Rest. That one word we know we all need, but we struggle with actually doing.
I want my heart, mind, and soul to be at rest throughout the day, but that doesn’t always happen.
I found myself working all day, but yet I felt like nothing was getting done. At the end of the day, I was exhausted. My mind was exhausted. I realized my mind and heart were never at rest with the Lord throughout the day.
I listened to a Proverbs 31 Ministries podcast and the gist of it was:
“We don’t rest from our work. We work from our rest.” -Kristin White
I would also say:
I don’t work so I can rest. I rest so I can work.
Y’all, this was a complete mind-shift for me! I have to dismantle something that’s been embedded in my mind: “Once this is done, then I’ll rest.”
We think: work first, then rest. This mindset is not centered around the gospel.
Jesus always did the opposite of the culture.
Our culture tells us to hustle hard so we can play hard. Jesus tells us to stop so we can rest.
Think back to the order of creation. Genesis 2:3, “So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”
Maybe you’re thinking, “But didn’t He ‘work’ for six days and then He rested?”.
“God sanctified the seventh day because it was a gift to man for rest and replenishment, and most of all because the Sabbath is a shadow of the rest available through the person and work of Jesus Christ. But every day is a day of rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Every day is specially set apart to God.” (David Guzik)
We observe a day of “rest” on the first day of the week, not the last. We also need to take a closer look at the word “rested” in this verse. Part of the definition means “to cease, celebrate, keep (sabbath)” (Strong’s).
Did you catch that, “celebrate”? This is totally just observation, but I can’t help but think that He was celebrating His creation.
So what does biblical rest look like? Let’s look at a verse in the gospel of Matthew.
Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Come To Me
This is an open invitation from Jesus Himself! He tells us to come to Him. You’re either running to or from something. There’s no in-between. I hope you’re running so hard toward Jesus that the enemy chokes on your dust!
Those Who Labor
In this verse, labor means to feel fatigued, to be wearied. Are you growing weary through all of this? If so, take heart. Jesus wants you to accept His invitation and go to Him.
Those Who Are Heavy-Laden
Heavy-laden implies spiritual anxiety, a heavy burden. What are you carrying around that’s heavy? Drop it at His feet.
When I came to Christ, it was like a huge burden had been lifted off of my chest. All the unrepented sin I carried around was too heavy for me. I laid it at His feet that day and walked away light as a feather.
Maybe this is you and you’ve never placed your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. You know He’s not your personal Lord and Savior. What better time to come to Him than right now! Give Him your whole heart. Give Him your time. Give Him your mind.
Maybe you have placed your faith in Jesus but you’re carrying around a spiritual burden that you don’t need to carry. The weight of the world can grow heavy on our souls.
Jesus says in Matt. 11:30 that His burden is light! If you’re carrying around something that’s heavy, it’s not from Jesus, so release it to the Holy Spirit!
The word “rest” in Matt. 11:28 means, “originally to make to cease; Tyndale: ease; Wycliffe: refresh. The radical conception is that of relief.” (Vincent’s Word Studies)
Part of this definition says we have to stop what we’re doing (cease). Does this sound like the kind of rest you want?
This part captivated my heart. I need to stop several times throughout the day and reflect on Him and rest in Him.
Are you looking for relief right now? Stop what you’re doing and rest in Him.
As we celebrate Good Friday, remember that Jesus completed the work on the cross. We’re working so hard when He just wants us to rest in what He already did.
Ways To Rest Throughout The Day
I want you to have practical applications. It’s different for everyone, but I’m happy to share what I’m learning and what’s working for me. I have to set aside several times a day to rest my heart, mind, and soul in Jesus.
I can’t just get up and do my “quiet time” and bible reading and be good for the rest of the day. I need Him ALL.DAY.LONG!
In addition to a morning quiet time:
- Set several reminders throughout the day to quiet your mind (Take 5 to 10 minutes at each reminder to stop what you’re doing to pray, meditate on a verse or a worship song, read the Bible, or whatever works for you. This has altered the quality of my days.)
- Listen to a podcast or an audible bible while you’re cleaning, doing laundry, or getting ready
- Work on memorizing scripture
- Think on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, anything of good virtue, anything praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8) (This is something my husband is currently teaching me to do.)
- Set aside time each day for reading a book on spiritual growth
“May we never be satisfied till we know and feel that we have come to Christ by faith for rest, and do still come to Him for fresh supplies of grace every day! If we have come to Him already, let us cleave to Him more closely. If we have never come to Him yet, let us begin to come today. His word shall never be broken: “Whoever comes to me, I will never cast out.” (J.C. Ryle)