To Take Frequent, Regular Rests

November 21, 2012

Friends,
Rest is good. It’s necessary. And God has commanded us to rest. In fact, He put it in as one of the Ten Commandments. And though we no longer live under the written law, but live under the law of the Spirit, the Spirit will certainly lead us to take regular rests.

God needs no rest, of course, but He did take rest from His own work of creating (Gen. 2:2), giving us a model to follow. (See v. 3) And being that Jesus is our ever-present Rest (Heb. 4:7), we are to enter into this Rest afresh every day through obedience to His Spirit. (See v. 8-11)

Unfortunately, the world seems to admire those who are participating in excessively numerous projects and activities, who sacrifice their sleep for the enterprise, and who race around like they actually want a fever. But this is not God’s will or way. God wants us to take time with Him, in His Word, chewing His Word, letting it soak down into our hearts. He wants us to get quiet so we can hear Him speak to us, teach us about His character, instruct us in how to be more like Him, and guide us in His will for us. He also wants us to pray, getting alone with Him, unhurried but eager to intercede, by His Spirit, for our own concerns as well as for His people everywhere.

But, time with the Lord is not all about reading, studying, meditating, interceding… For there needs to be times of rest too, times of just being together, without the intensity. Does Jesus not still say to us, as He did to His overwhelmed disciples, “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest”? (Mark 6:31)

Thanksgiving week is a good week to stop the flurry of activity, not increase it as many do. Even if it’s great to visit family and rejoice in all the tasty food the Lord provides us with, the all-day shopping sprees aren’t necessary.

May all true Christ-followers refuse to let worldliness rule the day this holiday season (or the afternoon, or the night). Even if others continue on with the useless stuff, may we who say we love God and righteousness put Him first at all times. And may we remember that this means doing all –but also, only– just what He, our God, desires for us to do, remembering that one of these things is that we slow down and take frequent and regular rests.

If God commanded that even fields and vineyards were to be given rest every seventh year (Lev. 25:1-5), then we should understand that God has made it clear that rest is to be taken seriously. And that it is to be regular rest –one time interval out of every seven.

If we are abiding in Christ, our Ultimate Rest, then He will give us wisdom in how to eliminate all that is unnecessary –all that would hinder the walk of rest (for our soul, spirit, and body) which He provides.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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