God even had to model it in Genesis 1, calling one of the seven days “Rest.” The writer to the Hebrews expressed God’s frustration over and over again with the people of Israel who consistently fell short of entering His rest. [Hebrews 4:1-11] God is very into making sure we rest. It is even one of the big ten commandments.
Jesus’ invitation is to come to Him and find rest for your soul. [Matthew 11:28-30]
The Psalm of all Psalms is primarily about resting and being restored. Since the Lord is our shepherd He wants us as Christ followers to not be in any want; we should always anticipate that He is going to “make us lie down in green pastures, He leads us by quiet waters, He restores our soul, He guides us in paths of righteousness for His names sake.” [Psalm 23] But we struggle with being quiet, lying down, leisurely strolling by a quiet body of water and being restored and led into His path for us. We tire so easily. We quickly get irritated with people. The valley of the shadow of death makes us full of fear. We fight God’s leading instead of inviting His nudging with rod and staff. We miss the meal He has prepared for us because we’re too busy for Him to sit down and eat and enjoy and fellowship with Him. We get our focus on the enemy and miss the anointing God has for us. In the place of goodness and love following us every day our wake is piled high with regrets and resentments. We lose sight of heaven. All because we do not rest!
So as your friend and pastor of spiritual formation I give you permission to rest not by my authority or counsel but by the counsel and dominion of God almighty our Shepherd.
Yea but the rivers of things I need to do are piling up. “I am overwhelmed with the uproar of the nations. Wars and earthquakes and turmoil covers the earth.” [Psalm 46] So I must get busier than ever right? No, you must get more rest in and under Him.
Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”
All of the “yeah buts” in your life are deflecting the central resource you need to live a full life here as Jesus offers. “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus has come to give you life to the full.” [John 10:10]
So what are you going to choose? Your will and way or His? Life or death? Regrets or fulfillment?
“Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.” (Hebrews 4:1-2 ESV)