Recently, Popular Mechanics celebrated their 110th year of existence by publishing 110 predictions for the next 110 years. It is fascinating to see how people dream about the future. Lists like these are always full of predictions of amazing new inventions that will save us time by making our lives more manageable and less stressful.
This particular list predicts that in the next 110 years, our clothes will clean themselves. Imagine that! What could be done with all this freed-up time?
The reality is that no matter what new invention, plan, or idea is introduced into our lives, we will still find a way to fill our schedules. Most of us are really good at finding ways to fill every hour, every evening, and every weekend with something to do. Important or not, we make it a priority to be doing something all the time.
From the very beginning, God knew this about us. In Genesis, the first book of the Bible, we read about God creating the universe and everything in it. After each day of creation, God said, “It is good.”. At the end of the sixth day when people were created, he said, “It is very good.”.
31 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.
The story of creation does not end at day six though. There is a seventh day in Genesis’ account of creation. It is on that day that we see God rest. Not because he needed to, but because he knew the importance of rest in our lives and chose to model it for us.
Genesis 2: 1-3
1 So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. 2 On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.
Generations after the creation story, we find another story in the Bible where God again elevates the importance of rest. The nation of Israel had been enslaved by Egypt for 400 years. They worked day after day, enduring harsh conditions with little rest. But after 400 years, God worked and moved, and he led his people out of Egypt. They were no longer physically enslaved. However, being slaves is all they knew how to do. They needed to find freedom from their mindset of slavery. They needed to learn how to be free.
Their mindset was to work, work, work with little or no rest. But God’s plan that he modeled for us in the creation story was for us to work and rest. This is why we see rest as part of the 10 commandments in Exodus.
8 Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work…”
At your campus this weekend, your speaker shared this bottom line truth with you: To be your BEST, pause and REST.
I think deep down, we all believe this to be true, but for whatever reason, we keep going through life tired and exhausted. Knowing we are not at our best, but hoping it is good enough.
God knew the importance of rest, and that is why we see him both model it and command it. We hope that you will take a step in the area of rest and that you will evaluate the importance of it in your life.
Over the next four days, we will cover the R.E.S.T. acronym from this past weekend’s service. As you learn how to apply it in your life, we believe you will learn to pause and rest so that you can be your best.
What keeps you from rest? How have you seen the negative consequences of lack of rest in your life? How would your life be different if you were rested?
Commit to making rest a priority in your week. Begin planning out your weeks with a day of rest included. Complete this week’s LivingItOut and apply R.E.S.T. to your week.
Dear Lord, thank you so much for caring so much about my well-being that you command me to rest so that I may be at my best for you and for those whom I love. Thank you for showing us what rest should look like and giving us opportunities to incorporate rest into our schedule. Amen.
This post was written by Ben Bockert. Ben is a proud husband and father of three beautiful daughters. He is honored to serve as the Director of the LivingItOut Bible Study.
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