“Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest...”
— Hebrews 4:11a (NRSV)
Sabbath rest is not just about resting from our work or rest for our spirits. Sabbath rest is a continual state to enter into and to maintain. Sabbath rest is about achieving a delightful balance of soul, where the body is fit and sound, the mind is unhurried and alert, and the entire essence of one’s being is charged with the joy-filled capacity for the fullest momentary investment of self toward life.
When we strive for our rest in God—striving for nothing else but the knowledge of his secure and magnanimous Presence—we devote our energies to the energy-sustaining wisdom we most need in life.
That is the sole endeavour of rest—even, possibly, in the midst of chaotic schedules, deadlines, and demands. In faith we can believe we can reach the experience of this rest—a holy rest of conscience and consciousness.
Striving for rest is the opportunity and privilege that presents eternally—as far as we are concerned, it’s every living and conscious moment. Such rest is beyond a state of mind and heart. It’s intrinsic to the soul.
Making an Effort to Enter Rest
If we are to make an effort in anything in life, it should be to achieve a state of rest. This is not about being lazy.
We can only be of value to others and ultimately to ourselves if we are free, as far as possible, of the stresses and anxieties that so often drive us.
Making an effort to enter the rest that God has for us is worth an abundance of value.
What we are truly after is wisdom. We want to determine the right ways of doing things, such that the efforts we do make in life won’t be in vain. How much better could it be than to do the things God wills us to do, and to do them in a relaxed aplomb?
The Importance of Obeying God’s Will
The ultimate experience of rest is the knowledge of obedience to be on God’s holy and righteous path. When we know we are in the lap of God’s will we experience joy and peace unremitting.
When we put those things of the Kingdom and his righteousness first (Matthew 6:33), the matters of rest are issued to us.
If we seek rest we ought to obey God, and make every effort—striving no less—to create the inner environment conducive to rest. If we are earnest in this and willing to obey God’s will, the rest of God will be ours.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.