God was busy when He created the universe. For six days He worked on establishing heaven and earth, light and dark, water and dry land, and designed all living things. However, after He finished His work He RESTED. Many of us have such a hard time resting. We are busy with our family, career, and ministry.
“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)
So when a free moment does come along, we might feel uncomfortable or restless. A guilty feeling may stir inside of us. We might even fret over our seeming unproductivity.
Have you ever needed to give yourself permission to slow down? Rest? Relax? If there is a list of things that needs your attention, or a honey-do-list, how can you justify a break? How can you possibly justify being still?
First, God is your role model so always look to Him and follow His example. He encourages rest although He does state the importance of working heartily for the Lord (Col.3:23). He encourages balanced scales.
“Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him.” Psalm 62:1 (NIV)
Since He knows your frame, He understands that your body needs sleep…. so take a nap if you need one. Is your mind rested and at peace? If not, find a distraction or hobby. The Lord will not begrudge you a creative outlet for simple pleasure.
We were built for relationships, so enjoy the ones around you. Play a game with your children or have dinner out with a loved one. Most of all, be still and know that God cares about your well-being. Work on building your relationship with Christ.
Reading your Bible, having a special prayer time, meditating on the goodness and faithfulness of God are all wonderful ways to refresh your spirit and build intimacy with God. Ponder all your blessings and remember the many ways God has rescued you from fears and trouble. 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 of your activities? When was the last time you cleared your mind of all your worries, agendas, troubles, and fears?
Resting restores our mental and physical health. If our personal wells are empty 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.
Feeding upon the Word of God is so important, it is our spiritual daily bread. It builds us up and enables us to face whatever greets us in our day. The living water quenches our thirst and waters the work God has lovingly begun within us. Is it not wisdom that calls out to us reminding us to irrigate our personal spiritual gardens? For then we will produce fruit, feed others in need, and give God the glory He so rightly deserves.
As you take a moment to rest and meditate on God’s love, the enemy may come alongside you and whisper words of condemnation. He will try to convince you that you are lazy and slothful. He will serve up condemnation and guilt in an effort to discourage and distract you. Plug your ears! Lies! He is the father of all lies (John 8:44). 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 and rest.
I don’t want to dissuade you from the work He has given you to perform. I am simply reminding you to take time to refresh your spirit and build up your strength. God 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 personal well is full of sweet cool water, available for those who desperately need a swig or two.
“And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14(NKJV)
“Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
For You have delivered my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
And my feet from falling.” Psalm 116:7-8 (NKJV)