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Rest makes it possible to perform at your highest level. You probably do your best work when you are relaxed and “in the zone.” Have you experienced this kind of rest? Would you like to learn to enter into the rest God intends for you?
Find Rest By Finding Your Sweet Spot
God made you with an identity which is the place of optimal functioning. This sweet spot is where the least amount of effort still produces the maximum output. Hitting your sweet spot is an honorable goal. God intends for you to feel the pleasure of acting from the center of who you are. If you want to know God’s favor, first you must be free to be yourself.
Sometimes the sweet spot is elusive because of sin and the curse. They cloud and distort who you are. Sometimes you have to do what you don’t particularly want to do. Overcoming the curse requires hard work. The goal isn’t to eliminate your effort, but instead to optimize your effort. You put in your effort while relying on God to carry what you were never meant to carry.
Find Rest By Compartmentalizing Obligation
Do you know what it feels like to pursue what you want instead of what you must (because of obligation or responsibility)? God created the sabbath so you can experience unpressured living at least one day out of seven. The lift you gain from one day of rest can carry into the other six days.
Who are you when you’re under obligation? How do you fill your day to meet the demands of life? Don’t miss this: You’re probably not optimally in touch with your true identity while under obligation. That’s because obligation implies some amount of stress and that changes everything.
Who are you when you’re not under any obligation? Then, how do you live? This is what you can accomplish during productive play. Restful living means entering into a natural high by functioning at the level of God’s highest purposes for you. This is true recreation — an effort that recovers more energy than it spends.
Find Rest By Playing
Fulfilling obligations is necessary. But playing is as important as working. What do you think of when you think of playing? Productive play does not involve low-functioning activities that allow passive living. Your brain can be fully engaged and relaxed during play.
Whatever you do should have a purpose. Some activities can seem like they have no eternal significance, but if they rejuvenate you, they have value. For example, consider watching a movie. What value do you gain from it? Does it uplift or strengthen you? Does it help you to better understand life? Or does it drain you or lead you into sin?
To play is to relax. Some people can’t stop working. Their play is only work in disguise. When you practice relaxing, it will help you when you are under the stress of responsibility. You’ll be able to work more efficiently when you are under stress.
Restful living will be different for each person. What activities bring you more energy as you participate in them? In the movie, Chariots of Fire, Eric Liddell says, “When I run, I feel His pleasure.” Even though he’s exerting himself completely he has entered God’s rest. He’s burdened with running, but not burdened with debilitating anxieties.
When God’s power is available genuine play is possible. That’s because He does the heavy lifting. Jesus said:
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.Matthew 11:28-30
Have you ever felt God’s pleasure? You enter God’s rest and He is right there with you expressing His excitement for who you are. God is your cheerleader. Allow His cheers to propel you forward.