the rest of God …

“Cease from what is necessary. Embrace that which gives life.”

This is the golden rule of Sabbath according to Mark Buchanan, author of The Rest of God: Restoring your Soul by Restoring Sabbath. Have you read these words, this extraordinary book that feels less like obligation and more like privilege, like a daily walk in the garden with Jesus?

It arrived on my doorstep as required reading because of my participation in Alicia Chole’s 7th Year, mentoring encounter in 2013. I see the wisdom in Alicia’s choice to include it on our selected reading list. It should be required reading. It is pure, liquid grace—life-giving and life-extending with every chapter absorbed. I run the risk of feeling somewhat covetous of Mark’s pen if it weren’t for the absolute gratitude I feel in my heart for the gift of his words. There are very few books that I’ll read a second, even third time, very few books that I keep on the bookshelf long-term. This will be one of them. Why?

Because The Rest of God grants me understanding and permission to rest with God so that I might more fully understand the rest of God—that which remains hidden to me. His vastness. His closeness. His willingness to be known. His willingness to fill me with eternity to the uttermost. Rest to restore the body and rest to restore the soul. This is sacred treasure.

And so as it pertains to Mark’s golden rule for Sabbath rest (ceasing from what is necessary and embracing that which gives life) this is what gives life to me today:

  •  The Sunday school hour with James 1:19-27 on the table, saints gathered around for discussion.
  •  The Communion hour with bread and wine on the table, saints kneeling down for prayer.
  •  The lunch hour with fish and chicken, saints sitting down for sustenance.
  •  The afternoon hours with bed and blankets, saints lying down for sleep.
  •  The evening hours, two saints holding hands for love.

This is Sabbath rest for me. Nothing necessary. No “have tos” in the mix. Only “get tos”. I get to keep Sabbath with the saints on Sundays. Some folks may tag it as obligation; I name it as privilege – the life-giving, life-extending rest of God.

I pray you’ve known a similar portion. If not, then these next moments can belong to just you and Jesus. As long as today is still called today, there is time to take a walk with God in his garden, to know him more fully, and to rest most assuredly in his love.

Keep Sabbath, friends. It is God’s gift to you. As always …

Peace for the journey,

PS: If you think The Rest of God might be a good fit with your heart, please leave a comment below, and I will select one winner to receive a copy of Mark’s book. 

Also, I’m having a final sale on my books, Peace for the Journey and Beyond Cancer’s Scars. Click here to learn more. I greatly appreciate your support as I walk through this transition in my writing ministry.

9 Responses to the rest of God …

  1. Sounds like a very good book. I am currently working through A.W. Tozer’s books. My thirst for the Holy can not be quenched! That is the focus of my living. May I not lose sight of that.

    HUGGS!! Pamela

  2. I’m always interested in words that are significant to you and have encouraged your walk with our Lord. Take care, friend.

  3. Thanks for the recommendation Elaine. I will check it out. Sometimes my life seems to get so busy. I always have my daily quiet time, reading Scripture and praying. And I pray that I would carry the awareness of His presence with me throughout my day. There are moments when I stop and remember but more often than not, I get busy at work and don’t think of it until my drive home. I never want to get so busy and preoccupied that I fail to hear that still small voice. I think Sabbath is so important.

    Blessings and love,

  4. I have difficulty with the concept of rest – I’m always nervous, always on the edge of anxiety. It seems so difficult to find *quiet* inside myself.

    I loved this phrase – “…permission to rest with God so that I might more fully understand the rest of God.” This sounds so inviting.

    I am asking God to teach me the discipline of Sabbath – to learn the refreshment of rest – and to grant me the peace I so desperately crave.


  5. Encouraging and thought provoking as usually dear lady. Your recommendations sound so good. I’m with Sharon. I loved reading, “…permission to rest with God so that I might more fully understand the rest of God.”

    Good stuff.

  6. wifeforthejourney:

    How I love not only reading the words you have put together for us, but also seeing the pictures from our church. Our Sunday has been a day of rest, even with my labors as pastor, this weekend has come with a welcome ease. It is hard to cease from our labors, but there is a pay-off for keeping the Sabbath that far exceeds time “on the clock.” Thank you Lord for the gift of today, for my family and my wifeforthejourney!

    Love to all,

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