Have you ever noticed how some of us always speak about how busy we are? We seem to brag about our business as if the hectic pace of our lives is proof that we’re important and significant. We stress how we need to work more for the sake of getting things done “for the Lord.” When did the Lord say that he needed my incessant activity? When service becomes work instead of worship, we need to take some time refocus our vision. Where is the balance between a good work ethic and the pride of thinking that life won’t go on without me at the center of everything? Have you ever slowed down to think about Psalm 127:1-2?
Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early,
To retire late,
To eat the bread of painful labors;
For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.
That’s right–sleep! You are expected to sleep and rest. The Lord is not dependent upon your frenetic activity. He gives to his people even when they are not working! In contrast, we are dependent upon Him through our correctly prioritize work. Appropriate rest reminds us that all of our work is dependent upon Him.
Examples of Rest in the Bible
God Rested (Genesis 2:1-3)
After creating the whole world in six days, God took the seventh day to rest from the work that He had done. He then sanctified and blessed that day, establishing the model that we should work 6 days and rest one.
Jesus Rested (Luke 5:15-16)
As the fame of Christ grew, the crowds would press in to see the Messiah, but Christ would slip away to rest.
The Disciples were Instructed to Rest (Mark 6:30-32)
After Christ’s disciples returned from doing the work of the ministry, Jesus immediately sent them away to rest in a secluded place.
Are You Obeying God in Your Rest?
When was the last time you took some time apart to simply go rest and recharge in your relationship with God? Do you find yourself forgetting why you are involved in working so hard?
As we have seen from the examples God has given us, we must take time rest spiritually. God has clearly set the standard for us to work hard 6 days and then rest for one. Spiritual rest helps to refocus, remind us of our dependence, and to fall more in love with the One you are to serve.
Ideas for Having a Meaningful Rest
- Do not do any work during this time! (This includes chores)
- Leave your computer, cell phone, and anything else that can distract you behind.
- Be alone or with your spouse.
- Find a place that you do not normally visit.
- Concentrate on the evidence of the goodness of God around you.
- Reflect on the goodness of God in your life.
- Read God’s Word.
- Pray for God to help you be more effective for His glory.
- Write down what you learn during your time resting.
- Make this a regular practice.
Contributions by Brent Aucoin