Learning How to Rest – A Selah Day (click here to print a copy here)
Of all the activities you do this week, this just might be the most important. Absolutely nothing beats time alone with God. Just you and Him. And this is what is ahead of you today! We have provided a guide to follow that will lead you through various passages of Scripture, asking key questions and giving you time to ponder. However, if the Lord calls you to read something different in the Word … obviously follow His leading. Perhaps He wants you just to “Be still and know that [He is] God” (Psalm 46:10). Seek Him first in this day or part of a day, and then? If you wish, follow this guide.
- Pray. Ask God to bless your Selah Day with Him. If you have nagging worries about people at home, pray for them and cast that burden on God, asking Him to take care of them and watch over them while you study and meet with Him.
We’re going to be looking at rhythms of rest found in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Some of what you read is no longer done as it was in ancient Israel. But all of what you read will point to the fact that God created space for His people to work and also to rest. He established rhythms that included both. Enjoy the study, and then enter the New Testament and read how Jesus also had rhythms of rest, as did Paul and others. After reading and pondering, answer the questions and ask the Lord to show you His plan for you. Resting is not only allowed, it’s actually encouraged by God to say the least. It’s okay to stop. It’s more than okay. God’s greatest command to us is that we love Him. And when you love someone, you stop and take time to be with them, right? So … hush the anxious busy thoughts in your brain and come away for a while and ponder.
Pray this prayer along with Moses taken from portions of Psalm 90 (NLT):
1 Lord, through all the generations
you have been our home!
2 Before the mountains were born,
before you gave birth to the earth and the world,
from beginning to end, you are God.
3 You turn people back to dust, saying,
“Return to dust, you mortals!”
4 For you, a thousand years are as a passing day,
as brief as a few night hours ...
12 Teach us to realize the brevity of life,
so that we may grow in wisdom.
13 O LORD, come back to us!
How long will you delay?
Take pity on your servants!
(turn the page over to continue)
14 Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love,
so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.
15 Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery!
Replace the evil years with good.
16 Let us, your servants, see you work again;
let our children see your glory.
17 And may the Lord our God show us his approval
and make our efforts successful.
Yes, make our efforts successful!
- Read and write:
Old Testament passages:
Read Genesis 1 and Genesis 2:1-3. What rhythm was established in the Garden of Eden?
Read Exodus 23:10-17. What rhythms were the Israelites asked to keep?
Read Leviticus 25. What was the rhythm in this chapter? What interested you most about it?
New Testament passages:
Read Luke 4. What did you learn about Jesus and work and rest? How can you apply what you learned to your own life?
Read Mark 6:44-46. What did Jesus do after an extremely busy day?
Read Acts 17:1-4. What did you learn about Paul’s rhythms?
Read Galatians 1:11-20. What did God ask of Paul after his conversion? Where did Paul “rest”?
- Record your reflections:
Read Psalm 46 and write down key thoughts and verses.
How are you at balancing work and rest?
What would you like to change about your current routine?
Take some time to “do” that first commandment. Tell God how much you love Him. Seek Him for wisdom on how to honor Him in your life. With the time left, sit and ponder, or get up and take a walk, or … if you’re sleepy, let yourself take a short nap. Pray for an open heart today as you seek the Lord in how best to honor Him with your time.