Rest? What’s that?
In our busy work and entertainment oriented culture, have we forgotten about rest?
Do we ever take the time necessary to give ourselves the rest we really need? We need physical rest. We also need mental and emotional rest.
But what about spiritual rest? I’ve heard preachers suggest that if we are not working spiritually 24/7 that we are automatically backsliding.
Boy, have I got Good News for them! There is a Sabbath Rest of God. For the believer the Sabbath Rest is the ultimate destination.
When God rested on the seventh day, He blessed it and set it apart for His purposes, and as an example for us. Resting is “ceasing from [the weariness and pain] of human labors” to rest in God (Heb. 4:10). In that rest, healing, renewal and empowerment (2 Tim.1:7) take place. Renewal is essential in order to live an effective and fruitful spiritual life.
The soil requires rest, otherwise the food it grows does not provide sufficient nourishment. (In fact, after a good rest, soil yields the best crops.) Likewise, when we fail to rest fully and regularly we experience a type of perishing and fail to bear fruit becoming ineffective physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually.
God worked for six days. Six is the number of man. And He rested on the seventh day. Seven is the number of God. When we rest in God and what He has done for us, we move from number six to number seven. In that transition God blesses us and sets us apart for His special purposes of working directly through us.
After we burn out spiritually toiling in our human labors we learn to rest in the finished work of Christ. (Ps. 23:2)
~When we enter the Sabbath Rest, we enter the holy rest of God.
~When we enter the Sabbath Rest, from our human labors we rest in God and with God.
~When we enter the Sabbath Rest, we take great strides toward maturity in Christ.
Entering the Sabbath Rest is walking in agreement (Amos 3:3) with God, resting as He has done by trusting in His finished work and obeying His command to rest. By entering the Sabbath Rest we abandon our human efforts to embrace only the mysterious work of the Holy Spirit as He so chooses to work through us.
The Sabbath Rest of God is Jesus Christ. He is the Way (John 14:6) to enter that rest through laying down all that we have done for all God has done for us through Him. When we finally realize that all of our work is complete through Christ already and that the most efficient work (John 6:28-9) we can do is to believe and rest in Him, we surrender. Even the work we have yet to do He already has laid out for us to walk in. As we rest in Him by faith, He completes our work as the Author and Finisher of our faith (Eph. 2:10, Heb. 12:2).
The Master has commanded us who toil in our human labors, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] And further, “Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest ( relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.” (Matt. 11:28-30)
Have you come to Christ for rest as He commands?
Are you resting in Christ as God commands? (Heb. 4:8-10)
Have you entered the Sabbath Rest?
Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?
For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it [set it apart for His purposes].
Six days may work be done, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, sacred to the Lord; whoever does work on the Sabbath day shall surely be put to death.
It is a sabbath of [solemn] rest to you, and you shall afflict yourselves [by fasting with penitence and humiliation]; it is a statute forever
But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, or your manservant or your maidservant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the stranger or sojourner who is within your gates, that your manservant and your maidservant may rest as well as you.
[This mention of a rest was not a reference to their entering into Canaan.] For if Joshua had given them rest, He [God] would not speak afterward about another day.
So then, there is still awaiting a full and complete Sabbath-rest reserved for the [true] people of God;
For he who has once entered [God’s] rest also has ceased from [the weariness and pain] of human labors, just as God rested from those labors peculiarly His own.
He makes me lie down in green pastures
Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and you make them rest from their burdens!
The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest.
But the seventh year you shall release it and let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat [what the land voluntarily yields], and what they leave the wild beasts shall eat. In like manner you shall deal with your vineyard and olive grove.
And the Lord said, My Presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.
For you have not yet come to the rest and to the inheritance which the Lord your God gives you.
Therefore when the Lord your God has given you rest from all your enemies round about in the land which the Lord your God gives you to possess as an inheritance, you shall blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under the heavens; you must not forget.
So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord had spoken to Moses, and Joshua gave it for an inheritance to Israel according to their allotments by tribes. And the land had rest from war.
The Lord gave them rest round about, just as He had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies withstood them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hands.
1 Chronicles 23:25
For David said, The Lord, the God of Israel has given peace and rest to His people, and He dwells in Jerusalem forever.
Matthew 11:28, 29
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]
Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest ( relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.
And He said to them, [As for you] come away by yourselves to a deserted place, and rest a while—for many were [continually] coming and going, and they had not even leisure enough to eat.