Developing a rhythm of rest


bout three years ago, God convicted me about my work schedule. At the time, I was working seven days a week. He revealed to me that I must obey His Word—the fourth of the 10 Commandments, to be exact: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8).

Interestingly, of all the 10 Commandments, the Lord gave more explanation regarding this one than all the others. In Exodus 20:11, God uses a personal illustration to get His point across to His people: “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”

After reading several books detailing the importance of rest, it became very clear that I needed to make a seismic change in my weekly schedule. So I decided to obey God’s Word, follow His personal example, and do what Chick-Fil-A has been doing for decades—I decided to take a day off each week. I have chosen to take Saturdays off to rest and recharge, and it has been a major blessing and game-changer for me.    

"God loves you and wants you to be strong so you can serve Him and others to the best of your ability."

What about you? How are you doing? Being maxed out will lead to burn out, and when you are burned out in ministry, you are unhealthy. Allow me to offer three practical tips to help you make some changes in your schedule so you can at least take one day off a week:

1. Obey God.

God’s Word is very clear about taking a day off and resting. I had multiple people offer books to me on the importance of resting. So I had a choice to make: Would I obey God or not? Would I listen to friends who were trying to help me or not? I am so grateful to God that He impressed upon me to make the change.  

2. Do yourself a favor.

Proverbs 11:17 says, “The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.” One of the best things you can do for your soul is rest. It will take some discipline to make the change. Turning off the computer, not checking emails, and unplugging from work will take effort. People may judge you and tempt you to get back in the mode of working all the time. Don’t do it! For the sake of your health and your family, keep your commitment to obey God and help yourself.

3. Enjoy the benefits of rest.

One of the books I read in my quest to learn more about rest is Leading on Empty. Leading from a place of strength is far preferable, and the only way to do that is to develop a rhythm of rest. On your day off, do things you enjoy. Read. Go for a walk. Hang out with family and friends. You get the idea: anything fun, but no work.

God loves you and wants you to be strong so you can serve Him and others to the best of your ability. He also desires for you to enjoy the life He has given you. So rest in Jesus, my friend. Relax. Take at least one day off. Trust me—you will love the results!

Danny Forshee
Great Hills Baptist Church in Austin
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