Therefore, since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” (Heb. 4:6-7)
I have a hard time with rest. Rest doesn’t come naturally to me. Work comes naturally. Play comes naturally. But rest? Not so much. When there is so much to do (which seems like always), rest can feel wrong. At times, I can even feel guilty for taking time for myself. Can anyone relate?
Here in this passage though, we see that God associates not entering His rest with disobedience. And as we know, disobedience to God lends itself to all kinds of trouble. One definition of rest I found defines it as, “To cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.” According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, unrest is defined as a disturbed or uneasy state, turmoil.
I have the tendency to fill up my calendar and my to do list very quickly. I want to be productive and get things done. I am a mover and shaker. I am detail-oriented. I like to see a project carried out to completion. I don’t like to sit on my hands for too long. All of this is wonderful, but outside of God’s rest, it’s a recipe for disaster. If I am honest, I have struggled with anxiety in various seasons of life. At times, a full calendar can feel very imprisoning. An overflowing to do list can leave me wiped out with no energy. For the sake of productivity, I can bypass important time for myself to be still before God. The details can drive me to a state of worry and fear. Left unchecked, fear and anxiety can create a foothold in my life. Pressure can sit on my chest making simple tasks feel hard. Racing thoughts can enter my mind and before I know it I can feel as though I have no peace left in my life.
And it’s at times like this that I recognize why not entering God’s rest is disobedience. It robs me from the life that God intends for me to live. It shoves God in a corner. The emphasis becomes what I can do or should be doing, instead of what God seeks to accomplish in me. The focus becomes my work, instead of His finished work. As the weight of it all, begins to overwhelm me, my trust and confidence in God begin to wane. My feeble human efforts fall short and I’m faced with the impossibilities of challenging situations, never realizing that somewhere along the way I left God out of the equation.
If you have experienced the turmoil of unrest in your life, there is good news. We have arrived at today. No matter how overwhelmed you feel, no matter how much pressure you are under, every morning we open our eyes, God presents us with a fresh opportunity to enter His rest. It is never to late to hand over to God all the burdens that have become too much to bear. It is never to late to renew our trust in Him. We find rest in believing He is who He says He is and that He will do all that He says He will do. We find rest in believing that we were never intended to figure this all out on our own. We find rest in knowing that every step of the way, He is holding our hand and whispering in our ear, showing us which way to go. Do you hear his voice today? Today, He invites you to find refreshment in Him and recover your strength.