WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JANUARY 28, 2023
TOPIC: GET PROPER REST
BY T. O. BANSO
“It is senseless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, fearing you will starve to death; for God wants his loved ones to get their proper rest” (Psalm 127:2 The Living Bible).
It’s a very emotional story. A well-educated man who believes so much in hard work and taught younger ones to do the same was now rethinking his advice over the years. If he had another opportunity to talk to younger people, he would add that while they should work hard, they should also have adequate rest.
This man’s life was full of activities before his illness; he was always on the move. He hardly rested. But, sadly, now he is resting in a wheelchair! Against his wish and that of his family members and friends, he has been forced to rest. Nevertheless, he is still thankful to God that he is alive. However, he has been unable to fulfil some of the dreams he had because he could not move around.
You must work hard but you must also get proper rest. No matter how busy you are, always find time to rest. Don’t get stuck in a situation where a lack of rest ruins your health such that rest will be imposed on you either by being confined to a wheelchair or by your doctor putting you on bed rest. Some people who do not get proper rest may prematurely rest in peace! Get proper rest.
While some people are lazy or idle, some are workaholics. Both are wrong. God doesn’t want you to be lazy and He doesn’t want you to be a workaholic – someone who compulsively works excessively hard and long hours. A workaholic is so attached to work that he finds it difficult not to work. Such people may not rest at the proper time, which is an unhealthy habit for their lives. Workaholics may rest when they sleep but rest is not only about sleep. Sleeping is rest but rest is not always sleeping. You may sleep but still experience fatigue.
Get proper rest. Psalm 127:2 says, “It is senseless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, fearing you will starve to death; for God wants his loved ones to get their proper rest” (The Living Bible). Take note of the phrase “proper rest.” Get proper rest. It is senseless for you to work and not get proper rest. Work never finishes. As you finish one task, there could be another waiting for you. Get proper rest.
Ecclesiastes 2:21 says, “For there is a man whose labor is with wisdom, knowledge, and skill; yet he must leave his heritage to a man who has not labored for it. This also is vanity and a great evil” (New King James Version). The desire to amass wealth has made some people not get proper rest but when they die, sometimes prematurely, they leave everything behind to be enjoyed by those who didn’t labour for it. This is vanity.
Ecclesiastes 4:8 even gives a worse picture: “There is one alone, without companion: He has neither son nor brother. Yet there is no end to all his labors, nor is his eye satisfied with riches. But he never asks, ‘For whom do I toil and deprive myself of good?’ This also is vanity and a grave misfortune” (New King James Version). Who is such a man labouring for that he may even deny himself proper rest? Strangers will inherit such a person. Don’t be obsessed with work. Get proper rest.
At creation, God gave us the example to work and rest. Genesis 2:2-3 says, “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (New King James Version). God doesn’t get tired but He showed us, mortal men, this example to follow. A diligent worker deserves proper rest. Rest is not a crime. Rest is not laziness! God wants His loved ones to get proper rest after work. Rest; don’t kill yourself with a lack of rest. Don’t drop dead while working. This has happened to some people.
Many people are suffering from a lack of proper rest – physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional. Rest helps you to recover, recharge, recreate, and refocus. It reduces stress, refreshes you, improves your relationships, increases your productivity, and enhances your creativity.
Get proper rest. Obey God’s command to rest. The command is so important that God took the time to explain it very well. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8-11 New King James Version). Did you see the explanation? Also, Deuteronomy 5:12-15 talks about the Sabbath day. The word Sabbath comes from the Hebrew word Shabbat, which means “to cease” or “desist.”
The Sabbath (or Sunday, as it is mostly called today after the resurrection of Jesus Christ) is not just a day of worshipping God; it’s also a day of rest. Get proper rest. Unfortunately, many people don’t. They work on Sundays as they do on other days even when they do not offer what is called essential services. Who tells you that you will make on Sunday what you couldn’t make from Monday to Saturday? If you didn’t make it in six days, do you think adding the one day that God has asked you to worship Him and rest will make a difference? Don’t overwork yourself. Observe a Sabbath rest. Someone said seven days without a Sabbath makes one WEAK! Get proper rest.
Hard work causes fatigue so you must get proper rest, which doesn’t necessarily mean you should sleep. Sleeping does not solve everyone’s fatigue. As Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, an Internal Medicine physician and author, found out in her research, people need seven types of rest to optimize their productivity, increase their overall happiness, overcome burnout, and live their best life: These seven types of rest are 1. Physical Rest; 2. Mental Rest; 3. Spiritual Rest; 4. Emotional Rest; 5. Sensory Rest; 6. Social Rest; and 7. Creative Rest.
To rest sometimes, you just need to take a break from your work. Sometimes you need to reduce your screen time by shutting down your computer. You may also need to switch off your television set. Let your physical senses have some rest. Sometimes you need to get your phone away from you, let someone answer your calls on your behalf, and answer only important calls. You may also need to get away from some relationships and get new relationships. Rest could also mean lying down on your bed, moving away from your environment by going for a vacation or a walk. Identify the rest you need. Get proper rest.
If it is sleep you need, please sleep. Sleeping after hard work is a gift from God. The end of Psalm 127:2 in the New King James Version says God gives His beloved sleep. Ecclesiastes 5:12a says the sleep of a labouring man is sweet. Sweet sleep is a gift from God. “After this I awoke and looked around, and my sleep was sweet to me” (Jeremiah 31:26 New King James Version). Proverbs 3:24 also talks about sweet sleep. Enjoy sweet sleep!
Sleep after you’ve worked to refresh yourself and renew your strength. David said, “I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustained me” (Psalm 3:5 New King James Version). He also said in Psalm 4:8 “I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety” (New King James Version).
Some people need spiritual rest. Sleep won’t solve their problem. Physical rest won’t suffice. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 New King James Version). Rest appears in this scripture twice. This is spiritual rest. The sinner needs it and even Christians will always need some form of spiritual rest.
Jeremiah, quoting the LORD, earlier used the phrase “find rest for your souls” that Jesus used. “Thus says the LORD: ‘Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it’” (Jeremiah 6:16 New King James Version). To find rest for their souls, the Israelites needed to ask for the old paths where the good way was, and walk in it, but they refused. They rejected what would have given them rest. Jeremiah 18:15 also refers to how they stumbled off the ancient paths. They needed to obey the commandments God gave them through His servant, Moses (Malachi 4:4).
Hebrews 4:9-11 says, “There remains, then, a Sabbath — rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience” (New International Version). Eternal rest awaits the children of God in heaven. We shall rest from all our work on earth.
Get proper rest whether it is physical, spiritual, mental, or emotional. Get the rest you need.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, forgive me for not observing a day in a week to join other believers to worship You and rest. I repent of the abuse of my body by not getting proper rest. Father, I shall obey Your command to worship You and rest in the name of Jesus. I shall also worship You every day and rest daily. I shall not engage in senseless hard work without proper rest.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947