Dichotomic Definitions Between God and Man: Rest

This is the first of many articles I'll be writing on the dichotomic definitions between God and the world. Why am I writing articles on this matter? Because there are so many words we use today, in which the convoluted connotations of our world, have crept into the church. The tragic outcome is that now, precious and beloved children of the Most High God are being more and more conformed into the image of the prince of darkness, rather than into the image of the Prince of Peace (Eph 2:1-3).


When the people of this world say they want or need rest, what they mean is that they want time (whether five minutes, five days, five weeks, etc.)  to spend on the desires of their heart, which in reality is, the vain, and possibly, wicked desires of their flesh (1 Jn 2:16). Unbelievers want to rest in themselves. They want to rest in self-indulgence. They want to rest in self-exaltation/esteem (feigned as "encouragement"—another dichotomic definition I'll cover in another article).

The world's definition of rest often includes doing nothing...of any significance. It means rest from work and activity that makes them think, consider, and be thoughtful and mindful of God and others.  It means rest from considering consequences for their actions and how they may adversely effect others, or more importantly, their relationship with their Creator. To rest as the world rests, requires a person to completely capitulate two common God-given graces: reason and conscience.

The sad conclusion of this kind of "rest" is that it deceptively advertises to satisfy every woe and weariness of life. Yet, after participating in the world's definition of rest, a person isn't left refreshed and energized. No. After returning from a self-centered rest, the people of this world are quickly sobered by the reality of the same angst, and chaos of frenzied activity they anticipated would look different, when they returned from a short or long time of indulging in self.

Resting in self never satisfies because resting is self, is only resting in darkness, where there is no light nor life; and where nothing good grows. Self, without Christ, is a place of death and destruction. It is a place of depravity in which no one can escape from, until they repent and believe the Gospel.

When the people of God say we want or need rest, what we mean is that we we want time (whether five minutes, five days, five weeks, etc.) to spend on the desires and will of our God and Father through His Word. Christians want rest in Christ...not ourselves. As a matter of fact, that's why most of us need rest—to have defined times away from our own thoughts and desires that tempt us to sin and grieve the holy heart of our gracious God.

A Christian's definition of rest often includes, but is not limited to: actively doing something...of godly significance. It means purposefully pursuing and demonstrating the holiness of God in our words and deeds. It means rest from working for self-importance and self-reliance. It means diligently working to die to self daily, so that we might more fully live as Christ to this world. Rest from the world. Rest from sin that is within us and sin that is around us. We want to rest as Christ commands us to rest, that is, in Him. And this kind of rest requires a person to be completely consumed by the goodness of God, granted to us in Christ Jesus.

To rest in Christ, means to remind our souls of who we really are before a holy God, and how kindly and mercifully He has treated us because of the finished work of His Son, on the Cross.

The happy conclusion of resting in Christ, is that its the only rest that is true, real, and everlasting. It is the only rest that promises and delivers a moment of sanctuary from every woe and weariness this life has to offer. And after participating in this kind of rest, a child of the Most High God is left refreshed, energized, and renewed, in mind and body and soul. And though this rest provides the fullest satisfaction of the soul, because we still live in these bodies of death, we must regularly seek to rest in the Lord and drink from the Living Water, until we find our eternal rest, in the full presence of Christ our Lord and Savior.

My exhortation and plea to all of you, is this: Actively and diligently seek to rest in Christ alone. Do not rest as the world rests. Do not plan vacations and any outings where you merely indulge in fulfilling your desires. But make plans to pray for opportunities to share the Gospel. As we, dearly beloved children of the Most High God ought to do all things differently than this world. And this includes how we rest, whether at home, or at work, or at play, or on vacation. No matter what we do, and where we do it, we should resolve to do it all for the glory of God.

"Come to me [Jesus the Christ], all 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, ESV