I believe in “rest” – its biblical and walking in “rest” is required to truly operate under the direction of the Spirit of God. But the “rest” I am taking about, the “rest” referred to in the Scripture, is not the same idea as “rest” in the current vernacular. Today, “rest” is synonymous with taking it easy and the opposite of work. But in the Bible, “rest” is how we do work. We “rest” when we trust in Him as we work. While we labor with our hearts, heads, and hands our soul is at “rest,” trusting Him with the outcomes. Because of this misunderstanding of “rest,” I am afraid that “work” has gotten a bum rap in today’s church and among many of today’s leaders.
When I look at Jesus, I see “rest” personified. He always carried Himself with that quiet confidence that is a tell tale sign of a person at rest. He remained calm in the storm; He was strong is His silence before Pilate; He only did what He saw His Father doing. At the same time, I see Him up all night in prayer and then walking on the water across the lake to join the disciples, which turned into a lesson for Peter and the other guys in the boat and culminated in more ministry as soon as they reached the other side. Jesus pulled an all-nighter! Another time, Jesus worked so hard that He fell asleep in the boat and would have slept through a gale force storm that shattered the confidence of seasoned fisherman had they not awakened Him. He must have been exhausted! Jesus was a hard worker. It’s part of the price of leadership.
J. Oswald Sanders, in his book Spiritual Leadership says, “The spirit of the welfare state does not produce leaders. If a Christian is not willing to rise early and work late, to extend greater effort in diligent study and faithful work, that person will not change a generation. Fatigue is the price of leadership. Mediocrity is the result of never getting tired.”