At a church Bible study, the subject of resting in God was taught. Some of the author’s points were so good that I had to think about how it applied to me and how it applies to leadership principles.
There are many different kinds of rest. Sleeping is one of my favorites. Napping is a little hobby of mine. I love to sleep. I really can’t understand why little babies and toddlers don’t want to nap. I would really like someone to send me to my room to take a nap.
God promises his beloved daughters rest. Hebrews 4:1-10 gives us a good definition of the type of rest God means when he talks about the promise of his rest.
Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’” And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.” And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.” Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.
The passage explains that God wants us to have internal rest that results from faith. He also wants us to have mental and physical rest that results from escaping the work and busyness of life for an entire day to enjoy some time with him on a consistent, weekly basis. So what can we learn about leadership from this passage on rest?
Rest comes from faith in his word and knowing that he will fulfill his plan for your life:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t there more to life than food and more to the body than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky: They do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you more valuable than they are? And which of you by worrying can add even one hour to his life? Why do you worry about clothing? Think about how the flowers of the field grow; they do not work or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these! And if this is how God clothes the wild grass, which is here today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven, won’t he clothe you even more, you people of little faith? So then, don’t worry saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the unconverted pursue these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:25-33).
Rest comes from believing God is good:
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! (Psalm 27:13-14(NKJV)
Rest comes when you receive the gift of peace he has for you:
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn His face toward you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)
Rest comes when you come away and draw near to him on a consistent basis. It is no coincidence that many of Jesus’s miraculous healings were received on the Sabbath, the day of rest. In the above passage, God’s Word says, “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.” The day you cease from your own laboring and striving, and rest in the finished work of Christ, may be the day you receive your miracle.