Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. —Matthew 11:28 NKJV
Every year, Sweet Selah Ministries does something rather radical in this never-stop world of ours. We actually stop. During the month of July, each member of our team is “off duty,” and all ministry work ceases. We don’t post on social media. No podcasts, no blogs, and no online Bible studies. Yep. We just hang up a sign similar to the “Gone Fishing” sign in the old cartoons and head for our hammocks.
We believe that resting well prepares us to work well. Scripture outlines this principle for us over and over again. When God created the world, He worked for six days and rested on the seventh. Times of work were interspersed with times of rest on the Jewish annual calendar. In fact, not only did they rest one day a week … they were told to rest one year out of every seven years and two years every fifty. Can you imagine a Whole Year Off? And in the Year of Jubilee, Two Years Off? Here’s the passage of Scripture regarding these commands to rest. Read and wonder, just as we did:
While Moses was on Mount Sinai, the Lord said to him, “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. When you have entered the land I am giving you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath rest before the Lord every seventh year. For six years you may plant your fields and prune your vineyards and harvest your crops, but during the seventh year the land must have a Sabbath year of complete rest. … In addition, you must count off seven Sabbath years, seven sets of seven years, adding up to forty-nine years in all. Then on the Day of Atonement in the fiftieth year, blow the ram’s horn loud and long throughout the land. Set this year apart as holy, a time to proclaim freedom throughout the land for all who live there. It will be a jubilee year for you, when each of you may return to the land that belonged to your ancestors and return to your own clan.” —Leviticus 25:1-4a, 8-10
Never fear, we are not intending to take a year off! But we do think it is wise and right to work hard for a season and then rest for a season. Our rhythm at Sweet Selah Ministries is to work diligently for eleven months each year and then rest well for one month. We love the work we do. Each of us does her own part, so none of us has to feel overwhelmed. However, when we totally stop, we are accomplishing goals that I’d like to share with you:
- Waiting on God. We believe that rest times and quiet times fuel our work times. So, by resting, we are receiving from God renewal and restoration for the year ahead.
- Walking in faith. When we shut down our ministry efforts, we cease to rely on “numbers” for success. We don’t worry about losing momentum. We aren’t stressed if the number of Facebook followers drops. We walk away from all the advice that says to keep going or you’ll be forgotten. We simply trust God in faith that resting won’t hurt the ministry, and that He is perfectly capable of keeping all of you “with us” in spirit until we start up again in August.
- Sharing the blessing. We hope to inspire you with permission to rest as God leads you. He loves us. He knows our bodies’ needs for down time and quiet. It’s our prayer for each member of our Sweet Selah Ministry family that she too will dare to stop and rest.
So … we take July off from ministry work—but never from Jesus! As you are able, join us in times of July Selah Rest. Let’s seek Him daily in prayer and study of the Word in sweet and creative ways. Let’s warm our faces in the sunshine and remember the Son who created sun and moon. Let’s marvel at the stars in the sky and listen to the sound of birdsong in the air. Let’s trust the good God who made us, who cares for us, and who established rhythms of rest for His children. Let’s go to Jesus and find rest in Him! See you in August, friends.
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your invitation in Matthew 11:28. When we are weary and heavy laden, You call us as a parent to a child—come to Me and rest. Thank You for knowing us so well and for blessing rest and declaring it good. Lord, we thank You for all the good You have allowed this ministry to accomplish during the past year. Please bring fruit that lasts from all our efforts. Help each of us to value taking the time to know You. We love You, Lord. Help us to love You more and more! In Your Name we pray with great gratitude for rest, Amen.
You are loved,
Sweet Selah Ministries
To inspire a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth of God’s Word that stillness and knowing
Him matter most—and will be reflected in more effective work and service
To offer biblical resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)
If you’ve been blessed, keep the blessing going!
Click over to our Donation page … and thanks.
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