“And on the seventh day God finished His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all His work that He had done in creation.” Genesis 2: 2-3 (ESV)
“Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him.” Psalm 62:1 (NIV)
How these words speak the truth!! Can you relate?
God was busy when He created the universe. When He finished the work He had conceived, He RESTED. Many of us have a hard time resting. Most of us are busy with our family, ministry, and career. So when a free moment does come along, we might feel uncomfortable and restless. A guilty feeling may stir inside of us, as we fret over our seeming unproductivity. Many of us need to give ourselves permission to occasionally slow down. There is a list of things that need our attention, so why rest? How can we possibly justify being still?
First, God is our role model. He encourages rest. He knows our frame. Our bodies need sleep…. so take a nap if you need one. Our minds need peace….. So take up a hobby or exercise. Find a creative outlet for simple pleasure and joy. We were built for relationship, so enjoy the ones around you. Play a game with your kids or have dinner out with a loved one. Most of all, be still and know that God cares you.
Reading your Bible, having a special prayer time, meditating on the goodness and faithfulness of God are all wonderful ways to refresh your spirit. Ponder all your blessings and remember all of the ways He has rescued from your tears. Recount all the ways He has kept your feet from stumbling and then praise Him.
You do not have to be the definition of perpetual motion. Psalm 46:10 encourages believers to, “be still and know that I am God.” When was the last time you intentionally sat still and stopped all your activities? When was the last time you cleared your mind of all your worries, agendas, troubles, and fears?
Resting restores our mental, physical, and spiritual health. If our personal wells are empty and dry, we cannot hand out refreshing cups of cool water to others in need. We are better servants of God if we take time to care for ourselves. We must feed upon the Word of God, our spiritual daily bread. The living water must quench our thirst and water the works God has lovingly begun in us. We must irrigate our personal spiritual gardens so that we can produce fruit, feed others, and give God glory.
It is the enemy who will come alongside you and whisper words of condemnation. He will try to convince you that you are lazy and slothful. He will try to discourage you and distract you. Plug your ears! Lies! He is a liar. Guilt is not of the Lord. There is a difference between condemnation and conviction.
Yes, we are to serve others and work fervently in winning souls to Christ by sharing the Good News. We are commanded to serve, encourage, and help others. However, nowhere in the Bible does it say to work without having quiet times of rest. We are not robots. Sure, times are dark and there is an urgency to warn others that His return may be closer than they can possibly imagine. We are to pray without ceasing but our bodies require moments of stillness.
I don’t want to dissuade you from the work He has given you to perform. I am simply reminding you, dear one, to take time and rest. He is in control. He holds the reins. He knows your heart and sees your service. He wants you to drink from His well so that your well is full of sweet cool water, available for those who desperately need a sip or two.
“And He said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14 (ESV)
“Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.” Psalm 116:7 (NKJV)