Hebrews 4:1-11 Rest – Guest Post by Heather Pocock
Looking at the Ten Commandments, the church still takes most seriously. Murder, stealing, adultery, lying – we still see these as wrongdoing. But many followers of Christ neglect the fourth commandment: to observe the Sabbath and to rest. Our culture is filled with striving and tension, people overworking and taking medication for their exhaustion. We wear busyness as a status symbol believing the lie that our value comes from what we do. That if we are not doing something with visible results, proving ourselves, rushing, accomplishing, and producing then we are not good enough.
Perhaps we are in need of rest.
- Rest is a characteristic of God. “for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works,just as God did from his” (v10). We need to rest because God rested. We forget that rest is a posture that even the Almighty had. As we are created in his image, we should follow his example.
- Rest is tied to belief: “Now we who have believed enter that rest” (v3). By believing God and knowing that he is ruler of all, it allows us to rest. When we rest, we cease striving in our own power and our own will, and stop thinking that we have to do it all. Instead we believe God’s promises and trust in faith that God’s got this. He has it covered. He’s gone before and has already won. To have faith that He is enough so we are enough. If we have a belief that God is in control, our posture is contented and at peace and still.
- Rest is a sign of our obedience. “Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest…”(v11) So often we think that obedience looks like work. But rest is obedience. Submitting to God by putting aside our own labours and efforts and to refresh and replenish ourselves is obedience. Rest is a beautiful thing to one who is weary of striving to please God in their own strength.
To speak into the lie that our world tell us, you are just as valuable when you’re resting as when you are doing. Your value comes from Jesus, not from your productivity and accomplishments. Your body need rest to recuperate, so does our spirit, mind and soul, and we can only find that rest in Him.
It is our job to “make every effort” to rest. To prioritise our time. To protect margin in our week. To ask for help and to stop trying to do it all. Are you making every effort to enter rest?
- What keeps you from rest?
- spiritual rest – spending time with God,
- physical rest)
- What does rest and Sabbath look like in your life?
- Are there things you need to put into place to make rest a part of your seasonal rhythm?
Heather Pocock is a Site Pastor at Kerith Community Church, leading the Sandhurst congregation since it launched in 2013. She is a project manager with the creative arts and strategic team. She lives in Bracknell with her husband Ben, and enjoys lazy, sunny days, drawn out mealtimes with friends, reading good books and getting lost in creative projects. She tweets @Heather_Pocock and blogs at www.heatherpocock.com.