You know those weeks where it seems like the weight of the world is just sitting on your shoulders, pushing you deeper and deeper into exhaustion and mental fatigue? You start to make the wrong choices and end up missing your time with God. That’s what life looks like without soul rest. Soul rest is a term I’ve recently fallen in love with. It’s simple, yet full of so much of God wants for us.
If you grew up in church or have heard the basics, you’ve probably remember the 10 commandments. God gave Moses 10 “rules” that were written in stone to bring back down to the Israelites, a simple guideline for living a full life with God. And while we all know the big ones like making God first in our lives and honoring our parents, there’s one that has been cast to the side and not really talked about. The fourth commandment that God gave Moses was to honor the Sabbath day and keep it holy.
Taking it way back to creation, God spent 6 days creating the universe. On the 7th day though, he rested. Now I know rest sounds like a dirty word to a lot of people. We have to hustle, grind it out, work harder everyday without slowing down. But what if I told you that’s the exact opposite of what God wants and commands us to do?
Now don’t get me wrong, hard work is important and necessary to do the things God has called each of us to do for the Kingdom. But what is work without God? It’s just an up and down rollercoaster that doesn’t seem to have an end in sight. That’s where soul rest comes in.
Soul rest is taking a sabbath once a week and reflecting on all that God has done for you. It’s putting aside the busyness of life, the 100s of voices that have your attention and just spending time in God’s word and doing things that you love. And I know, this sounds so strange for 2018. We’re used to always having responsibilities and things to focus on. But a day of soul rest does a few things that make the rest of your week that much more fruitful.
1.) Soul rest reminds us that God is victorious for us. Jesus died for our freedom and he fought our battles so that we can lean on him in every high and low of life! Soul rest keeps this victory at the forefront of out lives.
2.) Soul rest creates a rhythm for our lives. Balance is an impossible goal, but rhythm isn’t. Being in a rhythm creates sustainability for our lives so that we don’t become burnt out or hopeless.
3.) Soul rest honors God. Honoring God is more than just going to church and praying, and it’s more than following the path he’s put you on. It’s also enjoying the life he gave you! Do you like hiking? Spend your sabbath on a day hike! Reading? Find a good book to dive into for a day. Sports? Go to a game! Whatever brings you joy is there because the Lord placed it there. And a soul rest day is a great day to spend doing the things God made you to love.
4.) Soul rest is vital. Without soul rest, I’m impossible to be around. I begin to doubt my calling, my purpose, my relationships. All because I’ve given other things priority over 1 day of peace and refilling with God.
Soul rest can be complicated to comprehend when we’re not used to the idea of taking a break. But that’s okay! I encourage you to find one day out of your week to start learning how to soul rest. Pick a day that you’re off of work and just go all in. My biggest recommendation is picking up the book Soul Rest by Curtis Zackery and learning more or starting the Soul Rest devotional on the Bible App. I promise, it will change the way you operate every other day of the week!