Friday, March 29, 2013

“Rest, Then Work”

    In both the spiritual and the physical world, adequate rest leads to more and better work. 

    “Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto His people Israel, according to all that He promised: there hath not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised by the hand of Moses His servant.  The LORD our God be with us, as He was with our fathers: let Him not leave us, nor forsake us: that He may incline our hearts unto Him, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments, and His statutes, and His judgments” (I Kings 8:56-58).

    First, our Lord provides a “given rest,” that is, we more and more discover and apply ourselves to the truth of trusting Him with all our hearts (Proverbs 3:5).  Then, we find increasing motivation and enabling whereby we more consistently “walk in all His ways.”  This is the Divine order and relationship of a heart at rest resulting in our faculties and members increasingly active in living for the glory of God.  The more we “cease from our own labors” as a means whereby to justify and empower ourselves, the more motivation and ability, as empowered by the Holy Spirit, energizes us to “work the works of God” (Hebrews 4:10; John 6:28).

     Given a good night’s rest, a physically healthy person awakens to greet the new day with purpose, energy, and zeal.  Given increasing insight into the truth that “there remaineth therefore a rest unto the people of God,” the born again believer arises to view the Christian life not as an onerous duty or burden, but as the privileged path of godliness whereupon lies our only peace (Hebrews 4:9). Challenges will confront us, obstacles must be overcome, and we will find ourselves called to “fight the good fight of faith” (I Timothy 6:12).  Recognizing that it is a “good fight” begins with the recognition of adequate strength available through adequate rest.  Moreover, understanding that we wage our battle by “faith” that is, by availing ourselves of the power of God, ensures the rest of heart that strengthens us to engage.  Rest first, and then work. Such truth is true both physically and spiritually.

“Then said they unto Him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.”
(John 6:28-29)

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