Have you ever said or heard someone say, "I need a vacation from my vacation."
That tells us one thing. We don't know how to rest well!
I don't think as believers we truly understand the concept of REST and the Sabbath! In Genesis 2:2-3 it said that God completed His work in six days and He rested on the seventh day.
God did not rest as one who is weary, but as one who was well pleased.
Archibald Hart in his book on Adrenaline and Stress made this statement.
" People in a hurry don't allow time for their complex minds to become revitalized. So they accelerate the wear and tear on their bodies. THERE IS NO TIME FOR CONTEMPLATION!
Since God didn't rest as one who was weary what did He do? He contemplated. He saw what he created and He was well pleased. But God didn't just contemplate on the seventh day. He contemplated on the second day, third day, fourth day, fifth day. On each day after creating something God SAW that IT WAS GOOD! On the sixth day He SAW that it was VERY GOOD!
Then He SAW something that wasn't good. He SAW that Adam was alone. So He brought the animals to Adam to SEE what he would call them. Then he SAW that among the animals there was not a helpmate suitable for Adam.
God had a regular rhythm of contemplation. In fact when He told His people to work six days and rest on the seventh day He told them to CONTEMPLATE on the seventh day!
Deuteronomy 5:13-15 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do.
Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.
Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.
Rest involves the mental as much as it does the physical.
Our struggle as believers is that we constantly have UNHEALTHY contemplation. All you have to do is drive on Woodruff Road for some UNHEALTHY contemplation.
SO WHAT DOES HEALTHY CONTEMPLATION LOOK LIKE?
The best way to have HEALTHY CONTEMPLATION is to think God's thoughts. Ask yourself these questions?
- What does God think about my spouse?
- What does God think about my boss?
- What does God think about my co-worker?
- What does God think about my circumstance?
- What does God think about my spiritual development?
The only way to think GOD THOUGHTS is to think about what GOD THINKS!
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.
Rest is not just physical. It is mental as well. That's why...
- Even when we do take a day of rest we still find ourselves stressed at the end of the day.
- Even when we do take a day of rest we still are full of anxiety at the end of the day.
- Even when we do take a day of rest we are still discouraged at the end of the day.
- Even when we do take a vacation we need a vacation from our vacation.
Why? Because rest is all about the mental as well as the physical. The only way to get mental rest is to be sure we are thinking what God thinks.
- Do you want to have peace instead of anxiety?
- Do you have joy instead of discouragement?
The only way to have peace and joy is to think what God thinks. Isaiah 26:3-4 puts it best.
You will keep him or her in PERFECT PEACE whose MIND is STAYED on THEE!
Our mind is in a constant spin cycle thinking all kinds of thoughts. The problem is most of those thoughts are not God thoughts.
My encouragement to all of us is do develop a healthy rhythm of contemplation. Intentionally think God thoughts. Wake up a little earlier each day and spend fifteen minutes thinking God thoughts. When you go to bed spend another fifteen minutes thinking God thoughts. And on your Sabbath day spend more time thinking God thoughts.
Before you know it you'll find yourself going from the SPIN CYCLE to the RINSE CYCLE!
The key to rest is developing a healthy habit of thinking God thoughts as you rest physically and that must be a daily habit.