How Can I Rest?

written by: Chris Hartenstein
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for He gives to His beloved sleep.”
Psalm 127:1-2


“With everything in my schedule, how can I rest?”- What a great question that we all ask! Most of us think rest is needed when we are so far gone and out of gas that we crash; this is not true! Rest, as we have discussed, can be elusive, but is without a doubt, essential. We need to release and receive the gift of rest given to us as sons and daughters of an amazing Dad.  

Release

There are so many things we hold onto that keep us from rest. Responsibilities, expectations, work, worries, failures, struggles, relationships, etc. Our Heavenly Dad desires for us to release all of this to Him. “Cast your cares on me...” Allow Him to handle it, speak into it, orchestrate His plans, purposes, and outcome. Most of what stops us from rest is what we choose to not trust our Dad with. We are kidding ourselves when we think we can handle it better than He can. He just wants us to let Him have it, all of it.  

Receive

There is much we leave “on the table” that our Dad is offering us. Peace, comfort, healing, guidance, deep soul care, and intimacy, etc. These are key to our rest and the effectiveness of when we rest. He knows what we need to truly rest and recover, so receive it from the One who knows you best (Matt. 11:28). He desires to restore all things to what they were, including you!  

Here is an exercise I do daily to practice releasing and receiving:
 
I love to open my hands and face them down. Then I pray off everything weighty that comes to mind. Releasing and giving all that is on my heart and mind to my heavenly Father, before I try to rest. This helps me enter rest at any time, any place, and with any type of coffee I may be drinking or crisis that may be arising! Immediately, I can breathe deeper, see clearer, and feel my Dad’s presence which ULTIMATELY gives me the deepest and truest rest.

Take time this week to pray off (release) with hands down and then turn your hands up (receive) and see what He wants to give you! Next week we will talk about Sabbath rest!

Calibration:
- What keeps you from rest? Why?
- What makes you think that your Dad cannot handle whatever “it” is? Why?
- How can you incorporate a rest into your everyday life?

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