Back in January, OM Arts began its seventh year. We began talking about the biblical concept of the Sabbath—Shmita—year. In Leviticus 25, the LORD instituted the seventh year as a year of rest or release (“shmita”) for the land. The Israelites were not to sow, prune, or harvest, but to allow the land to rest. If they asked how they were to eat, God reminded them, “I will command my blessing on you in the sixth year, so that it will produce a crop sufficient for three years” (Lev. 25:21, ESV). The rest for the land wasn’t just for the land’s sake, but to increase the faith of the people of God. My ministry leaders in OM Arts are taking us through this year as a Sabbath year.
In January, we weren’t sure what this would look like for Heart Sounds, but many of us knew it was touching on something that our ministry needed. Our director began by encouraging us to focus on going deeper rather than wider in our ministry areas—perhaps focusing on existing people rather than adding on lots of extra projects. Moving from the “Tyranny of the Possible” to the things that are directed by God. I want to bring you along on this journey, because four months later, this idea has come into focus and clarity is growing. But for this first post, let’s lay the foundation.
Thinking about an entire year of rest can be overwhelming. We need to begin by disciplining ourselves to listen to the still small voice of the LORD. We have to learn to be silent before Him little bits at a time. We need to begin to “learn the unforced rhythms of grace” (Matt. 11:28-30, The Message).
My friend, Asheritah, has a wonderful blog post about this, called, “Just Shut Up.” I encourage you to read it. Then, read one (or more) of the “rest” passages below and allow the Lord to speak to you. Try not to do any talking, just listening. Take one a day. Or read the same one for an entire week. Suggested passages:
Isaiah 40:18 – 41:14
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalm 46:10, NIV
Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD! – Psalm 27:14, ESV
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30, NIV