Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Lay down.

I spoke last night at a church in Atlanta and one of the topics I mentioned was the concept of rest. The source of information that initially inspired what I talked about was a book called "The Power of Full Engagement."

In the book, the authors discuss the critical need to rest. They write, "Because energy diminishes both with overuse and with underuse, we must balance energy expenditure with intermittent energy renewal."

Basically, the more you work, the more you need to rest. But society isn't structured that way. Busyness is seen as a sign of success. Being constantly available via a blackberry or cellphone is a sign of professionalism. Checking work emails at night and on the weekends is a sign of importance.

But what does the Bible have to say?

One of my favorite verses about rest is Psalm 23: 2-3

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.

I think it's important to note that restoration of our soul does not occur until we are laying down. Did you notice that? Unless we are laying down we can not be restored.

And that makes sense. When a surgeon operates, you have to be laying down. If he tried to operate while you were running on a treadmill or driving in your car between meetings or frantically answering emails, it would be a messy failure. So instead, the surgeon puts you to sleep and operates while you are laying down.

I think God is the same way. He doesn't ask us to fall asleep, but he does ask us to be still. To lay down in green pastures while the great doctor, the healer of all hurts goes to work.

I've written about the Sabbath and rest in the past, and I will do it again in the future because it's one of those gifts from God that so many of us, myself included, have not learned to receive yet.

So today, lay down.

This post goes well with:
1. The missing nap.
2. Rest.


Anonymous said...

I read watchman nee's "sit, walk, stand" recently and the thing that jumped out about rest was that God created man on the sixth day, so that man's first day was a day of rest, it was God's seventh day where he rested... God rests after he works, we were created to rest before we work... I had never caught that before...

Pastor Nick said...

It is interesting how many people don't take time to rest. I am a Seventh-day Adventist and we consider Saturday as the Sabbath and purposely try not to do work or anything that would keep us from communing with each other and with God on that day. Having a day where all that we do is rest and enjoy a full day with God is a blessing that I enjoy immensely.

Katy said...

Very true!!! I really enjoyed this post!!! Thank you!! :)

Brenda said...

I also read "Sit, Walk, Stand" and it highlights the idea that we cannot accomplish anything until we find our rest in Christ. I like that idea.