Jesus gave us the well-known invitation, “Come unto Me and take my yoke upon you … and you will find rest for your soul (Matthew 11:28, 29). Does this invitation negate the value of hard work? In a culture where success is most often measured by work accomplished, this invitation to rest seems counterintuitive. In this recent article at The Christian Post, the question is raised on the other side of the issue, “Is forgetting to rest destroying our Christian witness?”
Every false religious system is based on the concept of working for salvation. Only in the Bible do we see God working on our behalf and inviting us to be a part of the process. The Sabbath reminds us constantly that it is His work that is bringing success, not our work. When we take time to rest in Him on Sabbath, we have the opportunity to reflect on what He has done and to show our trust in Him to accomplish the work He is doing in our lives.
Throughout Scripture we find a constant balance tension between work and rest. In the Creation Story, God is plainly at work, but He sets aside time to rest, for Himself and for mankind (Genesis 2:1–3). After the Fall, Adam is required to work for his daily food. But in Exodus, while the command to rest on Sabbath is connected with the necessity of work, it is also retroactive. The Sabbath rest had been observed by God’s faithful people since Creation.
The challenge that most of us face is that we like to be appreciated for what we do. We often translate this into our faith experience and find ways to work for God, for our salvation, for heaven. While God asks us to cooperate with Him in all of these areas, we have to remember that He is the one that is accomplishing the success of our work.
The apostle Paul reminds us that we are changed and saved through grace and faith. This faith is demonstrated by the good works that God has prepared for us to walk in (Ephesians 2:8–10). Would you like to experience more fully the rest that God has designed for you in the Sabbath? Find out more by clicking here!