Start with the rest!

Posted on 18/12/18

I’ve signed up for an advent devotional, and one of the articles reminded me of something the Lord spoke to me several years ago.

As I was reading Genesis, I thought it was interesting how it says
And there was evening and morning were the first day”

It seemed back to front – surely day (morning) comes first?

As considered this I realized that Jewish Shabbat (sabbath) begins at sundown. The sabbath started in the evening, with rest from work!

From God’s point of view, He made us to rest!  He told us 6 days to work, then rest! Yes we are also created to do good works, but He wants us to rest; specifically to rest in him.

He never slumbers or sleeps – so we can!

If we think about evening being first, then each of our days begins with rest, before we go about the busyness of life.

In this advent season we are liable to run around like headless chickens; searching for gifts or last minute bits for Christmas lunch, but I challenge you to consider that rest is best!

Our minds and bodies are not designed for continuous activity.  We need to sleep, to rest and refresh ourselves in order to maintain health in all areas of our lives.

Jesus took his disciples away for a break – it must have been important to him.

Mark 6:31
And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

Our spirits are of course perfect and whole, but we need to quiet ourselves down from activity sometimes in order to tune into the spiritual things that can easily get drowned out by busy lives.

The scripture on the picture says that if we come to him, he will give us rest. That word ‘rest’ means

  • to cause or permit one to cease from any movement or labour in order to recover and collect his strength
  • to give rest,
  • refresh,
  • to keep quiet, or calm
  • patient expectation

To be at rest means to not being stressed, worried or fearful; to be relaxed and healthy.
The author of Hebrews says this:

Hebrews 4:11
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

In spiritual terms, rest means that we cease from dead works, striving to please God, or using our own effort to take care of things God has already provided for us. It means to trust God and believe his word. 

Today’s thought is this; labour (because sadly it takes a conscious effort) to enter into God’s rest through knowing and trusting in his word, and in this busy season, make sure you have times where you can withdraw, and go into your days activity from a position of rest.

Have a great evening!

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