SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES #7. REST
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).
Today, the spiritual discipline of rest requires more discipline than ever.
Modern technology has made us always accessible. We are rarely disconnected from the internet, and can binge on endless entertainment options.
We suffer from busyness, yet most spiritual discipline books do not include rest.
God instituted the discipline of rest in the creation of the world. He created everything in six days, and rested on the seventh (Gen 2:3). So God instituted the Sabbath, a weekly day of rest (Lev 23:3).
The Bible warns against overworking and not sleeping because sleep is a gift from God (Ps 127:2). He created us to need rest. Plus, the act of sleeping requires trust that God will protect us while we are unconscious (Psalm 4:8).
But rest is not God’s desire for us in every moment. We must maintain a balance of when to work and when to rest (Prov 10:5). God only commanded us to rest one day a week. The other six days we were made for hard work. So Proverbs warns against laziness (6:9-11).
Jesus continued to observe the Sabbath, although he challenged cultural legalism. He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath to worship and teach (Mark 6:2, Luke 4:6).
When he was accused of working on the Sabbath when he healed people, Jesus responded, “is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?” (Luke 6:9). Healing and helping people is not breaking the Sabbath.
Rest is a spiritual discipline that we ought to practice at least one day a week. We were designed to work hard and rest well. Therefore, while Christians should work harder than anyone six days a week, we must discipline ourselves to get a healthy amount of sleep and to set a weekly day to rest.
SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES #8. CELEBRATION
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice (Philippians 4:4).
In celebration, we rejoice in God’s many blessings and remember his faithfulness.
While too much celebrating could become excessive, no celebration is also bad. Ecclesiastes 5:18-19 says that it is “good and fitting” to eat and drink and enjoy the fruit of our labor and the money and possessions that God has given us, because “this is the gift of God.”