Do you ever wish you could just stop the world for a day?
“So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from His works as God did from His.” (Hebrews 4:9-10)
“Workin’ for the Weekend” is the joyful chorus of an old song. “Thank God it’s Friday” goes a popular saying. I don’t know about you, but I’ve definitely said that a few times.
I’m realizing more and more that woven into the fabric of the human soul is the desire for rest – not just sleep, but a time of stepping back and letting go of the pressures and pressing demands of everyday work and life.
We are all wired for Sabbath.
Yet, have you ever noticed how difficult it can be sometimes to find rest, or even to take it when it’s offered to us? Somehow, getting off the proverbial treadmill is harder than it looks. Why is that?
Maybe it’s the fact that there is a nagging and persistent idea lodged into the fabric of the human heart: “If I don’t take care of myself, no one will.” It comes from all sorts of places, but it seems like it’s a constant in almost all of us. We doubt that things will work out without our efforts, so we drive ourselves constantly and refuse to answer the call to simply rest and trust God. Even in the life of a Christian, if we’re not careful, that doubt can drive us to places we don’t want to go.
Maybe you’re felt or said things like these before…
“I’d better go to church so God is happy with me.”
“I really should read my Bible more.”
“I need to be doing more for God.”
Sound familiar? These are ideas that rattle around in the souls of so many believers, yet even when we do all the right things, how often do we still feel it’s just not enough?
If you know that feeling, then I have good news. God wants your life to be better than this…
The writer of Hebrews tells us, “For we who have believed enter that rest.” (Hebrews 4:3) What rest is it that we enter? “Whoever has entered into God’s rest has also rested from His works as God did from His.” (4:10)
The invitation to Sabbath is not another duty to be performed, but a delight to be enjoyed! God calls to His children, “Trust me. Believe in my love and care for you. Trust Jesus to take care of your life like He said He would, and just rest.”
God isn’t demanding good works from us to remain in His favor, but describing a life where we simply choose to rest in His love and believe in His ability to be God so we don’t have to try so hard.
The funny thing is that it’s often much easier to keep working than to stop and trust Jesus to handle things without our involvement. That’s why the passage continues by saying, “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest…” (Hebrews 4:11a) This is not a contradiction in terms. It is a reminder that to trust is to fight that little doubt in our mind that says we must handle things ourselves or risk losing everything.
To trust is to let God be God and admit that we are not, and to forcibly push aside our anxiety about tomorrow and simply trust God for today. It’s not an easy task, but when we silence the voice of relentless self-sufficient worry, we will at last hear the restful sound of the music our souls long to hear:
The sound of Sabbath.
Do you struggle with taking “Sabbath” time to rest? What helps you do it?