Rhythm #5: Rest

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Notes on the Fifth Rhythm

Here are some key scriptures on the Sabbath:

“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
then you will find your joy in the Lord,
and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
The mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Is 58:13-14)

“God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts.
By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” (Genesis 1:31-2:3)

“For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said,
“In repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.” (Is 30:15)

“So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.
Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.” (Heb 4:9-10)

“Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” (Mk 2:27-28)

The Sabbath is a gift. This last scripture is especially telling. Many of us have read Jesus’ words as if He is saying the Sabbath is unimportant, but we are missing the entire point: The Sabbath was a gift that God gave to man! And if we are neglecting to take a day of rest, we are neglecting that good gift.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Mt 11:28-29)

Jesus Himself made sure to take a day of rest for His soul. Yes, He healed people on the Sabbath, and stripped away some of the legalism associated with the day, but He was a Sabbath observer. We should be, too.

“My rest is a weapon
Against the oppression
Of mans obsession
to control things.” (Josh Garrels, “The Resistence”)

Rest is indeed a weapon, especially in an age of constant motion and workaholism. By ceasing from our work, we are making a statement to the world and to ourselves: “I am not the one making any of this work. If I take a day off, the world will continue to turn.”

“The Lord says to my Lord:
“Sit at My right hand
Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.” (Ps 110:1)

That verse is telling. If your enemies are a footstool, then you are simply sitting down and putting your feet on them. This is not striving. This is the posture of resting and trusting God to do what we cannot. He subdues the enemy, we trust Him by not trying to do His job.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together in Christ
(by grace you have been saved),
and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Eph 2:4-9)


  • What day will I set aside for Sabbath?

It doesn’t have to be Sunday, or even Saturday. But if you don’t choose a day, you probably won’t end up doing it!

  • What activities will I NOT engage in, so I can truly have a day of rest?

Choose these things carefully. Make a point to NOT engage in things that don’t actually bring you delight: especially digital diversions.

  • What practices will bring me delight and how will I incorporate them?

What DOES bring you delight? What foods do you love, what parts of nature do you love? What activities make you feel alive? Do those days. Make this day a day of joy.

  • Pray and ask God to help you as you commit to entering into His rest.

He gave this day to you. Pray He will help you to receive it.