I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
By Boyd Bailey
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them. Revelation 14:13
It is hard for some people to rest from their work. They love their work, enjoy their work, and may even worship their work. Hard, smart, and productive work is good, but worshiping work is bad. It is reckless and leads to ruin. It may be relational ruin, physical ruin, or even financial ruin. Work that is worshipped gets out of hand quickly. God is the only one who deserves worship. It is good to be proud of your pure motivation that produces quality work, but do not allow work to become an end in itself. Your true identity comes from Christ, not work.
When you work all the time you tend to drift from your moorings of faith in Christ to faith in yourself. “Can God be trusted enough for me to rest from my work?” Of course—He divinely redeems the time of your limited work and produces more lasting results. You are His workmanship in Christ Jesus—when you take the time to cease working, God accelerates His work in you. Some of His best work takes place when you don’t work. Believers rest for eternity, while unbelievers are in torment forever.
“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His” (Hebrews 4:9-10).
You can physically be away from work and still be at work mentally, so free your mind from this split-focused activity. Do not make your mind jealous over your body’s freedom from work. Give your thoughts rest from work, and you will discover your thinking is more robust and innovative when you reengage in your work. Shift your thinking to the bigger thoughts of God and His plan. Superimpose simple faith in Him over the complex issues that are assaulting your rest.
Your mind, body, and emotions are all part of your Sabbath rest. Your Sabbath rest can be a catalyst for others to reengage with God. Set the example and watch others follow. Your Sabbath rest gives others permission to do the same. It’s not always easy to get to God’s rest, but once you arrive it is well worth the effort. His rest ignites your obedience and trust. So, rest from work and rest in Him. Then watch your work become better, more productive—sustained by the Spirit.
“Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience” (Hebrews 4:11).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the faith to rest from my work with You, so I can rest in You.