“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.” (Psalm 23:1-2)
The more I look at the truth of God’s rest, I see it’s not simply the promised ultimate rest as we enter eternity but also that our Lord encourages and leads us to rest.
Here in Psalm 23, we see the great Shepherd of the sheep leading His sheep to rest. Sadly, “rest” is almost a dirty word in our fast-paced society. We work, run home to rightly support our children in their endeavors or our social commitments, and when we sit down, out comes the laptop, phone, or tablet. Often we can go for days, weeks, and even months without truly resting. How often have you said, “I can’t seem to shut my mind down even when I’m trying to sleep?” Much of our hyperactivity may be nothing more than a substitute or avoidance for being quiet enough to hear the still, small inner voice directing us to consider our God and follow Him.
Actually, the first step of a right relationship with our God involves rest. As we see and hear the Gospel message, we understand that we must REST in the finished work of Christ. We no longer have to trust or be confident in our own activity or achievements for salvation.
When we face various trials in this Christian life, we often too slowly come to the truth that resting in Him is the only place of peace.
David, in Psalm 23, says our Shepherd leads us to rest; rest meaning the cessation of doing anything. And the great thing is He leads us there! The picture of green pastures and quiet waters is a place of rest amid everyday life.
“And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while." (Mark 6:30)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)