Have you Rested?

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In the Ten Commandments we read to observe the sabbath day. God worked creating the world and everything in it for 6 days and rested on the 7th. God commanded that the Israelites, His people, rest too. God told them to do no work on the sabbath and then He explains why the command was given. They were to remember that they were once slaves in the land of Egypt and how God brought them out and rescued them. They were to use the day to remember and reflect on all God has done for them. (Deuteronomy 5:12-15)

Christ fulfilled the law becoming the final sacrifice for sin and therefore freeing us from it’s demands, but not from the concepts and truth of the law. Christ didn’t come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. (Matthew 5:17-19)

The law was good, but no one could keep it perfectly. We are by nature sinful and rebel against God. Sin came to the world as a result of Adam. So God in His mercy sent a His son, Jesus, in Human form to do what we could not do ourselves. Jesus was sinless and obeyed the law perfectly. So He became the final and perfect sacrifice for us, taking on Him our sin. If we believe we become His children and He saves us from our sin, making us right with God. If we don’t believe we are still in our sin and separated from God.(Romans 7:4-6)

In Christ we have access to rest 24/7. He lives in us through His Holy Spirit and therefore we can talk and rest with Him anytime. Because we believe in Him we have in fact already entered into His rest. (Hebrews 4:1-3)

Rest is good and God invites us to rest in Him. Resting clears our minds and refocuses us on what really matters. It brings calm to our chaotic world. It’s refreshing and relaxing. We can use rest to center ourselves in Christ and fix our eyes on Him. To worship and praise Him. To think of all the ways He has helped and provided for us. All the things God has done and is doing for us in our journey with Him. (Psalm 77:12)

Whether it is a day, an hour, or a little time each day, it’s good for us to practice resting in God. To pause and refocus. We were never meant to always work and toil, even if the work is in ministry for God. Jesus regularly withdrew to spend time with His Father. To pray and talk with Him. (Luke 5:16)

There are many ways we can rest with God. He invites us into each. 

Rest quietly before God

(Luke 10:38-42, Romans 8:28)

Take time, a few minutes or an hour or more each day to sit quietly before God. Be still and know that He is God. Take in His presence, His majesty, His glory and splendor. Revel in His kindness, mercy and love for us individually. Remember His blessings and provisions for each of us every day through all our circumstances.

Resting quietly before God refocuses our mind on Him. It changes our perspective and opens our viewpoint. We see our world through the view of eternity rather than the focus on the here and now. Each day we see our circumstance, problem, situation, pressure, trouble, emotion all up close and can become overwhelmed. Being with God broadens our view to that of eternity and the bigger picture of a sovereign God who is in complete control and uses everything for our good working it all out for those who believe.

Rest in God and His strength 

(Psalm 62:7-8, Psalm 29:11)

When we are struggling and going through hard times, we can trust in Him. We can lean on Him. He will be our refuge and strength and guide us through. He is always there for us. He loves us an wants us to reach out to Him and find our hope in a Him.

When we trust Him, God’s peace will guard our hearts and minds. His peace passes all understanding and will surround us. Resting in His strength helps us to build our faith and trust in Him. When we rely on Him alone we find all we really need. He will help us when we ask. He is always right beside us ready to help guide and strength us.

Rest from our work and labor 

(Hebrews 4:10, Matthew 11:28-30)

God never meant for us to work continuously, even if we are doing His work. Jesus took breaks. He spent time away from the crowds to rest. We need rest from our work. It rejuvenates us and clears our mind. It helps us when we pick back up our work to be refocused with a fresh perspective and new strength to continue and complete the work. 

This applies to any kind of work, whether for God or man. God knew the Israelites would need rest. God knows we need rest. We should try to rest a little each day but also take regular periodic breaks from our work.

Rest in His promises 

(2 Corinthians 1:20, Psalm 56:10-11, Psalm 18:30)

Gods promises are true, always. We can claim them each for ourselves. We can pray them over others. God wants to fulfill His promises to His children. They might not always be fulfilled like we think they should and in trying times be hard to grasp, but they are still true. God cannot lie. His promises are certain.

Read Gods Word and memorize its promises. Recall and include them in our prayers. Trust Him and believe in His power and promises. Ask Him for help to trust and believe. When we ask He freely gives. 

Rest in His Word

(Psalm 119:105, John 1:1, 1 Peter 1:25, John 3:34, 2 Timothy 3:16-17)

By reading, memorizing, studying His Word and spending time each day in it we learn who God is and His character and love for us. Each time we spend a moment in His Word we draw closer to God. God speaks to us through His Word. His Holy Spirit reveals the meaning to us. His Word teaches, rebukes, corrects and is a light for our path. 

God gave us His Word. Through Devine inspiration God moved men to write the books of the Bible to speak to people then and now. He reaches out in love through a His Word. It is His love letter to us and to the world.

We can rest in it’s words, promises, the revelation of God, His sovereignty and His plan for humanity. We can find encouragement and hope, conviction and strength, purpose and faith in His Word to us.

Rest in His plan 

(Jeremiah 29:11, Proverbs 16:9, Isaiah 55:8-9)

Trusting God and His plan for our lives can be hard. We like control. But as we trust we will see Gods plan is good. He has a purpose to everything in our lives. He uses all of our experiences in the master plan He has for our lives. Each one shapes us to be more like Him and we gain understanding to encourage and help others. All the pieces fit together like a puzzle. God sees the whole picture. We only see part, but we can trust and rest in His goodness and love.

When we read Gods Word we see how He worked all thing together for good. God is still the same God as then. He is still working and inviting us to rest in His good plan for us.

Rest is Good

(Psalm 34:8, Psalm 23, Psalm 46:10-11, Exodus 33:14)

Rest is good and part of God’s design for us. When rest is incorporated into our routines it balances us. We need this balance to fully function within the church, the body of Christ. We need rest to live and fulfill our God given purpose and work. Without it a piece is missing. Like oil in a machine helps it to work properly, rest does the same for us.

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