The weather in Oklahoma has been cold and blustery with snow, sleet, and thunder! It was a great day to stay inside and with the office closed today and tomorrow, get some much-needed rest! With a busy travel schedule this month, it was nice to spend some time resting and hanging out together. Sometimes in a performance-driven world, we don’t always understand the purpose of rest!
It’s days like this that we get more productive in fixing good food to eat! Soups, cookies, and waffles were on order for the day! But besides eating all day, rest has a purpose that is essential to our well-being. We need to take time to allow our mind, body, and spirit to be rejuvenated in order to take on the tasks that lay ahead!
I want to share with you a couple of reasons we need to take time to rest. While I admit that I am not very good at this, these two reasons are vital to long-term effectiveness. Why should we take time to rest? What is the purpose of rest?
1. To Renew Our Strength
The body and mind are so incredibly made by our creator to do amazing things. The intricate detail that our creator took in making us is amazing! There is no equal. Yet in the details of God’s creative processes, he also built in a need for us to rest.
Rest is an essential element that God has designed for us to renew the strength we need to function properly. When we do not rest, our bodies are not the only part of our lives that suffers, but also our ability to think and process. Wisdom demands that we take time to rest.
However, not only do our bodies find natural rejuvenation, when we invite God to be a part of our rest, He works supernaturally. The Bible tells us that He can provide fresh strength when we are in the most need.
It is easy for us to have the idea that rest is unproductive. After all, the expectations of the world and those that are self-induced, value a high level of productivity. But our true value is not necessarily our constant production, but the ability to walk in the rhythm that God intended for us.
The Bible says: He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind. Isaiah 40:29–31 (The Message)
2. To Know God’s Peace
This second element of the purpose of rest is vital to our emotions and perspective. Rest not only rejuvenates the body and mind, but it also realigns our spirit with God’s heart. When we rest we put our trust in the provision of God to supply what we need. It reminds us that our reliance is not necessarily on our productivity, but on the abilities of God.
If you ever begin to wonder about the ability of God to take care of your life, all you need to do is look at the natural world around you. God is always reminding us of His ability to care for our needs. Scripture gives us some insight concerning the state of mind that God wants us to walk in. Especially when we are in need in our lives.
Matthew 6 is a great reminder of God’s Peace-inducing care!
I love the way the Message Bible puts it!
“If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body.” Matthew 6:25 (The Message)
The Bible reminds us that there are more important things in life than what we eat and whether or not we wear the finest of clothing. Rather, God desires for us to seek after Him far more passionately than temporary and earthy things. We are to put our faith in Him to provide for our basic needs! After all, God is better at taking care of us than we are!
“Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds. “Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.“ Matthew 6:26–29 (The Message)
He ends this thought with the instruction that we are to rest in Him. Why? Because He is able to replace our anxious thoughts about our needs with rest in Him. The Message tells us to relax and respond to the generosity of God’s care and provision.
“What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” Matthew 6:31–33 (The Message)
When we rest, focus on Christ, and prioritize Him as our source. You can trust, that when you obey His instruction to rest, he will respond by fulfilling His promise. He will never leave or forsake us and will meet our every human need!
Whether you have a regular time of rest each week, or you are forced to because of weather, rest in God. Why? He has shown us in scripture the purpose of rest. You will find new strength and more peace in your life.
Put your faith in Him and you will find His strength, peace, and provision is sufficient for you!
It begins with Christ!
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