Last week, we kicked off our series with a look at Sabbath Rest. God intended us to work six days a week, and then set it aside and just be.
The concept of being versus doing has been around centuries. Pastors have spoken on the topic, and encourage their parishioners to stop doing, and spend more time being in the presence of God.
I know we just began, but let’s pause for a moment and ask ourselves a question.
Do you find it hard to just sit and relax?
I do. I am so used to be on the go, getting things done (or at least attempting to get things done) that I lose site of the request to be in His presence.
Getting Things Done
Each of us are wired to get things done. David Allen, author of the book Getting Things Done says,
“Your brain is for having ideas, not for holding them.”1
He further shares that we need to get move things from our “inboxes” to another location, whether it is to act on it, save it, or review later.
Getting things done is natural. If we didn’t get things done, we probably wouldn’t have our current jobs or the house would be falling apart or worse yet…nothing to eat.
There is nothing wrong with getting things done. Colossians 3:23 says,
“In all the work you are doing, work the best you can. Work as if you were doing it for the Lord, not for people.”2
As we can see from this scripture, we are encouraged to work well and do our best.
However, like we saw last week, we are not work full out seven days a week with no break. We need to rest. We need to be.
How To Be
When was the last time you were still (and silent) before the Lord?
I can’t remember. My life is a blur. One of the things that helps me hear and process what the Lord is saying to me is journaling. I have gotten out of this habit, but it is one of the best ways to connect with God.
Sitting before God is hard, I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Being still is even harder.
When I am sitting before the Lord, I type a few words in my journal, and then I sit and listen. It usually doesn’t take long for the Lord to bring things to mind.
In my journal, I write both sides of the conversation. The Lord impresses upon my heart various things – questions, mistakes, where I need to ask for forgiveness, what’s next, where I have questions.
Sometimes…God is silent, and I am staring a blinking cursor.
Jesus modeled the idea of being by slipping away for prayer and communion with His father.
In Mark 6:32, it says,
“So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.”3
You might be asking, who is the author referring to. The author is referring to the disciples who were with Jesus. Jesus routinely modeled how to do and more importantly how to be.
Jesus was present wherever He went. He was present for the people who needed Him, and He was present for the men was building into and teaching.
He also taught them the importance of being present with the Lord. The disciples had Jesus with them, we have the Holy Spirit.
What’s interesting is the disciples had the best of intentions – they wanted to slip away to a solitary place to rest.
However, we see in the verses afterward that the crowds chased them along the shore, so when they landed, they were met again, and the grind began again.4
If we are not careful to refresh and recharge, we can grow weary and tired. Our lives could become one big race on a treadmill, never really going anywhere.
Making Space For God To Speak with Us
I remember the night I took today’s picture. We were in between dinner and our evening service at the English camp in the Czech Republic in 2011. It was a majestic evening.
We were at a hotel that doubles as a ski chalet during the winter. On our way to the hotel, we passed a ski jumping ramp. I did a double-take because I have only seen them on TV for the Olympics.
The air was peaceful. The water had no ripples, and if you sat long enough, you could hear God whisper in your ear.
These are the moments when God speaks to us, but we have to slow down to hear it. On this lakeshore, I decided that I would not be returning for another term as an Elder at my church due to a tough season.
I could not have made that decision if I did not slow down long enough to hear what God was saying.
Hearing God can happen in your backyard, across the globe, on an airplane, in your favorite chair, sitting at your computer, driving or listening to your favorite music.
If God wants to get our attention, He can; however, we must be open to hearing His voice.
Let’s remember that the place is not as important as making the time to be available.
Encouragement & Challenge
Last week, I challenged you to find time to rest one day per week. This week, I want to encourage you to find a little time to sit before the Lord and just be.
It doesn’t have to be long, but carving space in your calendar to sit and be still before the Lord is important.
I am guilty of not carving out enough space to hear God’s voice, so I will be practicing this habit myself this week.
Join me, and share what you did this week in the comments of this companion post at https://rockingchairdevotions.com/106.
Lord, thank you for your grace and love that surrounds us. Thank you for showing us how we can do and be. Please help us this week to carve out time to be with you, and listen for your voice in our lives. Amen!
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- Five Tools to Help Make Journaling Part of Your Life
- Build a Prayer and Journaling Habit
- Start Fresh in 2021 with a Prayer and Journaling Habit
- Book: Getting Things Done – David Allen – quote via Ali Abdaal (https://youtu.be/T6hmdrsLQj8) ↩︎
- Colossians 3:23 ↩︎
- Mark 6:32 ↩︎
- Mark 6:33-44 – referring to the feeding of the five thousand ↩︎
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