The holidays are over, a new year has begun, and the usual routine has returned for most people. Through all the hustle and bustle of the busy season, perhaps there’s one important question that has not occurred to you: Did you take any time to rest?
One of the cornerstone truths of the current LIFE Today series “Healing for Your Body, His Temple” centers on God’s established principle of rest. The account of creation in Genesis says, “By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done” (Genesis 2:2). This idea is expanded later, when the Bible says, “in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed” (Exodus 31:17).
Pastor Robert Morris explains, “How could God, an omnipotent, all‑powerful God be refreshed? You have to go back to the original language – the Hebrew that the Old Testament was written in. That word refreshed actually means took breath, to breathe in.
“What had God been doing for six days? He had been breathing out. He had been creating. How did he create? He spoke. What happens when you speak? You breathe out. So for six days the breath was coming out. He even breathed into man and woman on the sixth day, they became living souls. On the seventh day God took a breath.”
From this principle, God established the Sabbath day as a day of refreshing. The word shabath means to cease or desist from labor. Humans need to stop working one day a week. This is more than a physical time of recuperation; it is mental, spiritual, and emotional.
Robert points out, “A lot of times we say, ‘I'm tired,’ but really it is not that we're tired, because if you're tired you can take a nap and feel better. It's that we're depleted. We're depleted physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.”
A depleted condition is a vulnerable condition. A run-down body is susceptible to sickness. A weary mind lacks focus and resolve. Battered emotions leave us wounded and empty. And a tired spirit falls easily to temptation.
A true Sabbath occurs where we stop laboring and allow God to replenish us in every way. Too often, we think we can go seven days a week. But God himself set the pattern for us. We are certainly not more powerful than He!
When Jesus Christ walked the earth, He often removed himself from the crowds. We’re familiar with the time He miraculously fed five thousand families, but we don’t usually remember the context. Just before that day, Jesus’ beloved cousin John (called “John the Baptist”) was beheaded by King Herod. Jesus withdrew to a secluded place, but people discovered where He was and a huge crowd sought Him out. That’s why there were so many people in a remote place with no food.
Jesus felt compassion toward them and healed the sick all day long. As the hour became late, they grew hungry, prompting the dinner miracle. After they had all eaten, Jesus sent the crowds home and even sent His disciples on their way. Matthew’s gospel tells us, “Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone” (Matthew 14:23).
We must not neglect a time of rest. We need the renewal of our mind, body, and spirit.
"Guard your schedule,” James Robison warns in the series. “Don't let your schedule run your life or it will ruin your life."
As the new year unfolds, make this a priority in your life. Take time to breathe in. Be still and know that He is God. Allow Him to refresh your body and renew your soul. Remember to rest.
Watch James and Betty all this week as Robert Morris and Dr. Don Colbert talk about health and wellness.