Do you know how to rest? Do you know how to sit back, relax and not feel guilty? If I’m honest, I struggle with it. It only takes one glance at the news or a newspaper to see all the need and pain in our world today. I have said more than once in my lifetime,
I’ll rest when I get to heaven.”
Well, four times in the past 72 hours, I’ve been confronted with the concept of the Sabbath rest.
First, my husband and I are taking a class at church called Money and the Prosperous Soul, which focuses more on the heart issue of your finances than budgets and spreadsheets. This week there was talk about taking a Sabbath rest, one day off a week to just dream and play with God. After all, the Lord created the heavens and the earth in six days and then He rested [Genesis 2:2]. The Israelites were commanded to rest and do no work one day a week and keep it holy, set apart [Exodus 16:23, Exodus 20:8].
One could rationalize that Jesus set us free from the law and we no longer have to follow rules and regulations as the Israelites did, that is, until you stumble across Scriptures where Jesus talks about giving rest, which I did this morning. Both in my personal reading of the Word and in Jesus Calling today, I came across Matthew 11:28, which says,
Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
That’s all well and good, but what about other verses that call us to make disciples of others, feed the poor, or care for the widows? There’s only 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week. If we take one of those days off, then something has to go, right? Or does it?
This week I’ve been reading in the book of Hebrews and Hebrews 4 talks a lot about the Sabbath rest. [See, I told you I got hit three times in 72 hours.] For those of you who may not be familiar with the placement of the various books of the Bible, Hebrews is in the New Testament. It follows the establishment of the new covenant made with Jesus’ death on the cross, therefore, people don’t refer to it as “The Law” as they may the Old Testament. But lo, and behold, what it said in verses 9-11,
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.”
So, we are supposed to rest from our work, just as God did, and to do otherwise would be disobedient? Wow! For someone who is a doer personality, that’s a hard pill to swallow. How will all the work get done if we rest?
It may come as a surprise to you, but God knows what He’s doing.
He will get done what needs to get done, nothing more, nothing less. Job 42:2 tells us His plans are NEVER thwarted [Don’t you just love using thwarted in a sentence? It’s fun to say.] It’s like the oil that never ran out of the widow’s jar, there will be enough time to do what God has called us to do [1 Kings 17:9-16]. God doesn’t need us to solve the worlds problems. That’s His job. He simply wants us to do the part He assigns us to do, nothing more, nothing less. He’ll take care of the rest.
How are you at taking a Sabbath rest? Do you do it? Or have you, like me, been disobedient in this area? Pray for me. Resting doesn’t come naturally to me. It will be an act of the will to do it. Do you have any suggestions here? I’d love to hear them.
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