Matthew 11:27-29 (NLT)
“My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Ever since I was a small child, if I do not feel well I sleep it off. No matter what the ailment I may be experiencing, my body goes into deep hibernation. As an adult, I still do the same thing. My children have the same uncanny ability. So last night when I had an unsettled stomach and a pounding head, my natural response was to lay down for a bit. Surely, after a few minutes I would feel better. Well, I do feel better after over ten hours of sleep. That was all she wrote as the hamster in my brain jumped off the wheel, my body finally gave out and mama went to sleep which I must admit kind of freaks my family out. I needed to rest. To really rest, to power down, shut off and disconnect from everything that is going on all around me and even my mind with continuous thought well after I close my eyes. For those of us who stay on constant “go mode” all the time, could it be that God officially shuts us off from time to time just to refresh and recharge us from the inside out. Otherwise rather than resting, we would berate ourselves for all the “things” that are not getting done around us that we have “assumed” full responsibility for. To all the overachievers, over-doers, and workaholics, this one’s for you and I. God has a message for us in the midst of our rushing around and constant activity. It is God’s Will for you to give it a rest. Seriously, it is time to stop laboring and start resting on the Promises of God which is His Will for our life.
Hamsters are given wheels in captivity for exercise. These little rodents were created by God as nocturnal creatures. One reason is to stealthily gather food and supplies under the cover of darkness safe from predators looking for dinner. They are constantly on the move at night so if held captive the wheel allows them to exert the otherwise pent up energy of their purpose. Scientists have clocked these little rodents averaging over 5 miles a day on a little wheel. Where are they going? What are they doing? One might ask believers the very same thing. We do not rest on the Promises of God because we do not always see the bigger picture. The Word of God shines a light on what the Lord is doing in our life. The Holy Spirit reflects the Image of God in us and together our life is changed for the better. Not by anything we do, but rather our ability to trust the Lord enough to allow Him to complete the good work that He has begun in us.
Genesis 2:1-3 (NLT)
So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.
God completed the creation of the heavens and the earth. Got it. Now, He also completed EVERYTHING in them. Wait a minute? On the seventh day, God had finished all of creation so He rested from His Work. It says nothing about more work to come, or that He was just taking a breather, but in fact as I read and study it – it says, “EVERYTHING in them was completed.” Now as I have read the Word of God, I found that every moment of my life has also been recorded already. (Psalm 139:16) I have also discovered that God has a plan and purpose for my life that is good with a future and hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) It tells me that I find this when I seek Him wholeheartedly. (Jeremiah 29:13) It doesn’t compel me to do anything other than seek the Lord with all of my heart. Where is He? In His Rest…
Hebrews 4:1-3 (NLT)
God’s promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it. For this good news—that God has prepared this rest—has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn’t share the faith of those who listened to God. For only we who believe can enter his rest.
Worry, stress and anxiety are all monkeys that hinder God’s Children. In the wise words of the Polish idiom, “Not my circus, not my monkey!” We are not supposed to become anxious about anything as sons and daughters of God. He completed everything for us ahead of time. Our job is simply to trust Him. When my children walk in the house and flip a light switch, they do not worry about it. They do not think about should I turn on the lights, if I try will they come on, or did mom and dad pay the power bill. This is evident in the fact that they leave every single light, television and every other electricity-sucking device on they can find whether they are using it or not. They know that we will take care of it – all Glory to God who provides all that we need. How many times in the course of a day do we worry, stress or have anxiety about the details of our life that have been completely provided for and taken care of by God? Don’t make me count the times in my own life for it is much too embarrassing. God has prepared a rest for us in His Presence. He has provided all that we need to rest there. We fail to go there because we are too busy trying to do it all ourselves like hamsters on a wheel who are given food, shelter and protection it is our sinful nature that keeps trying to do it ourselves. Pride will not all us to stop working and rest in the Lord. It is a trust problem that must be overcome to enter the Eternal rest reserved for those who believe that it is finished just like Jesus said that it was.
Hebrews 4:9-11 (NLT)
So there is a special rest till waiting for the people of God. For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall.
God is inviting you to a “Sabbath” kind of rest. A period of rest. He wants us to be refreshed, quieted, eased of duty, relieved from stress, worry and anxiety, experience mental and spiritual calm, relax and be refreshed. Have you ever had to hard boot a computer or maybe your smartphone? Both of these devices are often left “on” continuously and sometimes begin to malfunction even to the point of not allowing the user to shut them off. So you must hold down some buttons and force a shutdown…do you see where I am going with this? If God has a plan for my life that is perfect, but I will not stop long enough to have faith in the Lord and believe Him enough to slowdown or stop…He will shut you down to renew, refresh and revive our life. In Jesus Christ alone we find our rest. (Hebrews 4:14-16) He is the High Priest in charge of His People’s Sabbath rest. He opened the door so that by faith we could access the Presence of God which allows us to find rest in His Shelter (Psalm 91:1). The Lord leads us to peace and rest. (Psalm 23:1-3) God gifts His Love Ones with rest. (Psalm 127:1-2) God has given us the ability to work. He allows us to gather the good things that He has prepared for us in advance. But without the joy and peace cultivated by knowing Him, His Spirit and His Way – we find no rest. Chasing meaningless things promotes continuous and chaotic activity. (Ecclesiastes 2:22-24) But when we step into the Presence of God and say, “Your Will and Your Way God!” We will rest in His Glorious Goodness. There is peace and joy in trusting and believing in the Power of God. It allows us to release the weight and burden of our life and experience the inheritance set aside for us when God rested on the Seventh Day. Seems fruitless to keep trying to do what God has already done for us, huh?
Hebrews 4:12-13 (NLT)
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.
If only we could see the view from the top, looking down from the Throne Room of God. He sees where we are now and what lies ahead. He is excited because He made a way for us to experience life. Jesus wants you to have an abundant life. He died for you to experience all of God’s Goodness and collect the inheritance of every promise He has made for your life both now and forever. If only we could see our life how God designed it…we can! The Word of God reveals the Plan of God for our life…it’s a good one. It cuts to the core of our life exposing the areas keeping us from having all that He has promised so that we can remove those things making room for God’s Glorious Standard in our life. This takes the burden of our life off our shoulders and puts it in the nail-scarred Hands of Jesus for renewal, restoration and revitalization. We just have to give it a rest beginning with us!
Hebrews 4:14-16 (NLT)
So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.