I’m odd. I have a hard time resting. I often express to God how tired I am and for the past few weeks He’s been emphasizing my need to rest.
“So there is a special rest still waiting for people of God. For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. So let us all do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of
did, we will fall.”Hebrews 4:9-11 (NLT) Israel
I read through several interpretations of this scripture and noticed the same degree of urgency. God makes it clear that we are to-—make every effort (NIV), do our best (NLT), strive (ESV), be diligent (NAS), labor (KJV), and hasten (DRB)—to enter into His rest.
God has gifted us with a day of rest… a special day of rest by which we are to take a break from our day to day activities. God doesn't say “try” to enter into this rest and if it happens that's cool, but if it doesn't no big deal. No! He states that we are to work to enter this rest which means we must employ pro-active action to enjoy this gift each week.
He makes it clear that if we disobey Him in this area…we will fall--drop, go down, or collapse. Our ability to remain up-right and passionately perform the work God has given us to do will lie in our willingness to acknowledge our need for renewal, relief, and rest with God. This requires we check our pride at the door and hang up our super (wo)man cape. Our strength as humans is not enough to sustain us...we need to connect and recharge with God.
The more we refuse the gift of rest that God affords us the less capable we are of withstanding the fickle ebb and flow of our life.
So, what does it mean to work to enter this rest?
As a student it means that I can’t wait until the weekend to do all of my assignments. I must prioritize during the week so that by Sunday my weekly deadlines have been met. As a Realtor it means that I block off the time on my calendar and say “no” to the money and “yes” to myself by choosing to turn off my phone and wait to read emails. As a mom it means I clean up throughout the week so I don’t have to dedicate an entire day of my weekend to cleaning. This frees me to spend quality time with my children and guilt-free time with Jesus. As a friend, sister, and daughter it means exercising personal boundaries and adhering to my convictions to enjoy a day of rest.
So, today stop complaining about how tired you are and—make every effort, do your best, strive, be diligent, labor, and hasten—to open the gift of rest that God has afforded you. You can’t appreciate the benefits of this gift if you keep it wrapped up. Take action on your part and fight for your day of rest with God. Allow Him to provide you with the relief, renewal, and rest you need to passionately and enthusiastically continue to walk in His purpose for your life. You need it and the gift is already there for you. You gotta open it!
Ashley Ivery is a single mother of two brilliant children, Aiden and Devyn, with an overwhelming desire to empower women and help them to realize the importance of a relationship with God. Through her writing she hopes to encourage women to claim their strength and value in Christ. Ashley serves as the Residential Listing Partner for Team Harris Real Estate. She graduated from Fayetteville State University in 2012 with a BS in Psychology. Her motto is: "Be Authentic. Live Honestly. Dispel Light."