How to Find Rest

In quiet spaces of my heart recently, I noticed a disquiet that surprised me. Have you ever been there? It’s the feeling when we are unsettled for no reason. When the verse above showed up in my life in three separate ways over the last few weeks, I realized I needed to slow down and take a moment to listen.

Listen to what?

I needed to listen to the Lord. Only He could help me understand what was going on inside my heart. I know from past experiences that when my inner self is disquieted it is because something else is attempting to take the Lord’s place in my heart. I don’t want the space that is reserved Him to be filled with anything else but Him.

Part of the reason I began to dive into this Scripture in the first place is because my husband has been diving into the meaning of Sabbath and rest. We have been having conversations about it for over a week. The Holy Spirit is a gentle teacher sometimes, isn’t He? It seemed like he had to take days of preparing me for a slam dunk at a prayer meeting recently. At the meeting, a friend read the part in Luke about Martha and Mary. I finally heard the Lord’s answer about what my issue was through Martha’s interactions with Jesus.

Luke 10:38-42 describes in five simple verses the story and I encourage you to read it (it’s linked here). To summarize them, Jesus has stopped by the home of Mary and Martha, Lazarus’s sisters. While Mary is soaking up every single moment she can with Jesus, verse 40 says “ but Martha was distracted.”


The word hit me with two waves: a relief to understand what the issue was, but also a sadness I had let other things compete with God in my life.

It happened slowly over the course of a month or two, which is just like sin, isn’t it? Like an invasive vine slowly creeping up a tree in order to choke it out, life’s list of things to do kept my heart increasingly busy until I felt worn out. I kept so busy that I had a hard time staying focused during my quiet times. I had a hard time praying while remaining quiet in my heart before God.

I was slipping into a Martha mindset. When Jesus was literally in her house, she was focusing more on tablecloths than listening to the words of the Almighty God.

Please don’t misunderstand me. Are many of the distractions good things? Very! Are they necessary things? Most of them! But these things aren't *THE* thing, or more rightly said- they aren't *Him.*

How do we possibly live like Mary in a very Martha-like culture?

This is the wonderful thing and it gets so good because we need to remember we have a choice here. And once we choose His way God will help us thrive in His love if we let Him hold our hearts. We can still accomplish great acts, but we can do on His timeline and in His way. This is where the rest comes into our hearts and peace comes. We can live with a heart posture of thankful praise in our hearts to the Lord.

The alternative is that we can check items off our to-do lists with a heart posture of distraction in order to keep accomplishing things. The Lord is a gentleman and won't usually just stop us in our tracks, He wants us to choose Him. But He does give warning signs from the Holy Spirit which we can choose to ignore. If we do, though, we’ll end each day with a gnawing fear we “could’ve done more” or a frustration about the day that is not from the Lord. This fear and frustration is what we have traded for the peaceful rest of hearing our father say “well done.”

The beauty of an authentic admission that we've put our to-do list ahead of the Lord is that the He is faithful to forgive our sins. John wrote it this way, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9).

If you're like me and just breathed a sigh of relief, that's the beginning of finding the Sabbath rest God has for us. Our team is praying you create space for God to give you His Sabbath rest this week, friends!

If you’d like to download a copy of this image, please click here! And if you're joining in our community’s Scripture memory verse this week, happy memorizing!

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