“Therefore, a Sabbath rest remains for God’s people. For the person who has entered his rest has rested from his own works, just as God did from His. Let us then make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience.” – Hebrews 4:9-11
Life can get pretty busy. There always seems to be something craving for our attention: work, household chores, children, husband, wife, parents, church commitments, meetings, friends, and the list goes on. No wonder we live in a fast pace environment. People are experiencing more depression than ever, more burnouts in the workplace, hypertension is growing, and stress has become a common parasite in our lives. Rest seems to be a long lost art while the world is desperately in need of it. At times, we even feel guilty for resting: men feeling guilty thinking they should be generating a greater income and women busy taking care of everyone else except for themselves.
When was the last time you truly rested? When was the last time you slowed down completely, became still, and basked into the presence of the Lord without worrying about time, next tasks, or anything at all? When was the last time you took time to just enjoy the smell of flowers?
Today’s key scripture, Hebrews 4:9-11, brings us back to the basics. It reminds us about the importance and beauty of the Sabbath rest. If God needed to rest from His own work at creation (Genesis 2:2-3), how much more do we need this rest that allows us to enter in his tender presence? If Jesus, our Savior and ultimate role model felt the need to rest, retreating often to remote places (Mark 6:31) and invited his disciples to do so, how much more do we need it? Oh, how my heart jumps to cling on to this truth! Not only does Jesus invite us to rest but he intentionally made the Sabbath for man (Mark 2:27) knowing how our weary souls and body would desperately need this rest.
In a world where we are constantly goal-oriented and task-oriented, obsessed with doing more, we fail to simply be. We get distracted by all these things just as Martha was (See Luke 10:38-42). We are so preoccupied that we forget that the greatest blessings come in the pursuit of Jesus. Seating at the Lord’s feet and listening to Him. Jesus is calling us all to be more like Mary by embracing His presence where we can find a fresh supply of rest, refreshing, peace and joy. What’s more, the rest in Jesus’ presence was not a suggestion but a command. A command to pause. A command to draw near. A command to sit at his feet and be still. The author of Hebrews compels us to “make every effort to enter that rest”, seize from your work and obligations, and dive deep into His presence.
Perhaps you are like I used to be, worried that if you pause long enough your needs would not be met. But let me tell you that something powerful takes place in his presence when you trust him enough to rest. The rest will restore you, His word will revive you and His voice will comfort you and bring you joy. And you don’t have to worry about your needs, financial and otherwise. Just as God provided twice as much manna for the Israelites in the desert on the sixth day so they wouldn’t have to gather bread on the Sabbath, God will certainly provide for you too. God wants you to let go of your worries long enough to enjoy rest in His presence. He wants to be your portion. He says that He is all you need and you will find Him when you search for Him but you cannot find him as distracted by many things.
So why don’t you come and rest awhile? Come and taste and see that the Lord is truly good. Come and rest in His presence and take delight in the Sabbath, a day made just for you and Him.
Father God, I confess that I get preoccupied with many things. I feel a constant need to keep going. Today I want to learn how to take full advantage of the rest that you offer. Help you find that rest Lord and your peace. Teach me to obey your command to rest instituted since the beginning at creation. I want your Sabbath rest and I want you even more. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.