Designed By God
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19, NIV).
We live in an action-oriented world, and it seems that simplifying our lives has never been more complicated. Doesn’t it seem that there is always work to do with no time for rest? Answer the following questions as honestly as you can to determine if you are in need of rest: Do you feel stressed when functioning in your normal day-to-day activities? Is it difficult to find joy? Do you wake up tired?
At creation, God established a pattern of work and rest, which is a model for us as believers. For six days God worked to bring order to our world. But on the seventh day, after He had finished all His creative activity, He rested. God demonstrated that rest is appropriate and right.
Jesus showed us the importance of rest when He sat wearily beside a well after a long walk (John 4:6) and when He slept in the back of a boat with His head on a pillow (Mark 4:38). He also rested when He and His disciples got away from the crowds (Mark 6:31, 32).
If the Lord rested from the work of creation and from His earthly ministry, we need to rest from our work as well. Our times of rest refresh us for times of service. Schedule some “slow down” time this week.
In the normal course of providence, God works in and through creation, not despite it. For this reason, some answers to prayer are difficult to prove with certainty. We believe a prayer has been answered not because of any scientific criteria proving it, but because we have faith. Most of the ways we encounter God—nature, the Bible, the church, other people—include things we can touch. God’s own state, though, is the realm of spirit. Prayer reflects that difference between us.
Although we may ask God to intervene directly, it should not surprise us if He responds in a more hidden way in cooperation with our own choices. An alcoholic prays, “Lord, keep me from drinking today.” The answer to that prayer will likely come from the inside—from a stiffening resolve or a cry for help to a loyal friend—rather than from a magical disappearance of liquor bottles from a cabinet.
Whether God supernaturally intervenes or is giving us the power to obey Him, we trust His character. We see a true partnership, intimate and intertwined.
Mark Andrew Paterniti, Taylor, Michigan, U.S.A.