Our efforts to impose rest on ourselves often fail.  That’s because the problem is not one of having the right tools to get things done, avoid procrastination, etc.  We can use these things, but it really starts with our hearts – and there is a problem in our hearts called sin – the consequence of our rebellion against God.  Everything we do – work and rest, and the rhythm of Sabbath rest, takes on a selfish tinge as a result.

In the 4th Century a Christian leader named Augustine wrote, “Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you.”

It’s hard work being separated from God.  God said it would be – sin meant we would have to toil to overcome thorny ground and survive.  But we can find our rest in God.  In Jesus, we have access to that rest once again, even though we opted out in sin.  Jesus did the ultimate work of closing the separation between us and God.

We can once again join him in building his kingdom, in his creative work.  We do this using the gifts he’s given us to work to build a better society, life-giving technology, strong families, new infrastructure and so on.  Whatever is consistent with his plan and purpose.

And we can also rest in him, knowing that it’s his work we help with, and not our work to force by our sheer act of will.  We can find deep satisfaction in knowing God is God, and invites us to work with him, rather than against him or instead of him.  This says it nicely:

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 ESV)

It’s in knowing God is God, and we are not, that we find rest.

Said another way: It’s in knowing God, through Jesus’ work on the cross, that we find rest for our souls.

Challnege: Make a list of the excuses and reasons you’ve used to avoid rest.  Pray about each one of these and turn them over to God in trust.

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