I’m partial to Fall. I like the temperature and I like wearing sweaters and leggings all day every day. I like the decorations and the activities and the smells. Although, I do not like Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Sorry to offend.
I’ve also always loved Fall because of the beautiful changes we get to witness in nature. The leaves mature, and, well…fall. Winter comes with its cold and things hibernate in preparation for the new life to come in the Spring. We get to see the world declare the creativity of God, and we rest in his loving care of our world.
I feel like Fall is always a season of new or restarted rhythms. We all kind of reset after the Summer, and I just want to take some time to remind you that as you get back into your Fall rhythm, don’t forget that your rhythm needs to include rest.
And I would just like to say, I am still learning what it means to rest in a preemptive, rather than a last-ditch survival kind of way. I am asking the Holy Spirit to prompt holy rest in me–in my heart, and mind, and body. I am asking Him to show me more about what his Word says about rest.
We know that rest is holy, and a part of God’s design and order of our world. Genesis 2:2-3 says, “And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”
We also know that rest for our souls is given by Christ. Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
And there are a few things I learned about rest while studying the book of Joshua.
In Joshua 22-23, all the battles are over, everyone is in their land, and they have rest. If you’re familiar with the book of Joshua, there is a lot of fighting and a lot of moving. In these chapters, the Israelites are settling a bit. The Reubenites, Gadites, and ½ tribe of Manasseh (The Eastern Tribes) were a group that settled in a different area than the rest of the tribes.
This group, when they were flying solo, built an altar of witness, meant to remind them that they were a part of the people of Israel. The other Israelites (The Western Tribes) see this altar and confront the group, making sure that they are not building an altar to false gods or building their own tabernacle or place to offer sacrifices (which both would have been a big no-no).
And in this interaction, we can find some insights into what active and intentional rest looks like.
- We have to seek and ask about potential threats and pitfalls. This is what the western tribes did. They saw a potential threat and they went to ask about it. Sometimes we wish it didn’t, but living in rest requires evaluation and taking the time to see where the threats might be.
- We have to be honest about our motivations. This is what the eastern tribes did. They were able to defend their decision with an honest motivation for a desire for remembrance and unity to exist between tribes. Sometimes we forget to even think about why we do what we do. As we rest in the Lord, these motivations become more clear and we are able to move forward with more confidence and assurance as we make decisions.
- We must choose to remember the cost of disobedience and the blessings of obedience. This is what both sides did. They acknowledged areas where they had fallen short and were clinging to the promises of obedience. A poster of remembrance is so important in our intentional rest.
After this interaction, Joshua gives his final speech, and in it, Joshua tells the Israelites a few things. He reminds them that the Lord has fought for them. He tells them they need strength and courage, that they need to know the law and cling to it, that they need to love and follow the Lord, and that they are called to remain pure and separate.
And in Josuha’s final words, I think we can find even more insights about rest.
- We have to admit our weakness. The first step to discovering strength is admitting you have weaknesses. Joshua reminds the people to remember because they have a history of forgetting. And so do we.
- We have to cling to the source of our strength. The Lord gives us rest—not our circumstances, not financial security or marriage or cruise ships or cookies or Netflix or any of the other things we are tempted to seek rest and peace from.
- We rest to become better equipped for battle. As we rest in the Lord and his promises, we intentionally choose his truth every day. When we do that, we are better equipped to wage war against sin and darkness.
And so, there are some questions we can ask the Lord based on these insights in our intentional season of rest:
- Lord, where are the threats in my life that I approach with apathy? Would you reveal them to me?
- Lord, what are my driving motivations? If they are not of you, would you show me how your love can motivate my actions and choices?
- Lord, how can I better remember the blessings and joys of walking in obedience to you? Would you show me what obedience motivated by love looks like?
- Lord, will you show me where in my pride I am not admitting where I am weak? Would you show me the weaknesses I have that make me stronger and make me rely on you?
- Lord, will you show me what I cling to other than you? Will you teach me what it means to abide in you rather than clinging to the things of this world?
- Lord, am I well-equipped or ill-equipped for battle? Would you show me what it means to wage war against the powers of sin in my life?
Remember, resting is restful, but it is also intentional. When we utilize our pauses to foster intimacy with the Lord and seek insight from Him, we are better for it because we know Him better.
Looking for a community or someone to grab coffee with who is in a similar life season? We’d love to connect with you and get to know you better! Below you will find a few people that can’t wait to meet you, shoot us an email so we can make a plan!
Tyler OJ Campus
Teresa Ator: email@example.com
Bethanie Tayler: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tyler UB Campus
Max Heller: email@example.com
Molly Pontius: firstname.lastname@example.org
Debra Kirby: email@example.com