Our culture is anything but a culture of rest. We work hard and push ourselves to the limit with our work and our play. As motivation, we fix our eyes on one whole week each year when we might be able to take a break and go on vacation. It seems even there, though, our work mentality haunts. Our vacations now mirror our work lives—schedules to keep, places to be, things to get done.
An article on CareerJournal.com called, “It Doesn’t Sound Like a Vacation to Me,” quoted Arlie Hochschild, a sociologist and author of “The Time Bind,” who says that play has become increasingly like work. Here’s an interesting quote from that article:
As recently as the 19th century, leisure involved more loafing and unexpected events, she says. These days, “it’s more project oriented,” she adds. “You kind of work at play.” It’s a paradox, she says, that haunts her, too.
This inabillity to rest, whether at work or at home or on vacation, is indicative of our internal state as well. Just as our work mentality has influenced the way we vacation, so has it influenced the way we approach our spiritual walk. Our culture has permeated every aspect of our lives, and our spiritual view is not immune. This is why, even as followers of Jesus Christ, we have difficulty being still before Him. Many of us Christians are anything but settled on the inside. This concerns me. So I’ve been pondering our restlessness and looking at some principles from the Word.
The letter to the believers at Ephesus says that God raised Christ from the dead and seated Christ at His right hand in the heavenlies (Eph. 1:20). So Christ is seated. He is in a position of power (He is enthroned on high), but this is also a position of rest. Jesus sacrificed Himself for the sake of the elect and it is finished. Nothing more is needed to secure our pardon; His blood was sufficient.
A bit further in this letter, we are told that because of God’s rich mercy and great love, even when we were dead spiritually, God came along and made us alive with Christ, we were raised up with Christ, and we were seated with Christ in the heavenlies in Christ (Eph. 2:4-6).
We are seated with Christ, in Christ. We are also in a position of rest. We can rest!
All that needed to be done has been done. We can sink back into the softeness of God’s grace and mercy, and we can rest.
What if we believers lived that reality out? Maybe if we weren’t so driven to do and accomplish and perform, maybe we would have time to sit before God and listen to His heart. I think this would revolutionize the church. It could even revolutionize the world.