We live in a culture of non-stop activity. We always seem to be running from one calendar event to the next. Yet, we see in the Word of God this repeated concept of rest. Rest? Hurry, hurry, I mean, right? No, rest.
Let’s take a look at Scripture. What do we see God do after He finishes His creation in six days? He rests on the seventh. (Genesis 2:2-3)
Now from a young age I’ve been taught that God didn’t need to rest because He was tired, which is certainly true, rather He was setting an example for us. (Isaiah 40:28)
As I said, we live in a culture of non-stop activity. Dings of notifications, the phone ringing, another email, deadlines, tasks to complete, daily chores and the list goes on and on. It seems I complete one task to look up and see three more needing completion, NOW!
Burnout seems to be a common issue among us all. The activity just never seems to end.
Enter the day of rest. God in His infinite wisdom knew that mankind needed a day of rest to refocus attention on Him and to renew and refresh. I think it is interesting to note, this day of rest was given before the Fall. If it was necessary then, how much more necessary is it now that sin has invaded our world!
Jesus tells us in the Word that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. (Mark 2:27)
As one Bible dictionary puts it, “The soul withers without the Sabbath and thrives in proportion to its observance.”
When looking at the Word of God we see there are four types of rest outlined for us.
- Daily rest - The daily time we spend in the Word and in prayer.
- Believer’s rest - The regeneration and justification that any who truly believe in Jesus Christ receive; the cancelling of the sin debt through the blood of Jesus Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
- Eternal rest - The glorious day when we will go home to Heaven, our eternal home where there will be no more sickness, death, pain, suffering or the presence of sin.
- Sabbath rest - The day of rest to refresh oneself in the Lord and rest from one’s work.
After examining the four different ways we are called to rest, I had to ask myself some questions?
- Do I view rest as a good thing or do I consider myself too busy to rest?
- Am I so caught up in my checklist of things that I am neglecting to spend time daily resting in the Savior?
- Am I so task-driven that I don’t take the time to refocus my attention on Christ when I feel it starting to wander?
In today’s culture it is easy to become incredibly busy and start checking off the boxes of our to-do list and forget about the relationship aspect we have with God.
It can be easy to be so busy serving Christ that we forget to take the time to rest in Him.
It can be so easy to allow ourselves to get burned out and the reason for our burnout is we are not taking the time to rest in our Savior.
Christ did not call us to a life of defeat but rather a life of victory! (1 Corinthians 15:57)
Yet for that victory to happen, we need to be willing to follow the Lord and His plan for that victory, not our own. We need to rely on His strength, not our own.
So I encourage you, take time to rest in the Lord today and be sure to set aside that day of Sabbath rest, God knows you need it!
Turn off the push notifications, turn on Do Not Disturb on your iPhone, shut off the computer, put down the to-do list, stop running from task to task and take time to rest in the Lord. Open up His Word, quiet your soul before Him, turn down the busyness you and I play so loudly in our lives, and open up your heart to Him through prayer.
And listen, listen for that small, gentle whisper. Because when we shut down the busyness and the constant noise in our lives, that is often the most opportune time for God to speak to us...“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