A Jesus Rest not a Jonah Rest
We are being called to rest, but this is a specific and strategic kind of rest. It's a "Jesus Rest" not a "Jonah Rest". As Jesus rested in the boat, His rest was an uncommon response of peace and preparation despite the chaos and urgency around Him. Jonah also slept through a storm in a boat, but His sleep reflected a disconnection and dismissal of God's call to action.
In this time, God is calling you to a rest that will look uncommon to the world around you. This rest isn't a time of inactivity but a time of being active about refreshing your Spirit in the Word and in time spent at His feet. At the time of greatest chaos and urgency around you, you are being called to be still, go deeper in the quiet place, and let God do deep work that is going to prepare you to speak to storms. This is an active rest. This is a preparation rest. Rather than falling asleep to our circumstances and pulling away, this is a pressing into the power of peace.
The Manna Won't Spoil
For many, the first response is, "But Lord, I don't have time to rest!". God's Word to you is "the manna won't spoil". Manna represented something that was a God-given daily task that was both work and blessing. The Israelites had to gather it (work), but it also fed them (blessing). He specifically instructed them to not gather on the Sabbath, and the manna that had been gathered the day before didn't spoil. During any other day, if they gathered extra and put it aside, it spoiled.
There are things you are working on this current season that surely are callings from the Lord. They are both work and blessings to you. You may feel that the work He has you partnering with is so much (and so good!) that it isn't a possibility to slow down. Just like the Israelites during their God-ordained rest time, we are being given manna that won't spoil. All that God has called you to will not go to waste or be ruined in your time of pressing in deeper to the Lord and less into the chaos. It will wait for as long as the Lord has called you to this preparation rest. The manna before the Sabbath didn't appear any different just because the Israelites shifted to a time of rest. In the same way, to your natural eyes it will appear that the urgent things filling up your day "can't wait". But God says "the manna won't spoil".
What Comes After the Rest
Ask God "what does rest look like for me in this season?". Also ask Him "how much time do I need to dedicate to preparation rest in this season?". There will be much warfare to keep you from this necessary soaking, but continue in obedience. As I began to record these thoughts in my podcast, the Lord spoke to me that the enemy is not only scared of your closeness with the Lord in this rest...he is scared of what comes after the rest.
In Genesis 2, while Adam rested, God created (Eve). For some of you this preparation rest is because God is creating something new through you for which you need to be rested. He's doing "deep surgery" in you, out of which will come new and wonderful things. In many instances Biblically, rest was a time of dreaming. After waking, dreams inspired action based on new revelation. For some of you, this time will be a time of revelation (both in dreams and in waking) that will incite action and give you clarity on choices. Rest also happened for Jesus in the boat. When He woke up, He spoke to the storm and calmed it. For some of you, this time of rest will be what precedes God calming the storm in your life as you learn to peacefully and confidently rest in Him. The rest isn't saved for after the storm, the rest is during the storm, and miracles are what follows.
Prayer of Activation:
Lord, teach me how to enter into your preparation rest. Show me what rest looks like for me in this season and how to be obedient. Connect me to a deeper peace and intimacy with You. Thank you for taking care of the day-to-day while I enter into this deeper training with you. I thank you and praise you for all the revelation, creativity, and even miracles that will flow through this time. We ask all this in Jesus's name. Amen.