Whistle While You Rest

Let’s face it…

We live in a face paced, high anxiety, ultra demanding world. Some go so far as to call it “the grind” or even “the rat race.” It’s not that we weren’t designed to be productive; we most certainly were. As soon as that first man had the dust blown out of his nostrils, God gave him marching orders. Adam was charged to be fruitful and to subdue the earth. And there is good reason why Eve was called a helpmate. Adam needed tons of help! Yes, there was much to be done! Just naming all the animals was a never-ending task.

Adam & Eve Had Work To Do

I mention these things to set the record straight. Sadly, many are under the false impression that work is a curse, or a result of the fall. Nothing could be further from the truth. We were created to be busy! Yes, we were designed to put our minds and muscles into motion, and to make good use of our hands. God uniquely endowed each of us with intellect, skill and talent that we might produce. It seems He wanted our time on planet earth to be worthwhile. Imagine that! The fact of the matter is that we are at our ultimate best when working. Through toil comes excellence, coupled with a satisfying sense of accomplishment.

It’s when we’re idle we do the most foolish things.

We not only waste time, we blunder our lives away. Apparently, Adam and Eve had too much time on their hands when they found themselves loitering near the forbidden tree. Hard work wasn’t the consequence of their fruit snack, but the other way around. They drooled over the fruit largely because they weren’t minding their business. One thing soon led to another: from drooling to eyeballing, from eyeballing to fantasizing, from fantasizing to chomping. We all know how the story ends. The rat race began. Work became a grind. Thorns and thistles were introduced. That’s the curse – not work. Now we have thorns and thistles making the workplace unpleasant. Even before thorns, thistles and the rapid decline of the human condition…

Adam and Eve required rest from their labors.

They were given a day to be still. Now, think about this: how is that two perfectly healthy people living in a perfect world needed rest? More importantly, if this vibrant couple needed rest, how much more so do we?

Furthermore, there is a reason why God rested after creating the heavens and earth and everything within them. It wasn’t because His head was left spinning after six tiring days, or because flinging stars into the sky tuckered Him out. He could have gone on for eons. He can do anything. He’s God! Then why did The Almighty rest? To set a precedent for you and me!

“And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” – Genesis 2:2-3

This raises the discussion as to whether church services should be held on Saturday as opposed to Sunday. Some go so far as to say that assembling for church on Sundays violates the Sabbath. Honestly, I cannot find a designated “church day” in scripture. New Testament fellowships seemed happy to meet on the first day and every day of the week. Though there is no designated “church day” to be found in scripture, there is most certainly a “rest day.”

In Old Testament times, man rested from sundown on Friday till sundown on Saturday, otherwise known as the Sabbath. Does this Sabbath law still apply for us? I’ll leave that one between you and the Lord, though you may want to take a gander at the Epistle of Galatians first. I only wish to stress the importance of rest. God rested and He instituted a rest day for the benefit of all mankind.

“The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27

The Lord commanded rest based upon man’s need.

When you think about it, all God’s commands are based upon man’s need. They serve our best interest, protecting mind, body and spirit. Plus they allow for a harmonious existence among God’s people. On the other hand, disharmony creates unrest. For this there is only one fix – we must turn back to the Lord. This remains a constant challenge for every believer. Our fallen nature becomes a huge handicap, crippling us in our efforts to walk righteously.

We struggle to achieve rest at its best.

This never-ending struggle only serves to prove how desperately we need Jesus. Our best efforts do not bring us any nearer to the resting place of God’s presence. We must rest in the work already accomplished for us at the cross. Furthermore, we must rely on Jesus to complete the good work He has begun in us through His Spirit. Only in Him can we know rest at its best. Only by the power of His Spirit can we maintain it.

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