Rest. Such a simple word, right? It’s something we do every day. We lay down our heads each and every night. Some of us are exhausted from the day’s busy schedule, while others of us are just plain worn out—physically, mentally, even spiritually. Unfortunately, many times, we wake up the next morning almost as tired as we were when we went to bed because the sleep we got just wasn’t enough.
I think we all long for true rest. Rest, by definition, means to “cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.” Another definition is to “allow to be inactive in order to regain strength, health, or energy.”
Sounds fabulous to me—relaxing, refreshing, recovering, and regaining. But the problem is the world tells us differently. The world tells us that we need to keep moving otherwise we’ll be left behind. The world advises us that we need to keep hustling otherwise someone is going to take our share. The world whispers to us that if we don’t keep working, we won’t be good enough. The world hints that if we’re not willing to work out or eat well or “__________” (fill in your own blank) every day, then we might as well give it up because we’re failing. Well, guess what, the world is lying to us.
God knew that we would need to rest. He knew that His people would try to work their way to into His good graces and that His people would toil and exhaust themselves trying to earn love and to feel worthy. God, being the good Father that He is, commanded His people to take a day to rest (Exodus 20:8) not only to rest from work, but more importantly to refocus themselves on Him. He is the One who loves us fully and completely for exactly who and where we are. When we press into Him, we find ourselves wrapped up in our loving Father’s arms able to hear His voice more clearly than before. The Sabbath was designed to be a “get to” rather than “have to” as it says in the book of Isaiah:
“If you watch your step on the Sabbath and don’t use My holy day for personal advantage, If you treat the Sabbath as a day of joy, God’s holy day as a celebration, If you honor it by refusing ‘business as usual,’ making money, running here and there—Then you’ll be free to enjoy God! Oh, I’ll make you ride high and soar above it all. I’ll make you feast on the inheritance of your ancestor Jacob.” Yes, God says so!”
–Isaiah 58:13-14 (MSG)
So won’t you set aside some time this week to rest in His Presence? Trust me, my friend, it’s not going to happen by accident. You’ll have to tune out what the world tells you and intentionally set your sights on the lover of your soul. Then, you will be free to enjoy Him as He enjoys you, and you will experience true rest and refreshment for your mind, body and soul. Enjoy!