In our culture and language the word rest can sound like a simple word. We talk of taking a rest which usually means a short break long enough to regain some strength but never quite long enough for a full recovery before we have to start again. So it is no wonder that when we hear God say “rest in me,” we don’t begin to understand what He means. God is inviting us to a God-size rest.
In the Old Testament, one of the Hebrew words for rest is ‘nuah‘. It means absence of activity or movement, being settled in a particular place with finality, victory, security, or salvation. I love the strength of that definition. Finality, victory, security and salvation. Now that is a God-sized rest.
Rest is in God alone (Psalm 62:1-2, 5; 116:7). It is a gift from God (1 Kings 8:56). God promises rest from the enemies called sorrow and suffering, turmoil and trouble, hard service and cruel bondage (Isaiah 14:3). Nevertheless, God warned that continued rest depended on their obedience (Numbers 32:15, Isaiah 28:12, Psalm 95:11). Continuing in God’s undisturbed composure requires that we keep our spirits and souls stayed on Him.
Another word for rest ‘shavah’ means to repose, to end, to observe the Sabbath, to cause to rest, to bring to completion. Can you imagine the dramatic change when all the whirl of activity in creating everything on Earth came to an end. When God rested from creation, He did not stop because He was tired, but because His work of creation was complete. It speaks again of the strength and finality of God’s rest.
God ultimately accomplished true rest for His people through Messiah to make for Himself a glorious name (Isaiah 11:10, 63:14). The fulfillment of this is expressed in Hebrews 3:7-4:13. This Greek word for rest ‘katapauo’ means to cease, refresh, give intermission from labor. This passage speaks of entering into God’s rest. We enter this rest through Christ’s completion on the cross of all the work needed for us to enter into His victory and grace. He has won the victory and the battle is over. We rest as we choose to have our total being, our spirit, our will, heart, imagination, and conscience centered in His perfect work. This is rest to be enjoyed in fellowship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is the rest of God Himself in our spirits and hearts, based on relationship with Him.
God is longing to give you His God-size rest of spirit, soul, and body as you abide in Him. Allow His God-sized rest full of victory, finality, security, and strength to take care of everything that concerns you today and enjoy Him in it.
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