Recently my eyes have been refreshed to a couple of truth bombs found in God's Word. I've noticed lately that my life has gotten so busy and I've neglected to be consistent in life giving disciplines. You know - focused prayer, private devotion, and resting in God's presence.
YES, resting in God's presence is a life giving discipline.
For a while, this seemed to be one of the hardest disciplines for me to adapt. I mean, I'm a worker. I love to keep my mind entertained and think of new ideas. It's what keeps me going. I used to think that quieting myself meant I was just unplugging from the world, but I've come to realize that it really means tuning into God's strength. Of coarse at some point you have to disconnect from your surroundings in order to focus on God's voice, but the focal point of resting is to be in a receiving mode, not just undisturbed.
Truth Bomb #1 - Rest Defined
Scripture teaches that there is a Sabbath still prepared for us today. The Sabbath isn't just resting from your works - It's resting in God's perfect work. That's why the Sabbath now is an everyday experience for me.
A Sabbath ISN'T where I lay on the couch and watch netflix all day.
A Sabbath ISN'T an excuse to stop working and have a day out with my wife.
A Sabbath ISN'T a family vacation.
A Sabbath IS where I spend time in God's presence. In His Word. Fellowshipping with the Lord in the Spirit. Singing praise to God constantly. The key word is ENJOYING God's work in my life.
You see, when God rested, He didn't do it out of tiredness, He did it out of perfection. There wasn't anything else He needed to create, so He ceased from His works. Since I'm not more creative than God, I'll choose to rest in His perfection - which is His Glory all over my life.
Truth Bomb #2 - Right way to work
Another aspect about the Sabbath is that I'm not necessarily resting from all my works, but I'm working from a place of rest. The scripture above says "Let us labor therefore to enter that rest..". Interesting that you would have to labor to rest. It almost seems like the concept contradicts itself, yet it doesn't. Jesus famously said "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11.28,29). The promise of finding rest for your soul lies squarely in coming to Jesus, not self reliance.
Truth Bomb #3 - The cure to burnout
If you're like me and you've been around church for a while, you've probably known some people who once lived for God but have now left the faith. Once they were on fire for the Lord and couldn't stop talking about His goodness. They even once might have been the first ones to church on Sunday and the last ones to leave. But now, they've seem to have strayed away from God. Why is that? What takes a person who once was so in love with God's goodness to then have shipwrecked their faith? Could part of the answer to this question deal with the heart not resting in the Lord?
The last part of verse 11 in Hebrews 4 warns us that if we're not diligent to enter God's rest, we would fall into a pattern of unbelief. Unbelief can make you very jaded. I liken it to being 'burnt out' in life. When you're 'burnt out', you are physically and emotionally detached from your surroundings and the spirits of anxiety, anger and depression find a way in. At one time you were enjoying the pace of life but now have gradually come to disdain the path you're on. I know what I'm talking about because I've been in this state of burn out.
What's the cure?
Spending time with the Lord in prayer & the Word. Think about it like this - resting in the Lord is like getting gas at a gas station. As you park your car, you fill up your gas tank with energy to keep moving. Resting means you are stilling and filling your heart at the same time.
Today, labor into God's rest. You'll be a fuller, richer and much more grounded person because of it. I hope this post has been a blessing to you. If you could do me a favor and leave a comment below, I'l be sure to check it and respond back. Also, consider sharing this post with someone that you think needs it.
Stay in a place of His rest,
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