By Chris Conrades and Josh Singleton

This past March, the Executive Board met at Highland Lakes Camp and Conference Center. I have had the privilege of attending meetings of the Executive Board for the past three years and it is always an encouragement to hear testimonies, take part in committee meetings, and pray with leaders from all over our state. During each meeting, a member of the Executive Board presents a devotion, and during the March meeting, the devotion was brought by Josh Singleton from the Eastern Indiana Baptist Association. His words were encouraging and emphasized our need to rest in God. He has allowed me to share his encouragement with you and I hope it reassures you as you enter the busy spring and summer seasons of ministry.

God Calls us to Rest Exodus 31:12-18

In Exodus 31:12-18, God gives Moses specific instructions about observing the Sabbath. It is to be a day of rest and worship. This is the reason we gather corporately each week in our churches all over Indiana, but how often do we think about why God has called us to rest? Josh provided the Executive Board with three encouragements about resting in God.

The Purpose of Rest is to Know God

Josh shared that rest is not only about spending time with God, but it is a time to learn about Him. As we observe the Sabbath, we can discover more of who He is, and how He has shown His love for us. We can meditate on God’s character and that He is holy and righteous, full of mercy, and just. God is creator sustainer, provider, healer, and redeemer. A striking purpose of the Sabbath is that we need to spend time in prayer and praise. Stepping away from the busyness of our lives so that we can refocus our minds on God and remind ourselves of who He is. We also need to do this together as we learn from one another through the testimonies of others, the encouragement of others, and the insight of others. It is because we find rest in Christ that we share our time of worship. To rest in God is to know him more.

Through Rest God Sanctifies

A second purpose of the Sabbath is to sanctify us. We gather because we want to learn to be more like Christ and encourage one another in the same pursuit. We gather so that we might be sanctified. We stop working and rest in God’s peace and provision. We stop striving and rest in our identity in Christ. We stop acquiring and rest in God’s care. We stop worrying and rest in God’s sovereignty.

As You Rest in Christ, Your Church will Learn to Rest in Christ

As a pastor or church leader, you set a powerful example as you take time to rest in God. Remember to set apart the entire day to worship God even as you lead. Find ways to enjoy fellowship and extend hospitality to those around you. Most importantly, seek spiritual refreshment as you rest in God.

As you prepare for this coming Sunday of worship, prayerfully consider how you can experience Sabbath rest that helps you know God more deeply, sanctifies you, and leads others to do the same.