Rest: Imaging God

What are you pursuing that promises Deeper rest?

I’m convinced that each woman has something in her heart that she falsely believes will bring her rest. Many, no…most times, we are looking for peace, joy…rest in all the wrong places. Whether it’s the calendar we keep or the life choices we make in the midst of daily happenings, how we respond can either trip us up or promote rest. With God’s help, we can move from restless to resting. Real, lasting rest images God’s good design.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. - 1 John 2:15 - 17
Where is your allegiance?
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matt. 11:28-30

Jesus’ yoke represents his peace-filled teaching. He tells us that his yoke is easy and the burden light. When we are yoked with Jesus Christ, walking side by side, his teaching produces joy. With a full surrender of the mind, heart, and will, believers who follow the teachings of Jesus (“learn from me”) will find rest. Allegiance to Christ and his kingdom results in peace.

How do we image God in rest?

Imago Dei is the theological term (Latin) for image of God. We are designed to live like Jesus but for mankind to correctly image God, we need to be instructed by Him in how we are to live. In many of the most fundamental ways God is not like us. God does not have a physical body. Nevertheless, God has made us to be like Him in a number of key ways, that we might represent Him within His created order. Our Bible teaches us that humanity is unique among all of creation because God distinctly fashioned humans in his own image and after his own likeness. How do we image Him in rest? We reflect His character. Charles Spurgeon said:

Man was made in the image of God, and nothing will satisfy man but God, in whose image he was made.

Rest itself teaches us about God.

Notice the example of rest that God established as early as Genesis, “rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done.” Make no mistake here, God was not fatigued. God paused and enjoyed His work in reflection. And then, after the fall in Genesis chapter three, rest becomes our necessary response to work. The psalmist proclaims that God will “neither slumber nor sleep.” Therefore, physical rest reminds us that we are not God (who never tires). Mankind was designed to work out of our rest.

Many times the Bible associates rest with the Sabbath. Not the least of the ten commandments but seldom realized for what intended, the Sabbath commandment is intended for our good. At one level the Sabbath is a time to cease from our own work, but it also seems to be an invitation from God to participate in his rest. In Exodus 20:11, the Sabbath is tied back to creation,

"For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."  
Are you resting in God’s Love and provision?

Kelly Kapic writes in his book You’re Only Human “Beloved, you and I are secure in the love of the Father, the grace of the Son, and the fellowship of the Spirit. May this security allow us to celebrate our limits as part of God’s good work. May this security drive us back to our God, to one another, and even to our right dependence on the rest of creation. May this security encourage our work, liberate our rest, and free us to love and serve others. God made us to be limited creatures, able to freely participate in his work, confident in his presence, and grateful for his promises and provision. Let us appreciate the goodness of our finitude as we rest in the love and provision of our infinitely good God. May it be so.”

The image of God means people have the capacity to know and to have fellowship with God. In fact, we are created for that very purpose while our lives bring glory to Him. God has worked rhythms into life for our good. His building in the need for physical rest in the lives of his creatures is a gift! In Psalm 121, we read that God gives to His beloved in his sleep. We can move from restlessness to rest while imaging a God who keeps those are his.

"He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep." - Ps. 121:3–4