I recently wrote about how work is a blessing. Work may be a reflection of God’s work in our lives and how it is meant as a blessing for others. Instead of viewing work as something you have to do – in order to do the things you want to do – think of work as a means to imitate the Lord Jesus. He continues to work on your behalf in directing the course of history and how you can imitate the Lord Jesus in blessing others. Yet even work has its limits.
God never designed us to work 24/7. Every one of us has to rest. It’s a pattern God established in the garden as He set aside the seventh day as a day of rest. He did not need to rest. However, He did show that He had completed the work. He did show that there is to be a time of rest until work would resume. And He did show that there is a time in which to stop what you are doing and worship Him. In fact, He shows us that on a daily basis.
All of us can go for a day without sleep. Experts say that the human body needs eight hours of sleep (or so) every day. Recently, I drove 1980 miles to my new location. I left after church and wanted to drive during the daylight, so I could be ready to stop along the way and get a couple hours rest if needed. Well, 31 hours later I arrived at my destination, without stopping for rest! There were a few times I became sleepy, but when I arrived, I was fully ready to rest. I needed it. Others have gone for 60 hours and even more without sleep. In every case, the body cries out for rest. Why?
God designed our bodies that way so we would search the spiritual meaning. The physical principle of sleep is merely there in order to drive us to the spiritual principle that we cannot live spiritually without total rest in Him. He is our source of strength. If we do not rest in Him, trusting in His strength, then we will never experience the spiritual empowerment to see work as a blessing, especially in blessing others. God never meant for the Christian to “work” his way through life. God meant for the Christian to rest in Him,
Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. 3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: “So I swore in My wrath, `They shall not enter My rest,'” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; 5 and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.” 6 Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, 7 again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.” 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. 11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. (Heb. 4:1-11 NKJ)
Entering His rest requires diligence. It is a choice to leave our works and enter His empowerment through us to imitate Him for good works.
The real issue is pride or humility. Prideful people do not think they need total support from the Lord. Humble Christians completely rest in His grace and power. Humble Christians make choices to pursue that rest and obey Him in complete dependence upon Him. Humble Christians do not think they are strong, but totally weak apart from His power. And humble Christians, in resting upon Him, see work as a blessing, especially in trying to serve others.
May the Lord see you diligently pursuing His empowerment through His rest!