Friday, November 15, 2019

Ten Biblical Reasons for Rest and Relaxation: Part 1

Like the majority of people who are blessed to experience a change of seasons, for the past month my husband and I have been actively preparing our home and yard for winter.  Okay “preparing” … just how active is probably a matter of opinion, but we’re moving!

With hubby being sick since April and then ending up in the hospital things sort of got away from us.  He’s doing much better; thank you for all your prayers and support.

Meanwhile, there is always something to do with no slacking off if we are to beat the cold weather in getting things done.  The potting shed is jam packed with plants, heat lights on and Jasmine (my beautiful bush) is still looking great in her winter home.

Replacing some of the plants we lost from the flooding and storms of 2017, the yard is starting to recover.   There’s still a lot of debris from trees that are taking time to clean-up, because there was so much of it.  In addition, we needed to make adjustments for the items that are too large to winter over in the shed this year. 

It would have been easy to get stressed out, but I purpose in my heart not to let material things rule over me.  Instead I prayed asking the Lord for a few more warm days and He granted my heart’s desire.

Perhaps not everything will be done as I hoped, but that’s alright.  What I’ve learned from experience is that although getting things crossed off my honey-do list may be important, it’s not worth sacrificing relationships or my health.

What’s more, not taking time to rest goes against God.  You read that right; God rested and so should we.  It was a habit that He initiated from the very beginning.  Some habits need to be kicked, but this one wasn’t supposed to be broken – ever!

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Penciling It In

To set your mind at “rest”, I totally get it.  Finding time for a few days off may be difficult, but what about one single day or even a couple of hours for a mini-staycation?  Surely that’s doable.

It finally came down to me actually scheduling in a time (writing it on my calendar) of not working so I can give my full attention to my husband or other things.  The trick is not to fool yourself that those days are okay for catch-up, when in fact they are blocked off for something else already.

In order for this to happen there are days when I work longer.  For me anyway, that’s what I need to do to be away from the office for an extended period and hubby understands that (for the most part). 

If you haven’t tried scheduling in rest days, get in the habit of it.  When you see it visually penciled in on the calendar (not in your head to remember to “not” work), your mindset changes and eventually so will your habits.    It’s amazing how the pressure valve is slowly released knowing rest is coming shortly.

Are You Breaking God’s Law for Health?

You may wonder why I schedule a “no schedule” work time anyway, besides the obvious being tired bit there are other reasons.  

Literally scheduling no work seems crazy, but it’s something I had to force myself to do in order to be obedient to God in receiving any blessings.  Not taking time to rest was breaking God’s law for heath, so I had to do it.  You need to also!

When we’re tired, weary, run down and overworked we can’t hear from the Lord because of exhaustion.   Trying to stick with it sometimes is foolish, and we wind up making a ton of mistakes that we wouldn’t have if only we took time to rest.

You can read all sorts of articles, leaflets and information on why the human body needs to rest physically and mentally, but I’ll let Jesus answer that with these biblical reasons.  This week we’ll be discussing five of them.

Ten Biblical Reasons for Rest & Relaxation 
(aka Vacationing)

Reason 1 – Jesus taught the importance of getting away from work (even ministry). 

Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” (from Mark 6:31 NLT)

At that particular time, He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and His apostles didn't even have time to eat.  Not finding time to eat because of busyness is something people can relate to, especially if they’re working long hours to get money for food they don’t have!

However, the Lord reminded His Disciples that a time of rest was needed on a regular basis and certainly demonstrated this through His behavior.  Throughout the gospels we read how Jesus went off to be alone so that He could pray, meditate, hear from the Heavenly Father and yes, rest!

Do you recall the time the Lord was sleeping on a boat during the middle of a storm in the gospel of Mark?

"Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with His head on a cushion, The Disciples woke Him up, shouting, Teacher, don't You care that we're going to drown?" (Mark 4:38 NLT)

He caught “wind” for that from the Disciples when they accused Him of not caring about them, when all He was doing was getting a little shut-eye!  Honestly, didn’t they think He needed a break from their constant questions or badgering about things they didn’t understand?

Jesus understood and followed the creation day of rest law with quiet time.  He wasn’t necessarily exhausted each time, but kept the habit of rest to stay on top of His calling. 

When we feel drained of energy it’s hard to remain focused on any task.  Something always needs replenishing whether it’s the body, soul or mind.

Reason 2 – Rest builds faith and trust in our Creator. 

“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 
(1 Peter 5:7 NKJV)

When we learn to put our faith and trust in the Lord, we can rest knowing that He cares for all of us … meaning all that pertains to us besides the spiritual side, including our physical and emotional needs.

You can rest knowing Jesus is tending to the things that were preying on your mind.  He’s got things under control, so stop trying to take back what He obviously can handle.  By faith, let biblical trust do the work and go rest.

Reason 3 – Rest forces humility.

“When you act with presumption, convinced that you’re right, 
don’t be surprised if you fall flat on your face! But walking in humility
helps you to make wise decisions.” (Proverbs 11:2 TPT)

Sometimes the reason people refuse to take time to rest is because of pride. They feel no one can do the job like they can and take on the attitude of “the place will fall apart without me”. 

Confession - “Did that, thought that, lived that attitude! … I was wrong!”

I’m not a bubble popper usually, but in this case here goes the pin – “Life will go on whether you are there or not, so get some rest!”

It’s time to trade in the pride card and take on being humble; admit the fact that you are not the motor that keeps the engine running at work.  You, like everyone else, are “parts” to a whole that make up a terrific group of people who are all important to God.

Reason 4 – Rest makes us more valuable.

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men
knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24 NKJV)

Something I learned from one of my bosses is the value of those around you.  Shara made sure that the schedule of her staff included workshops that cultivated fun, relaxation and peaceful times away from the place of business.  Activities were geared toward things we enjoyed, not necessarily things that were class related. 

This astute business woman also paid for college classes for those who wanted to extend their education, knowing that one day they would probably leave.  She welcomed the reality that “this is a stepping stone” for most.  Her kindness resulted in people wanting to do better and excel at what they did.

Not everyone understood why our boss would want to do this for others, but I did.  This is a gift from the Lord concerning how mankind will treat those who obey His commands. 

"... Don't forget My law,
... keep My commands so mercy and truth don't forsake you;
then favor and high esteem will find you
in the sight of God and man."
(from Proverbs 3:1-4 emphasis mine)

I gladly received her favor and generosity.  In turn I was able to advance in my academic degrees, and it caused my teaching strategies to improve productivity in the classroom. 

This resulted in me being awarded the status State Teacher of the Year in my field(s).  Consequently, the school also rose to new levels in the community.  All because of a wise administrator who placed value in people over things.

Shara encouraged me to take an extra day to enjoy time in Lake George and looked forward to hearing the details of the respite … so did my kids!  They were surprised to learn about the things “teachers do” outside of the classroom.

I returned to work rested, excited and full of new ideas (and stories).  In the end, I became a better steward for Christ and my testimony was more visible to those around me.  Proper rest allows you to give God and others your very best!

Reason 5 – Rest releases the stress valve.

“Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary)
of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received
(as a grace gift of favor through salvation) from God?  
You are not your own.” (1 Corinthians 6:19 AMPC)

It's no secret that people "stress out" over practically everything these days. Society doesn't understand that stress is a sign of fear.  Maybe we don't either.

Did you realize that rest is actually a weapon given to us by God to defeat the devil?  Failing to take up our weapon pleases satan, because it keeps our mind occupied focusing on the wrong things.

When we become anxious from situations or circumstances it shows that our faith is wavering, because ... if we are to be honest with ourselves, we aren't really resting in the Lord as He said.  According to 1 John 4:18, if fear is involved it causes torment and has the ability to steal our faith.

Once stress moves in to our thinking it isn't long before it tries to take over the entire body.  The Bible says that the Christian body is the temple (house - place to live) of the Holy Spirit.  If stress is overtaking every room of the house, where is there room for the Spirit of God to move?

Long term anxiety or stress is the activator of premature aging, ulcers, sleeplessness, colitis, heart issues and the list can go on in how it affects the overall health of an individual.  God knew that about the human body and this is why it's vital to be free of as much stress (if not all of it) on a regular basis.

Having a need to rest isn't shirking responsibilities or trying to run away from a problem.  Stepping back from a situation helps clear the mind.  In a way it's like releasing that "valve" so you can make sense out of things.

After a little time away from the daily "grind" our perspective usually changes allowing us to see the situation in a different light.  With a rested body and mind the Holy Spirit can work in us, because we have already cast our cares on the Lord.

This Week's Challenge:
Plan a vacation or staycation.

Turn off the stress switch!  Take a deep breath and do it right now by faith.  Go ahead and "pencil" in actual days for time off to rest - literal rest! This is important.

Put it in your phone, on your computer, calendar(s), day planner ... wherever you jot down things you want to do or remember.

Remind yourself that Jesus taught on the importance of getting away from work.  Besides, usually these things aren't eternal, and if it is that's another subject to deal with first anyway.  (Read about that here.) If anyone gives you static over it, tell them you're obeying God.  That usually quiets the majority of people.

Humble yourself before the Lord and your co-workers.  Get it in your head that they'll muddle through somehow without you, but even more know that God had everything under control way before you came on the scene.

Be encouraged that getting away from everything for a little while will release the stress valve.  When you return to regular duties and “life” as it is normally, you will have a different perspective and be calmer to handle any situation.

That's it for this session.  Next time we'll pick up with reason #6.  For now, dwell on and practice resting.  As you learn to rest Biblically, your walk with God will become richer, and you'll be able to see His favor really has surrounded you as a protective shield.

"Lord, how wonderfully You bless the Righteous. 
Your favor wraps around each one and covers them under Your canopy of kindness, joy and protection." 
(Psalm 5:12 TPT emphasis mine)

Here's an idea of something we've done for a mini-vacation rest.  Take a look!  Anniversary Staycation ~ A Date Night Exclusive

Until next time, rest in God’s shielded favor!

“My favor continually shields during times of rest.”
- Jesus Christ

*Unless noted, the names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy.   
Note: When used, the words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives. 

Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness.            

What’s New This Week: Click on link.

by Robert Morris (hardcover; 224 pages)

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Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Bible Gateway.

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Labels: Daily Favor Blog, Favored1, Blessed Life, Rest, Creation, Favor, Vacation, Holiday, Rest, Staycation, Stress, Nine Biblical Reason for Rest and Relaxation, Robert Morris, Teaching Series, Obedience, Bible Study

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