Resting in Christ, Our Sabbath Rest
Written by Mark Wickersham, ECS Director of Spiritual Formation
Rest is a beautiful gift from God, and it’s something our bodies and souls absolutely need. We aren’t designed to work 24/7, 365 days a year. We can read about our all-powerful God resting in Genesis 2:2-3. So the heavens and the earth and everything in them were completed. On the seventh day God had completed his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.
Why did God rest? Was it because He was tired? Lazy? Bored? Uh, can we say NEGATORY?! God rested to set an example for us. We simply can’t be completing tasks all of the time. We need to trust in Christ, our Sabbath rest, and rest in His finished work.
So what does that mean? Resting in Christ certainly doesn’t mean we take a break from Him and His work. Jesus always did the work of the Father, but sometimes this work meant being alone and resting. Resting in Christ is a time of rejuvenation. Below are three ways you can rest in Christ and bring rest to your body and soul.
1. Rest in Christ by getting in the Word. For many of us, the summer months can be a time to slow down a bit and relax. What better time is there to read, study, memorize, meditate on, and share God’s Word with others? There isn’t. I seriously doubt that if you increase your time in the Word you’ll feel busier and more anxious. No, the opposite is likely to happen. You’re much more likely to get refreshed and feel God’s rest. And why would you not want that?
2. Rest in Christ through prayer and accountability. God tells us to pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Prayer reminds us to get our eyes off ourselves and earthly things and set our minds on things above. Prayer shows our faith in Christ and puts us to rest. Proverbs 27:17 says, Iron sharpens iron and one man sharpens another. Accountability provides opportunities to pray, encourage, teach, and confess sin, all of which can lead to rest for our weary souls.
3. Rest in Christ by singing and fasting. My mediocre voice won’t ever be on The Voice or American Idol, but I sing all the time. I sing at church, conferences, work, and you might even catch me singing in my 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan. The Bible has over 400 references to singing and fifty commands to sing. Singing can bring about deep emotion that helps us rejoice and be at rest. We aren’t required to fast; however, fasting can provide clarity and also cause us to truly rest in Christ.
So are you resting in Christ this summer or are you still running around like a chicken with its head cut off? How are you resting in Christ?
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28