We. Need. Rest. However, most of us do not get enough of it. In the Old Testament, God instituted a day of rest for His people. In fact, He felt so strongly about it that He made it one of His commandments. Sadly though, the Israelites did not take heed to it as one of God’s mandates; instead, they trampled upon it.
In Isaiah 58, God told His people to stop putting their agenda ahead of Him. He told them that if they indeed wanted to honor Him, they must stop doing their own ways, stop finding their own pleasures, and stop speaking their own words (vs. 13). By doing so, they would be delighting themselves in Him and showing Him great honor. They would be resting in Him.
As New Testament disciples of Christ, we are not required to observe the Mosaic law. Therefore, the Sabbath law is not binding for us. But, we still need rest! When we entered into a relationship with Christ Jesus, rest became available for us. Now, we no longer have to labor for what belongs to us….salvation and eternal life. It is ours! We have rest every day in Jesus Christ. Even though this is true, we still need physical and mental rest at regularly scheduled intervals. Taking a mental and physical break from the work ensures that we can come back to it refreshed and rejuvenated with tremendous resolve and resurgence. Psalm 23 is a wonderful picture of how God gives us the rest that we so desperately need. “He makes us to lie down in green pastures” (vs. 2). What a beautiful depiction of the place of plenty…..where God’s sheep lie down for repose and tranquility under His watchful care. At least one day of the week we ought to spend time reconnecting with our great God. At least one day of the week we ought to put away the work and engage fully in committed worship. There are no mandates to do it and none concerning how often we should do it, but Paul’s admonition to us not to “grow weary in well doing” reminds us of our tendency to grow weary while doing the very work God has predestined for us to do (Gal. 6:9).
Take the time to relax, to refresh, and to reset in His presence….and at designated intervals. Every day we find spiritual rest in Christ; some days we must couple it with physical and mental rest to continue in the work He has called us to do.