There are some days when the to-do list seems as long as a CVS receipt! From the moment you get up you have projects and deadlines, walk-ins and phone calls, and not enough hours to accomplish half of what needs to be done! Days like this are exhausting physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Even when we are very productive, busy days can make us feel like we failed because of all the things that didn’t get done!
Have you had a day or two or ten like that recently?
The good news is that we don’t have to wait till our next beachfront vacation to be refreshed. For the Christian there is a place of constant rest during the midst of our busiest and most stressful seasons. Here are some characteristics of Christians who are resting in the Lord from Hebrews 3 & 4. Check to see how you compare.
1. Resting Christians Learn from the examples of other Christians.
Whether positive or negative examples, we should be learning from others. We learn to avoid the choices of those with “an evil heart of unbelief” who have departed from the faith (3:12). Choosing rather to focus on our High Priest, Jesus, who’s heart is “touched with the feeling of our infirmities” (4:15) and who provides us with a sinless example to follow.
2. Resting Christians Listen to the exhortations of other Christians.
There is a big difference between hearing someone and listening to them. Just like a child who runs off without hearing complete directions, far too often we rush right past the people with the most wisdom to speak into our situation. Exhortation, which is encouraging someone to achieve a certain standard or goal, is something that should be done in the Christian community on a daily basis (3:13). If you are anything like me, there are some days when I am rushing to accomplish my list and end up making mistakes because I didn’t take the time to listen to the wisdom of other Christians. One of the intrinsic beauties of Christianity is that rank and file have nothing to do with the wisdom God gives his children. If you will slow down and listen, you will be amazed at what you can learn from the senior saint down to the young children. God’s wisdom and strength are available for you today, but are you listening? Are you really? Good, because the final characteristic of a resting Christian is the most important.
3. Resting Christians Live for eternity.
I have been asked how we can know whether we are living for eternity or not. After all, how do the mundane chores of life – like doing the laundry and mowing the grass – have anything to do with eternity? This is a very fair question and one we all probably have asked at some point. The answer is clear. Eternity can be impacted during the necessary monotony of life through our attitudes and focus during those times.
A resting Christian exercises faith and relaxes in God’s plan for their life (4:2,9). They realize there is divine help for their daily tasks (4:10). Resting Christians realize they have spiritual momentum and seize opportunities by working even harder (4:11). They accept accountability (4:13) and don’t mind the Holy Spirit or other Christians pointing to areas that need improvement. They are unashamed of their salvation testimony (4:14). Finally, they understand they need help, mercy, and grace to continue (4:15-16), and they boldly ask God for them. These Christians will be at peace when the world around them is in chaos. They will sense renewed purpose and be able to see how God is clearly directing their lives!
I don’t know about you, but that is exactly the kind of life I want to live for Christ! Are you a Resting Christian?