Rest is part of your discipleship.
One of the ways we actively imitate both the life and teachings of Jesus is by resting. Knowing the Father, becoming like the Son and participating in the work of the Spirit requires that you rest.
What is rest to you?
Take a minute to think about what brings you that feeling of rest? What do you turn to when you want to relax or when you have some downtime?
You likely thought of things that bring mental and/or physical rest. Things such as music, a hot bath, a massage, a mani/pedi, a cozy bed, time by the pool or the beach, or a quick stay-cation, which are all beneficial, but they are not enough. Those things help the mind and body but not the soul, so they still leave us feeling weary if we don’t also provide rest for our souls.
This is because rest is not just for our minds and bodies. God designed us for spiritual rest, too.
In Matthew 11: 28-30 MSG, Jesus tells us that He will give us rest if we come to Him.
“Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn unforced rhythms of grace. I will not lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Jesus doesn’t just offer rest. He shows us how to do it.
In the Gospels there is a repeated pattern of Jesus ministering to others, and then before pouring himself out again, Jesus leaves everyone and spends time with God. Jesus himself set boundaries around His time. He understood that part of His walk with God included rest – biblical rest, not just having down-time, but cultivating God-time.
Hebrews 4:8-11 speaks of the promise of rest for God’s people, how God himself is at rest and that at the end of our journey, if we remain faithful to God, we’ll rest with God. Additionally, God’s Word tells us over and over to be still and rest in the Lord.
Rest = God-time
Only God can provide rest for our weary souls on this battlefield, which in turn gives us the ability to fight well. This requires that we each carve out spiritual rest each day just like we do for our minds and bodies. God-time is simply lingering in His presence – in His Word, in worship, in prayer. The longer we linger, the more we know Him, become like His son, and get in tune with the Spirit at work in and through us.
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