About Your Host:
Author of Consider: Reflecting the Words of Scripture, Terri Prahl writes to equip and encourage Christians with deep truths found in scripture.
When not writing, Terri is often found meandering through antique malls, baking for her family, walking and listening to praise music, and sequestering herself in her office to study the Bible. Mentoring young women in the faith is one of her greatest joys. She lives in the Ozark mountains with her husband and children.
You can connect with Terri at terriprahl.com.
If there is one commodity most people desire more of, it’s rest. We seek physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual rest yet never seem to be satisfied with our arrival. Longing ‘to do’ and ‘be’ more requires a capacity to recharge regularly. Yet, we fear pausing will hold us back.
Without entering Christ’s spiritual rest and living in the rhythms God designed for us, we will never experience a true reprieve from the world’s hamster wheel. From the beginning of creation, work was a good thing. Before Adam and Eve ever sinned, they enjoyed tending and guarding the earth. It wasn’t until they usurped God’s authority, experiencing sin and shame, that work became laborious. They immediately felt a distance and restlessness in their souls. Where they once had peace with God, they were now separated from His perfection. Only through obedience and sacrifice could they be right with God. How did that go? Not well. They failed often.
Knowing our weaknesses, God made a way to receive us unto Himself apart from our ability to please Him. He sent His only Son, Jesus, to do the work of restoration that we never could.
When we come to Him in faith, we enter His eternal rest of salvation. Through Jesus, we find peace with God – a restored relationship once broken by sin.
Spiritual rest is found in the work of Christ. When we come to Him in faith, we enter His eternal rest of salvation. Through Jesus, we find peace with God – a restored relationship once broken by sin. There is also a daily spiritual rest we can experience through perceiving and walking in the peace of God (Philippians 4:6-7).
Hebrews 4:9-12 (ESV) says, “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
This passage is speaking to Christ-followers who have found eternal rest for their souls through Christ – but are tired of living with frantic hearts and minds caused by unbelief. It’s a call to trust God and thus experience the fullness of His peace. Interestingly, the author encourages us to “strive” for that rest. Doesn’t that sound antithetical? But God knows that, though we believe, we will not always be faithful to Him as we live in this fallen world with frail human bodies. Obedience leads to assurance and peace. His Word has promised it.
I am constantly learning to rest in Christ. Not just a physical, one-day-a-week reprieve from work, but a daily sabbath from the wrestling with my flesh, mind, and spirit.
I am constantly learning to rest in Christ. Not just a physical, one-day-a-week reprieve from work, but a daily sabbath from the wrestling with my flesh, mind, and spirit. A perpetual relationship with God, through Christ, makes it possible to move toward Christlikeness while living in freedom and fulfillment. As we make every effort to grow up in our faith as 2 Peter 1:5 says, we often try to “do” from a flesh-driven perspective and forget the source of our strength.
Matthew 11:28-30 reveals two requirements for receiving Christ’s rest:
- Come to me. Read the Bible, spend time in prayer, and think about what He has done for us.
- Take my yoke and learn from me. We are to “put on” Christ – clothing ourselves in His character. Walk in obedience. Learn to imitate His character. This can’t be achieved without #1.
Jesus is the rest our souls need and long for.
Jesus is the rest our souls need and long for. He invites us to Himself: true spiritual rest. A physical slowing down of body, mind, and spirit must occur for our full attention to abide in Christ. It is hard to cultivate close communion with God while living frantic, over-extended lives.
We are saved by grace through simple faith. As new creations, we seek to be transformed into His likeness from the same place of grace. We work as an outpouring of the faith being built up through consistent efforts – confidently resting in our security in Christ while desiring to know Him more. As we wrestle with rogue thoughts, our minds find peace. As we lament and grieve before the Father, joy settles our hearts. When we obey His example to cease work one day a week, our bodies will be refreshed. It’s possible to live in peace and not frustration even when life is hard if we know where to find Sabbath rest – at our Savior’s feet.
Jesus is our permission to live in the rhythms of His acceptance and grace. He says to come! Christ is our Sabbath rest – the ceasing from works-driven religion to a life of purposeful work and inner peace.