“Rest in God’s Redeeming Work”
April 14, 2019
In the Old Testament, we learn about the Israelites in Egyptian captivity. Their people had been enslaved for many generations. They were used to doing hard labor, constant work on behalf of others, and getting around to their own tasks whenever there was extra time. They worked day after day after day after day. When God delivered them from enslavement, he established some new guidelines. One of these was a day of rest. One day a week, every single week, they were to rest and not work. Can you imagine the struggle it was to rest? Here they were trying to build a new community in the middle of nowhere, and now God was asking them to take regular breaks. Who has time to rest?! But when God delivered them, he had to teach them how to rest.
It’s the same for us. We work nonstop. We’re always connected, always on the go, always trying to do and be and get to the next thing. We’ve been conditioned and enslaved in our minds and hearts. There’s always something to worry about or be afraid of, always some way we’re not measuring up. We need more than a nap or vacation. We need rest for our souls. Jesus not only did the work to redeem us, he also teaches us to rest.
When we consider resting in the redeeming work of Christ, it means realizing that there is rest for all that undercurrent of work happening in our soul. Jesus went through all he went through in order to give us rest from that never ending work.
“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. 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. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
This resting is an act of surrender. We think it’s up to us to take care of everything in order to survive. But God is asking us to trust and rest in him. He knows you’re overwhelmed by all the responsibilities. He knows you’re afraid to let a ball drop. He knows you want to have all your ducks in a row and understand how everything is going to get done and work out. But real rest doesn’t come by us understanding; real rest comes from us trusting. Trusting that God knows what’s best, knows the end of the story and knows how it will work out for your good.
Ultimately, Jesus is our Sabbath rest and he is where we will find the true, deep rest our souls need. Your soul can be grounded in the fact that God values you, loves you and your identity is found in him. Rest in his redeeming work.
Ask God to show you areas that your soul is not at rest
Express thanks for the work that was done so you could have a rested soul