by Barbara Latta
In the United States, we observe Labor Day on September 5 this year. This holiday was instituted to allow workers to have a break from their physical labor.
As many people will be rewarded with a day off from their normal workday schedule on Labor Day Monday, we can use this illustration to remind us to also renew our mental faculties from our emotional stresses. Because worry and concern can wear us out more than physical labor can.
God instituted the Sabbath Day to give His people a respite from their labors. Our bodies need time to wind down, relax, and recharge.
But this day was also a shadow of things to come through the Savior He would give. A lesson to them that while they did need to take a break from work, if they would just obey Him, they would find ease for their souls too. He would take care of everything they needed. They could stop striving and worrying about what was coming next.
In Hebrews chapter 4, the writer of the book uses the example of the Israelites who walked in disobedience to God. They did not enter the Promised Land and they did not enter His rest. Worry is disobedience and keeps us out of the Promised Land of peace.
The definition of worry is to choke, strangle; to shake or pull at with the teeth.[i]
The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:7-8, Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a lion, seeking someone to devour (NASB).
What happens when we don’t cast our cares upon the Lord? We invite the devil to choke, strangle, shake, and pull at us with his teeth.
Here are 3 Ways to Enter God’s Rest:
1. Pray about everything. Philippians 4:6-8 tells us to pray with thanksgiving, (not for the problems, but that He is the answer) and then we are to think about what God thinks.
2. Worship. Listening to good worship music calms the soul and puts our focus on our heavenly Father and not what we face. (Psalm 103:1-5)
3. Take every thought captive. When thoughts of dismay enter our minds, we are instructed to cast them out and put them in prison (2 Corinthians 10:5). We do this by changing our thought patterns to God’s thoughts. Again, it’s Philippians 4:8.
And when those thoughts return, give them to Him again, and again, and again.
God’s Labor Day is cessation from the emotional work of stressful, anxious-filled living. As we discover and live in our identity in Christ, we will gain more knowledge of the peace He has given us.
This month's free download is Rest and Peace.
What are some other ways you find rest in the Lord? Join the conversation and share your thoughts.