It is Time to Rest ….. November 8, 2020
Unless the Lord builds the house, those who built it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Psalm 127:1-2 ESV
One thing that is very important to remember …. Jesus took time to rest. When you labor and take no time for rest, you will become weary and less effective in your responsibilities. This is true physically as well as mentally. I have heard many say, “I don’t have time to slow down.” That may be true for a season of life when circumstances require it, but if it is your lifestyle, eventually you will burn out and as I stated, become less effective. Do not confuse rest with laziness, slothfulness, or being irresponsible. Rest is needed to refuel the body and mind. Rest was God’s plan for all that he created. Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day, you shall rest. Exodus 23:12a ESV. Isn’t it sad that the human race always seems to drift away from God’s best for us? We have created energy drinks to help us do more with less sleep. We boast of cities that never sleep. Individuals will sacrifice their health, attempting to make it possible to take it easy someday. Problem is that someday generally never comes. We need to remember this is the day the Lord has made and every day has a purpose…. And there is a day that is intended for rest.
Rest In Your Thoughts:
May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord. Psalm 104:34 ESV Our desire as disciples should be to bring the greatest pleasure to God as our Lord and Savior. When we rest our minds/thoughts we are intentionally taking our thoughts captive to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5) A disciplined person will plan and do what is important to succeed in life. You will only rest your thoughts if you deem it important, and let me assure you, it is extremely important for you to do so. As you would take a vacation from the routine of life, so we must redirect our thoughts to take a rest from the daily routines of thought. It is an understatement to say that over the past few weeks/months our thoughts have been overloaded with stressful and negative thoughts, but now it is time to rest your thoughts. What we have experienced over the past few weeks/months may continue, but live with the mindset of trusting in the Lord, for this is the first step in resting in your thoughts. The purpose of this is (and will) make you more like Christ. Jesus took time to rest and so must we.
Rest From Labor:
Six days you shall do your work… Exodus 23:12a ESV Would you agree that our physical health today in the world is less than desirable for many? We have more medicines and knowledge of how the body works than ever before yet we are witnessing great failures in people’s health. I have heard the prescription given to people and to myself ….. you need to take it easy and rest for a while. It is amazing how strength and health can be renewed through rest. Rest, as all good things, was God’s idea for us. When things go astray in our life, we need to ask the question of ourselves, “Am I living the best idea that God has for me?” God’s best for you is to enjoy the gift of rest from all your labors.
Rest In God Provisions:
God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 ESV Every need means every need, not every want. Paul, who wrote this, had experienced a life of beatings, imprisonment, hunger, being shipwrecked, and many other difficulties as a result of being a follower of Jesus, yet he wrote “God will supply.” Just a few sentences before, he wrote…Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. Philippians 4:11 ESV The provision that God supplies to us at all times is his presence. Life can and will be difficult at times, but knowing the Lord is with you in all circumstances should be rest for your soul. God did not say he would make your life easy, but he did say "I will never leave nor forsake you." Keep your life free from the love of money, and BE CONTENT with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 ESV Faith is how we rest in life, knowing God is with us.
Have you ever attempted to rest your thoughts or even rest from your labor and found it almost impossible?
It is possible, but will require some adjustment in your habits. Discipline is the key word here… it will not happen by accident. The heart of man plans his ways, but the LORD establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9 ESV …. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 ESV. Surrender to God’s plan for your life and rest in him. God will always know what is best for you. Trusting him is when you will experience rest and not before.
Nothing in this world happens by accident, for I believe God is in control, and we are not near as much in control as we sometimes think. Rest happens when you place yourself in God’s will, doing what he has determined to be the best for you. I challenge you to do this one thing. Whatever robs you of rest, be it in your thoughts or labors, make a plan to give it to the Lord God. You will do this by using scripture to dominate your thoughts and doing on purpose what God has told you to do…rest from labor on purpose to bring God pleasure in your act of obedience. Live on purpose for God, doing all that was his idea for your life.
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David