come Clean

A few months ago, I found myself alone on a Saturday night with nothing to do and a free preview of premium movie channels on TV. Tom and I take advantage of those free preview weekends to record movies that we missed in the theaters or favorites that we haven’t seen in a while.

uncover your eyes, it's all a lie

(Photo credit: stars alive)

But on this lonely Saturday, I watched a film that I originally wanted to see when it showed at our local theater. Reviews that made the plot sound a little too dark for my preference stopped me from seeing it. Turns out, the movie was disturbing. At one point, I asked myself why I was watching it (because a lot of friends had said it was so good). Later in the movie, I actually put my hand up to block the screen from my view, like I did as a child during a scary scene (tell me I’m not the only one who did does that). (more…)

Day 9: When You Need God (and when don’t we?)

I love the retuned or rehymned movement going on now, where an old hymn gets revived with a new melody. By far, my favorites come from Indelible Grace and this recent find off the live The Hymn Sing album became an immediate favorite.

The old hymn, “I Need Thee Every Hour,” has such powerful words that fit so many of us.

Sing it peacefully; sing it pleadingly. Shout it in anguish; whisper it when near despair. It’s a confident statement of faith; and it’s a desperate cry for help. (more…)

Day 8: When You Cannot Find The Words

Today, I find my heart is distressed. I cannot do anything but cry out to God. What better cry than some of the prayers given to us from God, through men who loved him. If this resonates with you, pray these prayers with me today.

Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.
I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
For you, God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.  Psalm 61:1-5 (more…)

  • Hi, I'm Janice. I'm part bookworm and part creative. I love both science and music (and the science of music). I'm stumbling around trying to grow closer to God. Click the photo to read more about me.

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