If you know me well, you know that I love my sleep. I look forward to uneventful Saturday mornings where I can sleep in and enjoy my morning coffee and have the freedom to extend it to afternoon coffee. I love my sleep and I love feeling rested. When deprived of anything less than a solid eight hours a night, I get worn down and I slow down. I know myself too well to know that I am incapable of my full potential if I am not fully giving myself what I need. Although I am talking about physical rest, I have learned in great depth that this similar concept of rest applies to our spiritual lives as well.
Throughout this past season, the Lord has been teaching me a whole new meaning of rest. A few months ago, I found myself in Hebrews chapter 4:12 where it says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Although I have read this verse many times and heard it more often than not, I was stopped by the verse that comes before which says, “Let us be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.” I’ll admit that I was not really understanding why a verse talking about the power of the Word followed an entire passage about the command and blessing of rest and Israelites not entering into that rest.
But then I realized: true rest is not getting enough sleep, having a week off school or work, or doing having nothing planned for an entire day. It is entering into the Word of God. Why else would Hebrews 4:12 say, “For the word of God…” succeeding an entire passage about one of the easiest yet most difficult commands given by the Lord: REST.
I think that in today’s society of immediacy and instant gratification, we only know one pace: fast. However, the Lord knows us too well to give us what we need, even when we don’t recognize what we need. Rest is what we need and it is what the Lord commands. Going back to Genesis, the first thing that the Lord did after He surveyed all of His creation was taking the seventh day to rest. If He did it, how much more should we practice it to the fullest on a regular basis? It shouldn’t be a suggestion. However, what is TRUE rest?
“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 you souls. For My yoke is easy and m burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
TRUE rest is coming to Him and laying our burdens at His feet. Its knowing that He took our sin to the cross so that we would never have to. Its believing that we are incapable of anything on our own and that we need a Savior. Its realizing that nothing else but the Word of God will fully satisfy us.
When talking about theology of resting in God, Oswald Chambers wrote, “There are times when there is no storm or crisis in our lives, and we do all that is humanly possible. But it is when a crisis arises that we instantly reveal upon whom we rely. If we have been learning to worship God and to place our trust in Him, the crisis will reveal that we can go to the point of breaking, yet without breaking our confidence in Him.”
Who are you relying on? What type of rest are you running to? Because when storms do come, it will be our confidence, trust, and rest in Him that holds us together.
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