From the very beginning, God gave us an important principle for successful living. He wants us to prioritize the proper rest and restoration. God created the universe and then rested on the 7th day. It is not that God gets tired, but that he modeled for us how we are to rest in him through faith. God wants you to rest in his grace and in the fact that he can do more in a moment than you can do in a lifetime. I heard one pastor say it this way, “When I work, God rests, but when I rest, God works.” Resting in Him is the only way to receive the kind of rest and rejuvenation that we so desperately need. While we all need physical rest, no vacation can fully restore us until we learn to rest in him. It is a matter of faith.
This principle is found throughout Scripture. God wants to be first in our relationships, first in our time, and first in our finances. He desires to be at the very center of all we do. Without putting God first in these areas we work in our own strength and become guilty of idolatry. But only God’s grace can fully restore our relationship with God and give us the kind of rest that only comes through him.
If you do not understand the principle of resting in him, then you will take vacation – which I plan to do and so should you because God tells us to – but you will not find any true rest. Ultimate rest is deeply rooted in worshipping and trusting God.
We can easily abandon the habit of resting in him during the summer season. Your schedule is different. Your routines are different. As such, it is easy to abandon the things that bring true rest. This summer I want to challenge you to find real rest. Stay faithful to the thing you need most – worshipping God. How do we do this?
1. Vacation but don’t vacate.
Take a vacation but do not go on vacation from God. When you are in town stay faithful to come to church and worship. It is often easy to lie in bed and skip this important part of your Christian rest. Don’t allow your time away to become a bad habit of skipping church.
2. Worship without walking away.
Make sure that you take the needed break that your job allows, but also determine to continue serving during the summer. When you are away, find someone to replace you in your ministry position at the church. Don’t let that fall on someone else. I am not suggesting that you need to skip your vacation in order to work in Guest Services or Avalon Kids, but I am encouraging you to serve when you are not on vacation. We certainly need you, but to be honest, you need it more. It is vital that you stay connected to your area of service and to the people in your small group and ministry team. These are essential routines that encourage your faith and help you rest in God grace.
3. Maintain your spiritual graces.
I use the word grace because it captures the essence of resting in God more than the word discipline. Discipline comes from the word disciple. But we often use the word to indicate our own effort. God’s grace, however, makes you a better follower of Christ. When I rest in him, I see his grace at work. His grace draws me into reading the bible, praying, and giving. His grace creates a sense of gratitude rather than duty. I think it is incredibly powerful when you are at the beach, the mountains, looking at the stars, or spending time with family and friends to spend some time just being grateful to God. When you are in “non-working mode” you are better able to reflect and remember God’s goodness. You reconnect with most important things in life.
My prayer for you is that you learn how to rest in God this summer. This will empower you, inspire you, and bring you back fully rejuvenated. By learning to rest in his grace, you will have the best summer ever!