I barely finished writing a status about my day; in it I questioned my choices of coffee or a nap for a bit of refreshing or restoration, then I checked my e-mail, with every intention of signing out and getting into the Word with that coffee or just prior to that nap. And there it was,again. Father God, faithful to His ways in my life, was answering me, immediately, in devotional form.
I must say that while I struggle with the circumstances and enjoy the blessings of this life of mine my central comfort is God‘s predictable faithfulness to me! Even during the very rough phases He caresses my spirit with contentment.
Back to the subject of rest….
“God called the light ‘day’, and the darkness He called ‘night’. And there was evening and there was morning.” Genesis 1:5
Ancient Hebrew time and calendars defined the day as from sundown to sundown. Where did this come from? God, in the bible, in Genesis, and several other scriptures I will provide later. The Hebrew people scheduled their DAYS thusly: They rested, they rose and then they worked.
Rest is the source and fuel for work. That is what the God of our creation intended, according to the Word. Rest was not just simply a recovery from our labors. No, it was sacred time wherein God fulfilled His covenant with us and began the day He would make; the day we would be glad and rejoice in!
God’s sacred rhythm is REST – RISE – WORK.
Mature and teachable Christians know that when we sync our lives to the will of the Father all of the promises and blessings abound, abundantly. It stands to reason that if we sync our internal clock to God’s Eternal clock we will enrich our connection with Him while at rest, as well as in what we have been trained to believe is our “day” time.
Pastor and author Eugene Peterson describes this ancient rest-first rhythm:
“This Hebrew evening/morning sequence conditions us to the rhythms of grace. We go to sleep, and God begins his work. As we sleep he develops his covenant. We wake and are called to participate in God’s creative action. We respond in faith, in work. But always grace is previous. Grace is primary. We wake into a world we didn’t make, into a salvation we didn’t earn. Evening: God begins, without our help, his creative day. Morning: God calls us to enjoy and share and develop the work he initiated. Creation and covenant are sheer grace and there to greet us every morning.”
Could this be why the bible promises us that “His mercies are new each morning”? Is this the reason that many of us wake each morning, with Praise and Worship songs playing in our heads and spirits. Oh! I just thought they were a gift of peace for Father God each morning, and they are, indeed, but quickly I came to know that they were guidance or preparation for the work and labors ahead of me that day. And when I paid attention and operated in obedience it lightened those labors and allowed me to release the burdens of those more trying days.
Rachel Olsen, over @ http://proverbs31devotions.blogspot.com/ said in her devotional blog post; that I am adapting this from:
“I see each night’s rest as something important, something to prepare for – and something important that prepares me. I’ve long known that rest prepares me physically to rise and work again, and now I’m finding it prepares me spiritually to rise walk in grace and faith.
As I lie down, close my eyes, pray, and slip from consciousness, I do so with the understanding that it is God who holds everything together during my temporary absence from the world. And it’s Him who will continue to hold everything together when I rise and work in the coming daylight. At no point – day or night – am I independent of Him. He even has the power to direct my dreams should He desire.
So I’ve developed a theology of sleep that punctuates my days. It helps me see my nights and my rest as set apart and holy. It helps me to see God as I lay myself down to sleep. In fact, it helps me see that it is He who lays me down for the gracious gift of rest.”
I am going to renew my thinking and enhance my rest with a Theology of Sleep!
Each night I prepare for my rest in the Word and in prayer. I often fall asleep praying in the spirit, in gratitude for my life, even at the end? beginning ?? of the worst days. Thanking God for His faithfulness, Jesus for my salvation and the Holy Spirit for the wisdom to navigate this life of mine (whether I obeyed or not; there remains the opportunity for gratitude when in hindsight I realize God spoke the solution, even if I didn’t listen!).
I find it amazing that through what meager obedience I adhere to, from day to day in this life of mine, God has already set me on His Divine schedule. Simply meager obedience will afford one the utmost attention from our Heavenly Father. Imagine the favor for daily intentional obedience!!! I walk in that often, and I can testify that it is amazing…and when I fail it is exhausting.
Alas, perfection is found only in Christ!
I can only encourage you to think about this concept and apply it to your life. Think of all those days complaining that your work day is exhausting and stressful. Think about those sleepless nights, followed by those days when you have to muddle through your work day in a daze, hoping only for the sleep replacement that never really is accomplished. Imagine if you will, having energetic mornings, enjoyed with your husband and kids. Productive work days, when you can honestly say you worked as unto the Lord. Worth a shot, wouldn’t you say? 🙂
Check out these scriptures that explain and direct us into this divine schedule…into God’s Divine Rest. ❤
Blessings Loves ❤
Genesis 1:7-8, “So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. God called the expanse ‘sky.’ And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.” (NIV)
Psalm 3:5, “I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.” (NIV)
Colossians 1:17, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (NIV)
I’d like to thank Proverbs 31 Ministries and Rachel Olsen for todays motivation. Because I have had some serious writers block of late, and I believe I might have just been given the solution!