What is ‘Rest’?

This past Sunday here at Kalamazoo Community Church, Pastor Jeff challenged me.

I’m not sure he intended to, but he did.

He brought up an idea that is foreign to our culture, our way of life…and my own lifestyle.

The idea: Rest.

He said that the ‘Sabbath’–a day of rest…is commanded by God. It’s put right there in the Decalogue–the 10 Commandments: “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” (Exodus 20:8)

Actually, this is one of the Commandments that God, Himself expounds on… Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (Exodus 20:9-11)

God says, in essence, I did all my work in 6 days then rested…therefore you should too.

Jeff brought up a great point: It wasn’t because God was ‘tired’ that He rested. He didn’t need  a ‘break’.

Rather, He did this as a pattern for us.

Here is where Jeff encouraged US–in the United States of America, in the year 2017–to reaffirm the need for rest. Jeff gave several practical suggestion…and they were convicting to me because I know that I, when I have a ‘day off’ or an unscheduled period of time do everything possible…to Fill it!

Why? Because in the USofA, in this day and age, we think that ‘rest’ means ‘laziness’, and we can’t be caught ‘resting’.  (Don’t get me wrong, I know there are increasing numbers who seem to ‘specialize’ in ‘resting’…I’m not talking about them.)

However, it challenged me because, IF I believe (as I say I do) that following God’s revealed will is key to the “Full Life (John 10:10) that Jesus promised us, then REST has to be part of it. If not, then I’m essentially telling God, ‘I know better’…I don’t need ‘rest’. I can handle it!

…and that, for the record, is wrong!

But it got me thinking.

I don’t think it’s only about ‘resting’.

Otherwise, my falling asleep on Sunday while watching the Lions would count.

I think it’s more than that.

Exodus 35:2: “For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a day of sabbath rest to the Lord.”

What is resting “to the Lord”, or as the old versions used to say “rest as unto the Lord”?

This is not just a ‘coffee break’. This is not just binge watching on Netflix…this is more.

This is worship. This is surrender. This is acknowledging Him, and my need for Him. This is humility.

This is saying to God, ‘Lord, I’m going to put ‘sabbath rest’ back into my life because I want to acknowledge You. I want to acknowledge that I need YOU, more than anything. YOU are the key to my life. YOU are the key to my success (not 7 days per week working); YOU are what I need to fill me up (not a schedule crammed with ‘recreational activities’).’

Rest ‘as to the Lord’ stops and acknowledges HIM. It worships. It surrenders. It obeys and worships some more.

THIS is the kind of ‘rest’ that God wants from us…and for us!

HE knows best, and He knows that it will be for His glory–and for our good!

Let’s get some ‘Rest as Unto the Lord’ back into our lives!

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