Rest

Posted on by Sanders Shumway

Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. (Genesis 2:1-3 NKJV)

Rest. I just read this scripture the other day, and it got me thinking. God is the Creator. God is our Creator. He created the heavens, the earth, and all the host of them. He is God! And when He finished the work He had done, He rested.

I don’t know about all of you, but sometimes it seems like it is really hard to find time to rest. It is like I have to actually work at finding time to rest. There is always so many things that a person can do, especially when you are married and have children! There are so many things, relationships, activities, and work to be done that scream for our attention! There are so many decisions that have to be made! And a lot of the time there will be these thoughts saying, “You can’t take this day off!” “You can’t take this time off, because if you do these things won’t get done!” “This won’t get done, and that won’t get done!” “If you don’t do it, nobody will!” “What will people at work think about you?” “They will think you are lazy!” “Don’t take time off!” “Keep working, keep working, keep working!” The thoughts pound in our heads telling us that if we take work off, there is something wrong with us!

It didn’t really used to be so intense for me, the thought of taking work off. Since I have started full time ministry though, the thoughts have gotten pretty intense sometimes! They tell me that, “You can’t take time off now because you are fighting for eternal things!” “You are fighting for people’s souls!” “You have to do this! You can’t turn this opportunity down!” “What would God think?” “God won’t be pleased with you!” “If you don’t go and do this meeting tonight, or speak here, or do this, or do that, then it will have eternal implications that are not good!” “You could cost someone their eternal salvation!” These thoughts have been real, extreme, and very strong at times! Let’s just say there has been a lot of pressure!

As I write this though, I know that God understands. He understands our hearts, our thoughts, the attacks against us, our feelings, and everything else there is to understand! All wisdom, knowledge, and understanding comes from Him! Every good and perfect gift comes from Him. I have to believe that peoples salvation doesn’t depend on me! That if I fail to do something or say something, that God is still at work causing His will to be done! That God is the One Who saves! That is the Truth! We can’t save people! We can only tell them about the One Who Saves! And what a privilege that is that God has given us, to share the Good News about our Father and His Son, our Lord and Savior!

I just don’t want to fail God! Sometimes there is just so much pressure! I want to do His will! I want to obey and follow Him! I want to please Him! I want to hear some day, “Well done good and faithful servant.”

And after writing all of this I am reminded of this scripture, “As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42 NLT) It makes me remember that one of the main things to be concerned about is resting with Jesus like Mary did! We need to sit at His feet and listen to Him! We need to take in His words, receiving them into our inner beings! We need to obey His words! But He will help us! He will give us His desires, and the power to fulfill them! We need intimacy with Him though! We need to spend time with Him, and rest in Him! Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, is our rest!

So we have to exercise our wills, and we have to choose to rest in Him. We have to choose to set time aside to rest at Jesus’ feet.  Because if we don’t, we will get burnt out, and we will not be effective for our King and His Kingdom any longer!

Rest. God rested. He showed us that it is OK, and that we need to rest. God is good, and He only does what is good, and He rested. And He has revealed to us through His Word that true rest is found in His Son Jesus Christ! So let’s be led by Father God and His Spirit into deeper intimacy with Him in Jesus Christ that we can receive the rest, refreshing, strength, endurance, perseverance, and everything else we need!

Please pray with me! Father God, in Jesus Christ’s Name, help us to be led and empowered by Your Spirit to do work when You have work for us, and to rest at Jesus’ feet when it is time for that! You know what we need! Help us to follow You and obey You doing what is good, and what pleases You! Help us to have intimacy with You God, and walk in close and intimate fellowship with You! Forgive us for the times we have disobeyed you, and help us to do better now and in the future! Grant to us discernment to know which thoughts are from You, and which thoughts aren’t. Help us to not listen to those condemning, guilt creating, accusing thoughts that aren’t from You! Lead us in Your rest-filled, peace-filled, everlasting ways! We love You Father God, Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit!

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