1 Kings 8:56
“Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.”
I often hear people say that they need to get some spiritual rest because of what they have gone through in some church. What they are saying is that they want to sit and do nothing, but what they don’t understand is that sitting is not how you get spiritual rest. The verse above says, “Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel…” The rest that God gave them was not what Israel expected. In verse 58, God shows us what is truly the LORD’s rest.
First, the LORD’s rest is to change your heart. God says, “That he may incline our hearts unto him…” The word “incline” means to bend. There is no inaction in bending. When God says He is bending our hearts towards Him, He is pulling it from one place towards Him. God is still working on your heart when the LORD gives you rest. Rest in the Christian walk is never found walking in the world, but walking close to God. The only thing you will find when you are walking in the world is heartache, a broken heart, and inner turmoil. The LORD’s rest comes when your heart is inclined or predisposed towards the LORD.
Second, the LORD’s rest is “to walk in all his ways.” There is no inaction in walking. To walk in the LORD’s ways means to serve the LORD. God is saying that the best way for you to get rest is to serve Him. You find rest in the LORD’s ways by going soul winning, teaching a Sunday school class, working on a bus route, or serving the LORD somewhere in your church. You will never find the LORD’s rest by sitting in a church pew doing nothing.
Third, the LORD’s rest is “to keep his commandments.” The rest that comes from doing right is worth the effort not to yield to the temptations of sin. Sin has never given rest to one person. The only thing that sin has given to the believer is unrest in the soul and a mess to clean up after it has done its damage. Doing right is always the best way to find rest in your Christian life. Knowing that you are right with the LORD always gives satisfaction and a sense of inner peace that you are pleasing God.
Are you seeking rest in your life? Have you found your inner self tired and worn out? The answer to getting rest is never to sit and do nothing, but to get busy and serve the LORD. Idleness always leads to tiredness. You are going to find that the more idle you are in your Christian walk, the more weary you will become with life. Staying active is where you find rest in the LORD. Matthew 11:29 reminds us of this great truth when it says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Rest is always found serving with Christ in His yoke.
Let me encourage you not to sit to seek rest, but to get busy serving the LORD. Do you become tired serving the LORD? Yes, you do; however, there is a big difference between the tired of serving the LORD and the weariness that comes from doing nothing or living in sin. Sin will wear you out, but serving the LORD will refresh your spirit. When you get tired of being tired, let me encourage you to get busy serving the LORD and you will find the rest for which you are seeking.