Have you ever considered the simple truth that all you have to offer is YOU? If that is true, what are you offering? Is what you offer to those around you full of exhaustion and anxiety, or are you serving up your best?
FOUR THINGS TO CONSIDER
1) Rest in the right order.
How many of us always thought our day started in the morning? Let’s take a look at the creation story, as we see how God began each day in the evening, not the morning.
When God created the days, we find these words in Genesis: “So the evening and the morning were the first day” (Genesis 1:5 NKJV).
This pattern repeats as God continues to create on each successive day. “So the evening and the morning were the second day” (Genesis 1:8 NKJV).
As we see here, your day does not begin when you get up. It starts when you go to sleep. Rest begins your new day, not coffee.
God began each day in the evening, not the morning. So should we.
2) Rest in the right rhythm.
Mother Theresa said, “To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it.” Resting is more than just a matter of convenience; it is a matter of obedience. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. (Exodus 20:8-9)
However, to obey God in rest, we have to repent of people-pleasing! There is no rest without repentance. Repentance is simply changing your mind to follow God’s plan for you instead of people’s plans for you.
There are three fundamental ways people express their plans for you. Each of these levels has an increasing intensity and will require a higher level of assertiveness in your response.
LEVEL 1 – DESIRE: This is when people have the desire for you to do something or be at something. You can look at this as “wow, that’s nice they want me to be involved.” They give you room to say yes or no, and if you say no, they won’t get mad.
LEVEL 2 – EXPECTATION: At this level, people expect you to do things they think should be done. If you say no, they get mad. But just remember, to say yes to the right things, you will need to say no to the wrong things.
LEVEL 3 – DEMAND: Sometimes, people forcibly try to make you do something that will take you outside of the will of God. Demanding people are dangerous people, especially when it comes to spiritual matters. Limit your exposure to these types of people, and be prepared to set up healthy and firm boundaries.
Confession: Over the years, I have allowed expectations from people in my life to override God’s plan for rest. Let me invite you to join me in saying, as of today that ends.
3) Rest allows for physical recovery.
You need rest to be at your best because rest allows time for God to restore your passion. Self-care also fuels creativity. God rests first, then He works, and it’s a beautiful model to follow.
The Bible teaches that those who do not work are lazy. However, the Bible says that those who do not rest are disobedient.
4) Rest allows your soul to catch up with you.
Over the summer, I went on a month-long sabbatical where I disconnected from social media, the phone, email, and daily tasks that compete for my attention. Slowly as I let go of work, my soul began to catch up, and refreshment and happiness filled my heart. A key component to rest is contentment. It was so good for my soul to spend uninterrupted time with my family finding contentment in the simple things.
Contentment is being satisfied with what you already have.
As we learn in Ecclesiastes 3, there is a “time for everything,” and the sabbatical proved to be my time for a soul revival and refreshing. I’ve noticed that the first place people tend to cut is self-care because it seems like an unnecessary luxury. But we can see above that sacrificing rest is not God’s desire or command for us. So if you are looking for a breakthrough, you may need to take a break.
TRUTH: GOD REVEALS HIMSELF IN OUR REST
So which one of these everyday tasks do you need to reassess to be at your best?
- Sleeping enough
- Eating well
- Exercising regularly
- Connecting with people we love
- Engaging with meaningful hobbies
- Making time for personal reflection
If you’re unsure what you need to adjust, spend time with your Heavenly Father and ask Him. Remember, it is NOT selfish to rest. You are all you have to offer, which should be your best, and that can only happen if you rest.