It didn’t take long for the author of Hebrews to know that we are fragile creatures and we need our rest just like any other. Although, the chapter doesn’t just speak of our need for rest, but also to understand the power and responsibility we have after we get our rest.
The first 11 of 16 verses in Hebrews chapter 4, encourages us to not feel weak because we need rest. As a matter of fact, the chapter encourages us to find time to take it easy during the continuous spiritual warfare that we are a part of. The rest, however, is also a strategic move. The chapter continues to speak of the battle and the weapons God has given us to fight. Rest is another one of those weapons.
How important is rest and readiness?
What is the longest period of time that you have gone without sleep? Often in my Navy days, we would undergo extended periods without sleep to train our minds to work off of training and instinct instead of over-thinking critical situations. However, when we were preparing for actual missions, we were often ordered to get rest.
Getting the proper amount of rest is critical to our survival during these battles. This is also true for the spiritual battles we face. If we are constantly fighting and do not rest in God’s peace then we will burn ourselves out. The location of our rest is crucial. There is only one place we are safe to rest, and that is under God’s protection.
Real life application
So I threw a lot of metaphorical speech at you, so let’s break this down to what it really looks like to rest in God. First, and foremost, we must learn how to rest in God. No, this doesn’t mean going to sleep with God on your mind, but finding ways to rejuvenate your spirit. I would like to offer two practical ways to rest.
First, pray. Okay, that might sound like the Sunday school answer, but try this on for size. Each day, instead of closing your eyes and spouting off needs from God, get a notebook and start writing down your prayers. Particularly, try to follow this format: Thank God for his blessings in your life, acknowledge his overwhelming authority, pray for others in your life, ask for forgiveness for your sins, ask for things you need, and end it by thanking him again for all he has done. No, this is not some magic formula, but it has helped me guide my prayers instead of making a Santa wish list.
Second, read. Ideally you will already be reading the Bible, but add a self-improvement book to the mix. Yes, I know this sounds like work, but feeding your soul will help you rest.
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