The bow cannot be always bent without fear of breaking. Repose is as needful to the mind as sleep to the body… Rest time is not waste time. It is economy to gather fresh strength. It is wisdom to take occasional furlough. In the long run, we shall do more by sometimes doing less. C.S. Lewis
Another part of Jesus life was rest. Of all the points we have looked at so far, this is the one I find the most difficult. If any of you are reading my updates or blog, you will see that I am in a very busy time of missions and rest isn’t something which comes easy, but rest is important. It is easy to see that quiet time, prayer, fasting and Scripture is important, but is rest really that important?
Melvin Tinker wrote: “Here is the Son of God, who in less than three years achieved far more than kings and generals had ever achieved in a thousand years, taking time out. Why? Well, He knew His needs and limitations – even He couldn’t work twenty-four hours a day seven days a week – and neither can we. But also He could have the confidence to do this because of His quiet, serene knowledge that His time was in His Father’s hands, that He wasn’t going to change the world by one endless round of activity, but by doing things in God’s time in God’s way.”
We can see that rest is as much putting out trust in God as anything else. It is confidence that our lives are in the Father’s hand, that actually it is his work which we are part of. Now it is important to note the rest is not laziness, the Bible clear rebukes the lazy, but stresses the importance of rest.
John 4:6 says that when Jesus came to Sychar, “Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.” Apart from once again showing us that Jesus was fully man as well as fully God, this verse shows us that Jesus got tired and needed to rest. Another time we see Jesus seeking a place of rest is in Mark 6:31, Jesus and the disciples were so busy they didn’t even find time to eat, so they left for a quiet place.
Jesus taught that “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27). God made man with the need to rest. So much so that God also set us an example in creation (Genesis 1) and wrote it in the law (Exodus 20:8-11)
So Hebrews 4:9-11 says “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. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.” Hebrews 4 has much more to say about rest, we can see that rest is very much part of obedience which continues from the past few days.
Rest is so important to the believer is because it reminds us that our trust is in him. It is putting our full reliance in Him and not in ourselves. It’s not about how much we do, but how much He did.