God laid the foundation of the meaning of number ‘7’ when He introduced this number in the context of His finished Work of Creation in Genesis 2:2-3 “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.”
Life is so much more than endless moments of consuming work, stressful problems, and chaotic busyness. The point is that we were designed to work and rest; our God, our creator took time to rest. It doesn’t matter how in shape you are or even if you think you are super man on the court, everyone needs to take a time out occasionally. Even God the One who created the Universe and who we have been told never grows tired, never sleeps, never slumbers and is never out of power rested from His work. God’s message is plain: “If creation didn’t crash when I rested, it won’t crash when you do.”
Jesus admonished His disciples to take a rest after a busy outing, “then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.” Mark 6:30-32. Jesus did not demand, nor desire, that his followers labor to the point of exhaustion and burn-out. He knew that they needed periods of rest in order to remain strong, just as we do.
Friends, God knows the place and importance of giving yourself rest. There are a lot of reasons why it make sense, firstly it says that you have completed what you set out to do; secondly it gives you an opportunity to review or consider what it is you have completed and thirdly it gives your mind and body a chance to recover from the effort of what you have done.
A time of rest is to allow us to listen to God. Often, we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life that we become deaf to the still, small voice of God. We become so busy doing things for Christ that we forget to simply be with Christ. We get tunnel vision, becoming so fixated on completing our list of assigned tasks that we have no time for anything else but work. But somehow, the list of tasks never gets any shorter; for every one we finished; two more rise up to take their place.
We’re on a treadmill, running toward a finish line that never gets any closer. And in the meantime, lacking that quiet, unhurried fellowship with the Lord, our perspectives can become warped; our attitudes poisoned. We begin to run on autopilot. Instead of being guided by the Holy Spirit, we find ourselves being controlled by emotion; by habit and circumstance.
Do you plan for a time out? Do you plan for regular times alone with the Lord? Parents, do you ensure that your children have times of rest, times when there are no demands on them from school work or sports? Do you plan time away with your family, time when you can be together without distractions from work and school? And most importantly, are you resting in Christ?
By Pastor Yemisi Onanuga