About Your Host:
Susan Brawley is a life coach, consultant, speaker and writer. After many years of working in the education field and leading in women’s ministry, she founded Susan Brawley Coaching. Her goal is to help women break free from being overwhelmed and unsure to live a life of clarity and confidence. A lifelong Midwesterner, she lives in Missouri with her husband and children.
You can connect with Susan at susanbrawley.com
We live in a busy, hustle focused world these days. The thought of taking time to rest may feel unfamiliar or even invoke feelings of guilt. Who am I you might ask, to take time to pause for rest when everyone else is going strong and getting so much done? As a child of God, though, incorporating a rhythm of rest is a response to our understanding that we are not able to do life in our own strength. God calls us to recognize the Sabbath and to rest in Him. Together, let’s examine those two principles and what it looks like to live them out.
God created, and modeled, Sabbath rest in Genesis 2:1-3: “ . . . And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.” The Lord most High, our Sovereign Creator made it clear from the very beginning that Sabbath rest was a priority.
He created us to work hard and commit our work to Him (Proverbs 16:3), but also to practice and receive the gift of Sabbath rest that He created for us. It is only in his rest that we can truly be wholly restored from our labor. In Mark 2:27 we read: “And he said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.’” and then in Hebrews 4:9 “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,”.
When we practice Sabbath rest, we can return to our week with renewed clarity and vigor that will glorify the kingdom.
The world we live in rarely protects a day of the week for rest. However, as believers, we can’t get lured into the cycle of busyness. When we practice Sabbath rest, we can return to our week with renewed clarity and vigor that will glorify the kingdom.
The world is full of heavy, burdensome issues that threaten to crowd out what we know to be true. This tug and pull of becoming weary from the world has been around a long time. Listen to the words Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. . .”. Christ is inviting us to come to Him and trade in our worries, our fears, our burdens for the peace and strength that only He can give. Taking time to rest and sit at the feet of Jesus allows to quiet the noise from the world and better hear His voice. Daily rest in Christ can restore and renew our heart, mind and soul as only He can.
Daily rest in Christ can restore and renew our heart, mind and soul as only He can.
Creating Space for Rest
So, how does one begin to create space for rest? Here are five ways that you can intentionally create space to rest in your life:
Prioritize rest. Make it a weekly practice to honor the Sabbath and to schedule daily time to rest (throughout the day, not just at the end!). You will have to remove things from your schedule and decline invitations as you prioritize the practice of rest. When you make time daily to spend with the Lord, you are surrendering your to-do list and tendency to control life and instead resting in Him.
Permit rest: It truly is a mind shift to practice rest and goes against the cultural norm of busyness. You’re going to need to give yourself permission to begin implementing this practice. In his book, Soul Rest, Curtis Zachery says “In our culture, we celebrate busyness because we believe that perpetual motion is an indication of a level of importance”. However, busyness is simply a deceptive trap that prevents us from experiencing true rest in Christ. Guard your mind and heart and allow yourself to implement the practice of weekly Sabbath rest and daily rest.
Busyness is simply a deceptive trap that prevents us from experiencing true rest in Christ.
Practice rest: Rest can look slightly different for everyone. Some basic tips of practicing rest include: turn off the noise (television, ear pods, social media), get outside in nature, take a nap, prayerfully meditate on God’s word and spend time in prayer. Psalm 46:10 says “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”. The practice of rest allows us to hear the Lord’s voice and to honor Him with our time and attention.
Promote rest: Share with your family and friends the benefits you’re seeing as you practice rest. Encourage others as they strive to better practice Sabbath rest and daily rest in Christ.
Protect rest: The enemy will continue to try to distract you from creating space in your life for rest. By prioritizing, permitting, practicing and promoting rest you are moving towards making it a sustainable practice in your life. Through creating space for rest in your life you will be better equipped to lean on the Lord, to live in peace, to hear God’s voice and understand the truth of Scripture. This will make you even more available and powerful for God’s kingdom!
By prioritizing, permitting, practicing and promoting rest you are moving towards making it a sustainable practice in your life.
Protect the practice of Sabbath rest and daily rest from sabotage.
Would you like to meditate on Scripture verses related to Sabbath and rest? Check out the free download of Reflections on Scripture Rest: www.susanbrawley.com/resources