The Commandment with the most written about it is the one commanding rest.
Exodus 20:8-11 (NLT)8 “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
9 You have six days each week for your ordinary work,10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you.11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
Shabbat is the original Hebrew word for our English word sabbath. It comes from the root Shin-Beit-Tavand means “to cease, to end, to rest.”
The Bible says that those who will not rest are disobedient.
Exodus 31:14 (NKJV) You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people.
Deuteronomy 5:12 (NKJV)12 'Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you.
Rest doesn’t come naturally to us. In order for us to truly rest we have to trust that God will take care of things for us. That includes all the ministry things that we do. We often use the fact that we are, in our words, “doing the work of the Kingdom” or we say “Satan never takes a day off so why should I?”
Since we refuse to rest, as God commands, no matter the reason, thank God He has put a mechanism in place that signals us that it just may be time to slow down and obey. I believe that mechanism is burnout which can come in a variety of ways.
- Physical burnout can be triggered by a lack of exercise, physical effects of stress and sleeplessness. The overloaded schedule and stressful lives cause you forget to exercise, you eat unhealthy foods, and sleep less. If left unchecked, physical burnout can cause a weakened immune system, aches and pains, a change in appetite, and feeling tired all the time.
- Relational burnout is related to emotional burnout and can be caused by strained relationships. Constant interactions with energy draining people make you unusually susceptible for this type of burnout. Physical exhaustion and drama between between others can make you isolate yourself to get a break from relationships that drain your energy.
- Emotional burnout can be felt when you feel like you don't have anyone you can go to when you are anxious, or stressed out. This type of burnout can wreak a family because of the feelings of isolation. Emotional burnout can numb your ability have normal emotions and have a sense of failure and self-doubt.
- Spiritual burnout happens when you neglect your own spiritual life while trying to pour into the lives of others. Many of us do not have anybody pouring into our lives and we do not seek the life and strength of God for spiritual refreshment. If you don’t spend time with God through prayer or Scripture reading, you may be suffering from spiritual burnout!
Ministry is not a sprint; it is a marathon. Take the long view and realize that sometimes slowing down will make you more effective. Structure your time so that you are not always rushed. Take frequent breaks. Give yourself permission to take a nap and to rest.
Even When You're Worn Out: Always Enough, Never Too Much
Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan
Even When You’re Worn Out
The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. — Psalm 23:1-3
Shepherds are tough mamma-jammas. There are still shepherds today — did you know that? There aren’t too many in America, but in rural areas across the globe, you can still find one lone guy who literally herds his sheep, moving them around and tending to their needs.
You know what a shepherd has to do to a particularly unruly sheep that won’t go where it’s supposed to? It’s pretty graphic, so hold on to your hat.
He’ll break one of the sheep’s legs.
If that sweet little ball of fluff won’t rest, won’t go the right way, won’t cooperate, the shepherd will take matters into his own hands to make sure the sheep is completely reliant on him as he nurses it back to health after the very wound he himself caused.
If you are worn out, here’s the deal: you’re human.
You live with the effects of a fallen world. You live in a world where people need sleep and rest and restoration. God made your body with the need to shut down for eight-ish hours a night. He made your mind with an intrinsic desire to get quiet and recuperate when things are too hectic or overwhelming. He made your soul desperate to find respite and rejuvenation in Him.
If you’re burned out, worn out, needing rest, and feeling tired, the good news is that you’re human.
The bad news is that if we continually resist His invitation to be human and resist our God-given need of recreation, He has the capacity and the loving inclination to break us a little so we are forced to stick close to Him.
God is beckoning you into a life full of pushing, pulling, and advancing for the sake of His kingdom. But He’s also inviting you into a life full of rest and stillness so you can draw near to Him. What would it look like to rewrite Psalm 23 for yourself, reading “He made me lie down” and remembering that first “He invited me to lie down. He went to quiet waters and so I followed Him”?
What would it look like to finally trash the idea that needing rest automatically equals some kind of deficiency or lack?
This is how He made us. He is not surprised. Rather, He is glorified by our resting and trusting in Him.
Let’s follow our Shepherd to the water and the quiet spaces. And let’s kick the Enemy in the teeth when he tells us we’re not enough because we’re worn out!
Excerpted with permission from Always Enough, Never Too Much by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan, copyright Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan. Published by Zondervan.