Genesis 2:3 (NKJV)
Genesis 2:3, “Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”
As God rested on the seventh day, scripture added clues to how God rested. I think that’s because there is rest and there is REST. Resting for a few moments is more do-able for some people than others. God knows that.
An additional component to resting is that there are two comfort zones (with a lot of variants) with how we relate to ourselves and others in this area. There are several ways to rest if you are an extrovert or an introvert. In Seminary we had to take a battery of personality tests. It really makes sense to add those into the Seminary matrix, because it’s difficult to really help others if you do not know yourself. On the Myers-Briggs scale I tested 55% extrovert and 45% introvert. That is actually a great mix because it means I can relate to both. My daughter’s numbers were almost identical...just flipped. She tested 55% introvert and 45% extrovert. One of my sons tested as a complete introvert. Another of my sons is almost completely extroverted.
Why am I looking at introverts and extroverts in relation to the resting component of being set apart? It’s because if you are more introverted, taking time to separate yourself from others is easier. If you are extroverted, specially those who are extremely extroverted, it will be more difficult. For some, it can be excruciating.
My Mother is an extreme extreme extrovert. Being locked away in a room by herself is the most difficult thing she faces. The pandemic of 2020 and 2021 has been painful for her. In comparison, I can be with people or without people...I’m good either way. She is not.
Without knowing it, when my children were young and needed daily discipline, I tailor-made a discipline plan for each child. My daughter was born to be a helper. She was a great oldest born child. From the time she could walk, she wanted to help me. She was not quite two when my son was born, but she was playing little mother from the start. She’s very sensitive so all I had to do when I was teaching her something was to tell her what to do one time.
I learned (by watching) that my son who is an extreme introvert learned best by having him sit in a chair in the same room as the rest of us. I found that when I sent him to his room he played with legos or read. He was perfectly content. It wasn’t punishment. But, if I gave him a timeout and made him sit in a room with us, THAT was punishment.
My son who is an extreme extrovert was the opposite. In order to get his attention, he needed to be separated from the rest of us when he misbehaved. He hated being sent to his room. That was punishment.
The only method of punishment that had an affect on my other son was to get out the wooden spoon. He did not like getting a “spankin” and I didn’t even need to spank him. I only needed to get out a wooden spoon. He didn’t care if he was with us or not with us...he just wasn’t a fan of the wooden spoon. (Which meant if he didn’t change his behavior he would get to ‘meet’ the wooden spoon.)
By merit of their personalities, only one of my children would find it difficult to spend time apart from others. He can do it, but he has to rely more on God’s grace than introverts do. Extreme introverts find being set apart easy.
So, think about yourself...
Are you introverted or extroverted?
Do you prefer being with others? Are you uncomfortable when you are separated from others? For our purposes, if that is the case, you probably lean more toward being an extrovert.
If you are okay being by yourself, you could be an introvert. If that is the case, spending time resting and separating yourself from a crowd will feel comfortable to you.
If you can easily spend time with others or spend time by yourself, you probably fall in the middle zones. You will be somewhat comfortable resting and separating yourself from others.
Irregardless of your personality or how you feel about taking time to rest in God, you still need to be mindful about doing all the work of resting yourself. If you approach it in that manner, it will become a “doing” task instead of a ‘being’ event with God.
Sanctification means setting yourself aside with God to connect to His holiness. As we set ourselves apart we experience what it’s like to be a child of God. As we turn to God, we realize we are chosen and we are loved. Our short-comings no longer matter. We are completely safe in God’s arms. As you set yourself apart from the busy-ness of this world, you engage in the silence of God. You come to realize the full power of God and God’s love for you. It may take time for you, but it is worth it.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: set yourself apart
Take time to rest in God. Separate yourself from busy tasks. Turn off the noise in your home (or your car if you live in a house filled with other people). Sit in God’s arms and let God fill you with His love.
In God, Deborah