There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His (Hebrews 4:9-10).
We need two kinds of rest: Spiritual rest and Physical rest, or inward rest and outward rest. Inward REST enables you to let go of the problems and issues of life; giving them over to the LORD by FAITH, and refusing to strive to make things happen. Physical rest is necessary for mental, emotional, and physical virility.
Spiritual rest is when I take time to rejuvenate my spiritual life by spending decisive quality time reading the Word of God and talking to God or praying clearly about everything in my life.
A.B. Simpson, founder of the Christian Missionary and Alliance organization said: All physical strength is spiritual in cause. English evangelist Smith Wigglesworth said: Pay attention to life’s inflow. Outward service will dwindle if inward energies are not renewed.
Perhaps the prophet Isaiah said it best: But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).
The Apostle Paul stated: So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16 – ESV).
I have found in my own life that physical rest, though necessary, is not complete rest if I neglect the rest my human spirit needs. Remember that we are spirit beings in physical bodies. God created us to live from the inside out. Our motivations for living come from our human spirit. We are created to be influenced by God spiritually, to spend time with Him to gather spiritual wisdom and strength for our day from Him, and then we have the needed energy and momentum from within to conquer life’s challenges.
Vacation time away from normal work and activities is wonderful. But how many times have we come back from a vacation depleted of energy because we were so busy with activity and neglected the life of the spirit man within? True rest begins within.
Dr. Ronald Cottle relates the following from his book The Ten Commandments: Some years ago a group of American explorers went to Africa and hired some African guides. They all rushed and hurried day after day for six days. On the seventh day, the Americans scrambled to get moving again, but their guides were stretched out under the trees. Come on! they shouted. Let’s go! One of the guides answered quietly. We not go today. Rest – let souls catch up with bodies. (Taken from The Ten Commandments, by Dr. Ronald Cottle).
An old miner once explained – I let my mules spend one day a week outside the mines to keep them from going blind. (A person who does not spend some time away from the daily grind of life will eventually go blind in his soul) – (Taken from The Ten Commandments, by Dr. Ronald Cottle).
Proper rest must include nurturing the spirit life. This renews our life perspective. The philosopher Carlyle said, A man who does not habitually worship is but a pair of spectacles behind which are no eyes (Taken from The Ten Commandments by Dr. Ron Cottle).
Renewing spiritual strength is a vital part of true rest. Let’s make sure that when we take a needed break from life’s duties that we include spiritual renewal through reading, meditation in the Word, and prayer.
Let’s remember the words of Jesus today from The Message Paraphrase:
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. (29) Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. (30) Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly (Matthew 11:28-30).