Archive for August, 2016


Strange as it may seem, most of us have a hard time resting. We often feel guilty. Sometimes we even feel scared of resting. “What’s going to happen to my world while I rest?” we think. Yet, resting is critical if we hope to reach spiritual maturity. For in the resting, we have the opportunity to get to know God and ourselves better.

In the last month, I took a 15-day vacation. In general, I don’t do vacations well because my worth and security are anchored in being busy and productive. However, I have come to realize that I need breaks for physical and emotional rejuvenation and to gain God’s perspective. And my worth and security are not threatened when I rest.

On this vacation I did relax. I got distracted. I rested. I had my routines disrupted which freed me to gain new perspectives and make some commitments to take some new actions.


We rest when we rely on God to do for us what we can’t do for ourselves – like feeling content (Philippians 4:12-13). Things like being important enough, feeling safe enough, and being ourselves and feeling comfortable about it. David rested in God’s care when he said, “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places (Psalm 16:6)” as he reflected on his life. He wasn’t striving for more.

What Will It Cost Us?

But it will cost us to rest from our labors. We will have to face the fact that we are not in control. It is God and not us that determines our influence, prosperity and length of days as we do our part to cooperate with him.

We will have to shed the lie that many of us have had from childhood that there is no caregiver we can trust to watch out for our best interests. We will need to learn to rely on God’s unlimited love for us – quite a difficult challenge for those of us from abusive backgrounds.

We will also need to find our identity as a “new creature in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17). That’s tough for a lot of us. We have invested many years in cultivating a false identity that grounds its worth and acceptance in achievement, what people think, and good circumstances. We don’t turn away from this false identity easily.

To lose this identity can be terrifying. We must learn to trust the worth of our lives and our eternal destinies to God as we rest in his promises. We must rest in his promises like “You have been perfected for all time (Hebrews 10:14)” and “You are precious, you are honored, and I love you (Isaiah 43:4).” We would almost rather work for a false identity that would make more sense to us. But God wants us to rest in our new identity and to “cease striving and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

He says,

  • “Come to Me and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 10:28-30)
  • “It’s vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors. For I will meet your needs.” (Psalm 127:2)
  • “In resting in Me shall be your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15)

So, let us learn to rest from trying to run our lives. Not just taking a break from the grind but an on-going break from trying to earn worth, love, and acceptance as we trust God to meet these needs in partnership with him.



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