Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Rest – What come to your mind when you first read the word “rest”?
Naturally our understanding tells us that to rest is to cease from doing whatever work that we are doing and come into a state of being inactive.
On the other hand, we read in the different parts of the epistles, where we were being asked “to be watchful”, “stay alert”, “continue in prayer”, “do the work of ministry with perseverance” and even Jesus said that he must do the work of Him who sent him while it is day (John9:4).
The thought of it already makes one feeling exhausted and tired. Now, how do we strike a balance between what is mentioned above with Hebrew 4:8-11?
Hebrew 4:8-11 says:
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.
Sabbath-rest – Does it means a day rest of doing totally nothing? I’m not a bible scholar neither a bible school graduate so I won’t try to sound impressive here with clever explanations. But just want to share with you what I felt the Holy Spirit is saying to me with regard of what I had experienced recently.
It had been for a while that I was feeling tired physically and mentally with the work of ministry.There were times I knew that I had kept going on with my own strength. Sometimes, things turned out pretty well, but I knew deep inside it feels lousy. I am reading the Book of Hebrews lately and came across Hebrew 4:8-11 and the one verse that spoke to me was verse 10.
It says: “for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work…”
“…rest from his own work…” This really makes me re-evaluate my heart. The works that I do might seem good and profitable to the recipients, but are those works being done out of knowing that it is being guided by God or just my good ideas? And the thought “In God there is life” came to mind. This thought helped me to see the difference between works done through the inspiration of God and works done through human effort.
Works that are inspired by the Spirit of God will naturally bring life because God is life. This life not only flows to the recipients of the good works but also to the person whom God used as the channel. It refreshes both the recipients and the servant. Hence, the servant does not need to strive trying to achieve good results for good results will come naturally because the life of God is there to bring forth good fruits. We find rest even in the midst of carrying out the works.
However, works that birth out of human effort exhaust not only the servant but also the recipients. When the servant is worn out, naturally his flesh takes over and we know that anything that is done out of flesh just doesn’t glorify God, and remember, the works of the Kingdom of God is to touch lives. Those lives are precious to God and may we always handle them with much care.
This simple revelation encourages me a lot and had helped me to come to a place of finding rest (in God) even in the midst of doing works that demands lots of energy. I hope this simple sharing encourages you too. God bless!