Thursday, October 13, 2011

How to have a restful weekend

Finding rest, these days, is like trying to find something dropped down the side of my seat in the car. I know it's down there, but no matter how hard I try, the thing is out of reach.

I know what it's like to need rest. To get in cycles of poor sleep, busyness, and prayerlessness.

I tell myself, "This weekend, I'm going to rest. I'm going to MAKE myself rest." And I miss the mark again, filling my time with that which does not fill me up. I might get a little more sleep, but deep down, I know that is not really what I need.

This week in Bible Study, we talked about rest. God's rest. In Hebrews chapter 3, the author uses the metaphor of the Israelites entering the Promised Land after being freed from the slavery of Egypt as a picture of what it means to enter God's rest. We enter God's rest, His willed destination for our hearts, when we believe He wants to free us from our burdens and lead us to something better.

But most of the Israelites resisted. They complained, focused on the hardships of the desert, and seriously questioned whether God knew what He was doing. Later on, God says of them, as recorded in Hebrews 3,

"Today, if you hear (the Holy Spirit's) voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said 'They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.' As I swore in my wrath, 'They shall not enter my rest.' " (v.7-11)

The author of Hebrews summarizes in verse 19, saying, "So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief." 

Experiencing God's rest is fully dependent on whether or not I believe Him.

Not whether or not I believe in Him. But whether or not I believe Him. Do I take Him at His word? Do I have faith that He will do the things He says He will do, and is who He says He is?

This weekend, here's how I will find rest, the kind I really need:

I believe through faith.....

...that He knows me and delights in me.
...that He has has a good and purposeful plan for my life.
...that I am not condemned - not even one bit - for anything I've done, therefore I can confidently come to Him for anything.
...that He is at work, causing all things in my life to work in my favor, according to His loving plans for me.
...that He will supply me with everything I need, every single day, if I depend on Him.
...that He is teaching and raising my children with me.
...that no attack from the enemy against me shall succeed.
...that one day, my faith will be made sight, and I'll enjoy rest like I've never known, forever.

Believing. That's my secret to a restful weekend.

{Added later...
IF YOU LIVE IN THE SEATTLE AREA, go see this guy talk about Jesus tonight!
IF YOU LIVE IN THE DALLAS AREA, go see him on Wed. Oct. 26th.
He has a new book called Beautiful Outlaw (Click on the book title to see a trailer). It is on the true personality of Jesus, in light of the way history, the church, and our culture have minimized and reduced Him to a pasty "religious cartoon." This man knows Jesus, and has an incredible passion to teach others about Him. I could listen to him all day, he inspires me so much. Look here for the exact spot in your town.
I went last night in Orange County and oh. my. gosh! You won't be sorry. It was 90 minutes of phenomenal. If you want to see Jesus in a new way, if you want to find out more about the greatest, most powerful personality who has ever lived, show up. Seriously. Best $5 you'll spend this month.}



  1. Rest! So elusive but so necessary - I loved this post... thanks for sharing! (I'm popping over from Casey's!)

  2. I love all the I believe through faith thoughts. I believe that too. Enjoy your rest. : )

  3. This is such a great reminder, we've been talking about this a lot around our house. We have been learning that rest can even happen during busy seasons because it's about finding our place with the Lord. It's a heart thing as much as a body thing. That being said I'd gladly welcome a long nap this weekend! :)

  4. not long ago a friend shared something she had heard- the more time you spend on your knees the more time you will have on your hands. i truly believe that. if we spend the time we should with Him, we do get the rest and time for everything else. it is amazing how that works!

    joining you from the heart blog hop. thanks for sharing.

  5. This post really hit me... I'm going to have to do a lot of thinking about it. I've been in a season where it is hard to fully believe, but I am learning.

    My husband just read Beautiful Outlaw and really loved it. Now it's my turn. :)

  6. it's been a tough couple weeks here. feeling condemned, not free.

    i need rest in my mind. now.
    thank you for your vulnerability, leslie.

  7. I just came across your blog and have been reading through your posts. I just wanted to thank you for being so encouraging and allowing God to speak through you.