“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”” Isaiah 30:15 

In our search for soul rest, there is one simple thing that may be making it hard to move forward in life; set down some of the heavy things you are carrying. We all know that it is easier to walk forward when you don’t have to carry a heavy load while you travel. This is the epitome of common sense. And yet, when it comes to attempting to move toward freedom and a lightness in our lives, we hold on to the heavy weight of sins and patterns that have been with us.

Think of the stories in the Bible that represent the picture of repentance that Jesus intends for us to see. There is a stopping and a 180-degree pivot from the direction that is leading away from God. But, we are also meant to see that there is a returning to the one that can provide restoration for our lives. True repentance resolves with allowing the Lord to pick us up and bring us back home.

Just like in the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15), we usually come up with our own strategy of how we can fix or remedy our situation according to our own ideas, strength, and abilities. And yet, just like in that story, it is only the Father that can provide the restoration that we desire. Our job is to let go and repent of what we’ve chosen to satisfy ourselves and direct our lives, and return to Him. It is only He that can provide the restoration. We return, but He does the work.

In chapter 30, verse 15, the prophet Isaiah makes clear to the people the path toward finding the true rest that they desire. But he then points out that they know what is necessary, but have chosen their own way. In the case of that story, they chose the strength of their military to be their salvation, rather than the salvation that comes from God. I think, if we are honest, we can relate to their knowledge of what needs to be done to find reconciliation with God, and yet not be willing. We trust in our own ability to contend for ourselves.

As we desire to find rest and connect to Christ, we may identify things that we use as our practical salvation instead of God. Frankly, we need to repent from them. We need to rest in the salvation that God brings. We need to quiet our impulses and trust in Christ and His finished work on the cross.

Are there things or ideas that you need to repent from? What does it look like for you to allow yourself to be picked up and brought back home? 

Excerpt from Finding Soul Rest: 40 Days of Connecting with Christ: A Devotional

Author of Soul Rest: Reclaim Your Life. Return to Sabbath., Curtis advocates intentional self-care through Sabbath practice.

Curtis Zackery (CZ), a sought-after speaker and author, pastors at Church of the City, Franklin, TN, a rapidly growing multi-campus church. His contagious gospel passion defies barriers of age, ethnicity, and religion. CZ offers a raw, relevant gospel perspective through teaching, speaking, and writing. With 15 years of diverse ministry, including church planting, pastoring, and addressing themes like rest and the gospel’s beauty, he brings unique insights. CZ holds degrees from Liberty University and Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. Prior to pastoral duties at Church of the City, he directed programs at Kids Across America.