Some time ago, I worked extra with some sleeplessness nights. I frequently fell asleep sooner than anyone else. It was our movie night. I promised my daughter I would to join in. I dozed off barely 30 minutes into the movie. The next day she asked the reason for my new routine. My response “I am tired, I wish I could stay awake for a little longer”. A need for personal reset!
I can’t trick my body to go on for longer than it can handle. There’s a limit mentally and physically that our bodies can accommodate.
Our generation is burdened with chasing more. We are pressured to seeking a supposed “better place”. We run hard core fast-paced lives competing and comparing against others’ achievements, places they’ve been, where they work, their children, their husbands etc.
We buy into the lies that “we are too busy”. Excuses we tell ourselves to wriggle out of spiritual growth, family, parenting and other priorities.
We tend to believe nothing works well without us in the picture all the time. We are told to believe that children, family, work place, church or ministry, community service regardless and other life engagements can’t make it without us being at the thick of everything.
Bottom line, we are a generation obsessed with the desire to be in control!
We want to be there for everyone and everything. We want to be in charge and control how things play out.
Wearied and exhausted. Empty and unsatisfied.
Do you see how we miss out on God’s Sabbath rest every day?
We settle for what is less than good – the “more” alternatives.
We crowd out the space for what truly matters with over-scheduled and over-planned selfish lives. All of us have been here at sometime or another.
It is time to come into God’s provided rest for us.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest Matthew 11:28
Rest is necessary. Rest is not Idleness, laziness, or avoidance of work.
What is Rest?
Bible Study: 1 Chronicles 22:18, 1 Corinthians 16:18, 2 Corinthians 7:13, Philippians 1:7 and 20
Firstly, Rest is a gift from God. (Joshua 1:13)
Rest is means relief, to be refreshed, intermission, retreat, peace. You can explore more meanings.
To explore the relevance and benefits of rest we have to go the beginning. God saw everything he had made was very good. He made an end of creation work. On the seventh day, God rested, Genesis 2:3. He blessed and sanctified his work.
Further Bible Reading: Genesis 1:3, Genesis 2:1-3
What can we learn about Rest from God?
God worked excellently. He saw his creation was good. Rest is a season to reflect and be thankful.
God took a break after work. Rest didn’t come before it but after work. There must be a season of “work” which is comprised trials, hardship, bondage, suffering etc as we will discover in this study.
He dedicated one day out of the week to rest. He was deliberate and we too must be intentional about finding rest for our tired bodies or souls.
God would not ask us to do what would harm us. He wants for man to enjoy rest and as such placed it in the commandments. Exodus 20:11; Exodus 16:23-25 and 30
As the Israelites journeyed through their wilderness season, God gave them several rest stops to refresh their weary bodies. God is mindful of our rest state. Numbers 9:15-33
In Jesus earthly ministry, he always sought periods to retreat, or find solitude despite the busyness of his schedule. Luke 4:42-43
Rest benefits those around us including the poor and needy. Life is not only about you. God’s blessings upon our lives are for the benefit of others. See Exodus 23:11
The earth benefits from a rest of human activities. God had carefully designed a way to preserve the earth through rest. Leviticus 25:1-7, Leviticus 26:34-35
Pause and Ponder: Do you take time to rest?
If rest is important why do most ignore it?
7 Ways Rest Can Benefit You
We honour God when we rest. After creation, God took some rest. If God placed it in the commandments then, it is means a lot! In His earthly ministry, Jesus did it several times. If we are to be Christ-like, we should look to Christ as our Perfect example.
To help our bodies and mind rest. We find balance and establish focus when we step away from the hamster wheel. I know the attractiveness of pleasing people at our own detriment. Truth is, we want to be accepted. We want to belong. Sometimes we break our backs and take on more than we can handle. Sister, let’s just stop! Pleasing God and serving without grudge gives much more peace than we imagined.
We discover peace and joy instead of anxiety and worry in the place of rest. We learn to stop saying “yes” to every person, or requests because we are afraid, anxious or worried. Rest helps us choose what is right because we trust God’s lead. Isaiah 32:17 Matthew 6:33-34
We trust in God’s Sustenance. I love how God pays attention to tiny details. Nothing misses His attention. When He calls His people to rest He takes care of them. You see God never leaves us stranded. As the Psalmist rightly said I have never seen the righteous forsaken Psalm 37:25
God has provided manna for the Sabbath rest. Leviticus 16:22-27 We cannot enjoy the secret meal if we are not in the secret place of the Lord. The people were destroyed because they doubted God. They ignored the instruction for Sabbath. To partake of the secret meal we have to trust that God is able to carry us through the floods just as Noah did. We shall delve deeply into the spiritual meal in the secret place later.
Clarity for the journey ahead. Retreat for instruction, strength, guidance and prayer. Jesus always took time off in the place of solitude. Sometimes, we need a physical retreat away from our regular lives. Learn more about how to have your own Personal Retreat. There’s a 140+ Retreat guide available on purchase request. HERE
Rest helps you value the journey. God admired His work and efforts. We should learn to value how much God has helped us accomplish, big or small. Israelites took several rest stops. It is not about getting there earlier, it is about gathering valuable lessons that will sustain you in your place of rest.
Rest creates room for others. We live in a selfish world. So easily does our life take centre stage, leaving out those who barely can afford to survive. Leviticus 23:11
God’s instructions let the land rest was help the poor, widows, strangers and fatherless.
God also wanted them to give the earth some rest. Look around you, we cut down trees, we starve animals, we hunt them for our selfish lust not for meat or food as the Lord had intended. Global warming, sudden deaths of animals is a warning the earth is not at rest.
The earth weeps at the hands of human selfish activities?
God had beautiful plans. Oh! How did we humans miss the whole point of life and living itself!
God’s Rest remains an example for us to follow and order our lives. This is a call for us to rest in Jesus.
Have a friend that needs this study? Ask them to join us.
P.S.S Find more resources in our STORE
By His Great Grace,