The Art of Spiritual Rest

Chronic exhaustion and obsessive mental fatigue have become so pervasive most of God’s children exist in a constant state of overwhelming bewilderment, unable to even put their finger on the cause of the debilitating anxiety that has become synonymous with their personality robbing them of all vitality and strength. What had already become a behemoth stress problem at the dawn of the new millenium has now spiraled out of control into a full blown neurological and emotional assult on the hearts and minds of countless millions of believers from every quarter of the globe. There is nothing more debilitating than mental and spiritual exhaustion inevitably resulting in physical and emotional burn-out. We have become a nation of zombies because God’s first institution has been forgotten and cast aside. It is no minor triviality that God’s first instruction to the human race was how to rest. ~ “Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (Genesis 2.3).

The Spirit Must Rest

Suffice it to say that if it was necessary for almighty God to rest, it is equally imperative for each one of us, as well. The ignorance of our modern intellectual society has depreciated and ignored man’s insatiable need for meaningful repose on all three levels of his being. The Bible describes man’s three-part nature in the book of First Thessalonians. ~ “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1Thessalonians 5.23). Repose is the foundational framework by which strength is regenerated and restored on all three levels of the human condition—spirit, soul (mental), and body. Three potent facets of profound, regenerative restoration are revealed to us on the first page of the Bible. God is a spirit, so the first myth about rest is debunked because God himself had to rest. Some have the contorted idea that a spirit never needs to rest. So it follows that first and above all, the spirit of man must rest, and through spiritual rest the mind, soul, and body become free of all stress and demands and enter into recreative repose.

The Scourge

Next, the unbreakable cycle of work and rest is established. All of man’s power, strength, and creative faculties are contingent upon the frequency and quality of his rest. For good reason this is God’s first lesson to mankind, reinforcing the fact that rest must be instituted and taught or it will become illusive and fleeting. Finally, the divine manuscript reveals that true repose requires ‘time,’ and time spent in rest is well worth its weight in gold. Most of us have been taught all of our lives the importance of work, but a miniscule fraction have appreciated the inestimable value of authentic spiritual relaxation. The scourge of mental, emotional, and neurological disorders that plague our cities and towns, robbing us of every strand of peace and joy in life and leaving countless millions depressed and tormented is all due to a lack of sound biblical teaching on rest. It will come as no surprise that none other than the wisest man in the history of the world, King Solomon, is accredited with passing down to us one of the best definitions of true rest. ~ “Commit your works to the LORD, And your thoughts will be established” (Proverbs 16:3).

The Key

The ancient key to clearing away the fearful thoughts that the enemy uses to torment mind and soul is taking the time necessary to bring every distressing thought into captivity, which means to take control of it, and then commit it to God. This is the true ‘work of rest.’ Thank God, there is actually a divine activity that can be undertaken which will release body and mind from every harrowing thought (memory) and worry and introduce them into the exquisite luxury of profound spiritual relaxation. ~ “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. (Hebrews 4.11,KJV)

The Artist

For good reason God designated a complete 24-hour day to be assigned weekly to refining the art of spiritual rest because by definition rest requires time. However, time alone will not produce divine repose. Only the mental exercise of bringing every thought ‘into captivity’ (control) combined with the spiritual force of faith by committing all anxious thoughts and needs to God will enable you to paint the masterpiece of your life into a timeless work of art that is admired and esteemed by all who encounter you.

2 Corinthians 10:5 KJV
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

© L. Jonathan Blais 2021 All rights reserved. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.

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