Last week we saw that God has made us to function best in a healthy rhythm of work and rest. We see this in the principle of the Sabbath, and the fact that Jesus rested and called his followers to rest (John 4v6, Mark 6v31). But how are we to rest? Here are three ideas:
1) Refreshment. We are to use our rest to… well, rest! We don’t have to feel guilty about using some of our time simply to do something we enjoy for our refreshment. It doesn’t need to be evangelism, it doesn’t need to be ministry; it can simply be rest and refreshment so that we are equipped to fulfil the other callings of our life.
2) Reflection. Taking regular rest shows that we are not indispensible. It reminds us that God keeps the world turning and we don’t. God is the one who prospers our labour and gives us success (or otherwise). Right down to the food on our tables, it is God who provides for us. Rest reminds us to stop and reflect and remember him.
3) Edification. Rest, however, is not the cessation of activity, and an opportunity to catch up on some movies, but is also a time for meeting with God’s people to be built up. We might be tempted to use rest as an excuse for not meeting together, but Hebrews 10v25 reminds us, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” God often doesn’t refresh us with a powerful zap when we are stressed, but rather through the regular habits of meeting together and hearing his Word. “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul” (Psalm 19v7).
So this week: take some time off to rest… and maybe help someone else to do that too!