Today we finish our series on ‘Being a Distinctive Disciple’. We have learned much over the last several weeks and I am sure that each one of us has been challenged to review just how distinctive we are as followers of Jesus. It has been sobering to say the least as I meditate on all that we have considered.
Our last distinctive is another one that requires very careful consideration. It is the distinctive of rest. In this very competitive world we live in, and where there are huge expectations placed on each one of us, the idea of rest is now just a nice thought. It has been relegated so far down the priority list that it is virtually non-existent in the lives of so many disciples of Jesus. I am of the opinion that our pride has taken over from downright common sense. We sadly believe that to be busy is the way in which we will succeed and earn respect. We are prepared to sacrifice so much to be successful and respected. Sadly, this attitude is in conflict with what the Bible clearly teaches us.
In my own lifetime I have watched the practice of rest whittled away to just a few hours in a week. The idea of actually having physical rest is no longer an option as we keep pushing ourselves to keep others happy. The idea of spending quality time with the Lord is often restricted to just an hour and half on a Sunday morning … well only if nothing else pops up that demands our time. Spending time with family and friends has been sacrificed for a myriad of reasons. Our weekly timetable is a joke as we try to fit more and more into an already packed program. The result – lack of contentment, spiritual dryness and the breakdown in relationships starting with the Lord and impacting the people who should matter to us most. Sickness hits us more often as our immune systems become depleted.
It is time we took a good hard look at how we are living our lives. Do we really trust our Sovereign God to meet all our needs? Have we relegated Him to the backseat of our lives? Do we ever find rest in Him alone? Tough questions I know … but questions that need to be asked! Pastor Ernest will teach us more on this exceedingly important distinctive of rest this morning. We need to hear him and then we need to ask the Lord to give us the discipline to rest!