Do you fall into the category of those who are stressed and overwhelmed by today’s life challenges? People worldwide are burned out and it’s something that is occurring with greater frequency. Does God have a remedy for this vicious cycle of anxiousness? The following keys should prove helpful in our understanding of God’s Rest.
God is the author of Rest
And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done (Genesis 2:2).
Most of us are familiar with the Biblical account of God working for 6 days regarding creation (Genesis 1:1-2:2). He took stock of the work that was done over 6 days resulting in his statement that it was VERY GOOD. What did God do on the 7th day? He Rested from His work. He then went on to bless and sanctify what would later become known as the Sabbath Day (Genesis 2:3). Why does man seek to violate God’s established order of events that we find in Genesis?
For example, we see the violation of the Biblical account of creation (Genesis 1:1). We also see man’s attempt to redefine God’s order for gender as to what constitutes a man and a woman (Genesis 1:27) and the sanctity of marriage (Genesis 2:24). The same holds true concerning the Day of Rest. If God declared a Rest Day after 6 days of work why doesn’t man do the same? God declared and sanctified a day of rest; we should do the same.
There is a Rest for us
There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience (Hebrews 4:9-11).
What is this Rest that the writer of Hebrews is referring too? God’s Rest is intended to be a day where man can step away from his daily labours while learning to enjoy God, family, and His creation. We are called to work hard but we are also called to take Rest so that we can be renewed in strength and purpose. If man is constantly striving to get things done, he will never cease striving. Is it any wonder that fatigue and burnout are so prevalent? Excuses such as “there are not enough hours in a day” are oftentimes used to justify non-stop labour.
The following personal example helps to illustrate the blessings in honoring the sabbath. For several years I was a salesman in home furnishings. The best sales day would always be on a Sunday. This was due to the ads that would run in the Sunday papers. I also had church related responsibilities so I had to decide where to place my priorities. None of the sales representatives would miss working on a Sunday when the advertisements were running. For me, I was able to receive permission not to work Sundays but was reminded of the pressures to meet my sales quota. God always came through by bringing sales to me at non-peak hours of the week. Instead of striving on Sundays at work with everyone else I was able to enjoy God and take Rest. There is a blessing when we learn to honour God’s established order.
The Lord’s Invitation to His Rest
Are you at an impasse in some area(s) of your life? The word impasse means the inability to progress no further. Perhaps you have been praying for healing and there has been no answer. Are you in some sort of financial bondage with no possible resolution to your crisis? Maybe you are just tired and burned out! There are many other examples that could be cited such as bondages, reconciliation needs between a spouse and or children, or the salvation of a loved one, to name just a few.
It is time to stop and make God a greater priority in life. The Rest of God is a gift that has been given to man, yet how many actually enter into it? Why would man reject such a generous offer? In a word, it is due to Unbelief (Hebrews 4:11) KJV. Man places himself above God’s ordinance as he seeks to achieve and succeed through his own strength.
Are you weary, filled with anxiety and fear? Why not accept the Lord’s invitation to come and know His Rest. It is there where your strength will be renewed and your purpose refined. This is the Blessed Rest He has made available for all.
Monday: Psalm 132:14
This is My resting place forever; Here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
Tuesday: Exodus 20:10
But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.
Wednesday: Mark 6:31
And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.
Thursday: Mark 2:27
And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
Friday: Psalm 23:2-3
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Saturday: John 16:33
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Sunday: Genesis 2:2
And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
All scriptures are quoted from the New King James Version (NKJV).
By Pastor Tim O’Connell