Psalm 16: God’s Prescription for Rest

I am comfortable living in hustle culture. The work harder, do more, don’t give up message ricochets through my mind every single day on repeat. God’s call to rest is not easy for me for me to answer. I love to check things off a list, track my steps, and multi-task.

Psalm 16 is a prayer that provides God’s instructions for rest because the creator of the universe, and the maker of me, knows my design capacity. He knows the lure and seductive nature of hustle culture and the lies it tells. He offers a counter narrative.

1Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
    I have no good apart from you.”

Notice the verb, take. I must actively take the refuge God offers. This offer of refuge is much like a prescription given to me by a medical doctor. It must be taken daily to be effective. Refuge will not come upon me unless I choose it, plan for it, and seek it.  I might have to give up other activities in order to slip away to the place of refuge. I will never arrive there on autopilot.

Do I really believe, “I have no good apart from you”? There’s a song that I remember singing. “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.” (Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus by Helen H. Lemmel) When I do focus entirely on Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit, everything, everyone, every screaming deadline, and item on the to do list fades away. I discover the reality of what is truly important…only things of an eternal nature.

I spend entirely too much of my time being distracted. All in the name of efficient multi-tasking, I often do many things at one time. However, when I come fully into God’s presence, and unplug from the noise of this world, I can take refuge in Him. Refuge is a place set apart to be alone with God and soak in His presence. In that quiet time, I gain clarity on my priorities.

As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
    in whom is all my delight.

The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
    their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
    or take their names on my lips.

God designed me to serve and worship him in a faith community. Even in a time of Covid, I have to find ways to connect and not become isolated. There is rest found in the gathering together with God’s people. I need others to lift me up in prayer, teach me, challenge me, and keep me accountable. Just as I would do those things for other members of the body. Attempting to follow God on my own is exhausting and leaves no margin for rest. God calls me to find delight in community.

Just as I seek community with a like-minded people of faith, I also need to be wary of those who “run after another god.” Some of the nicest people you could ever meet, might not be seeking Jesus. I must be discerning in how I spend time with unbelievers. Time spent with unbelievers can be draining. While I am called to be a witness to a watching world, I am also called to guard what I take into my life.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
    you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

A grateful heart finds satisfaction in listing all that God has provided. Do I allow myself to buy into the world’s idea of scarcity, or do I see the way the LORD has provided my portion, my cup, my lot and my beautiful inheritance? God has given me everything I could ever need for now and for eternity. Will I consider a soul tending reset?

How do you find rest when you are busy? Do you ever get caught up in hustle culture?

Next week, I will unpack the rest of Psalm 16 as a prescription for rest. There are five more verses that are rich with clear direction regarding finding rest in the land of hustle.

Lord, help me to see how I can intentionally seek rest in you. Help take that time away with you and guard my mind when I do. Help me to escape the “do more” lure. Draw me into the shelter of your surrounding presence. Amen

One thought on “Psalm 16: God’s Prescription for Rest

  1. Pingback: Psalm 16: A Remedy for Soul Weary Days | Anthea Kotlan

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