If Jesus returns tomorrow, then tomorrow I’ll rest from my labor. But today I have work to do. I must continue the struggle until it’s finished.
[The Sabbath] has largely been forgotten by the church, which has uncritically mimicked the rhythms of the industrial and success-obsessed West. The result? Our road-weary, exhausted churches have largely failed to integrate Sabbath into their lives as vital elements of Christian discipleship. It is not as though we do not love God—we love God deeply. We just do not know how to sit with God anymore. We have become perhaps the most emotionally exhausted, psychologically overworked, and spiritually malnourished people in history.
Abiding daily in Father’s love… is simply dealing with the issues in your life moment-by-moment, not waiting for a crisis to take place to seek God’s face, but living with Him daily in all the matters that come up, no matter how big or small. My definition of walking in the Spirit is moment-by-moment walking in humility and repentance and dealing with things as they are now, and not waiting for a dramatic experience.
. But Jesus realizes that the most restful gift he can give the tired is a new way to carry life, a fresh way to bear responsibilities…. Realism sees that life is a succession of burdens; we cannot get away from them; thus instead of offering escape, Jesus offers equipment. Jesus means that obedience to his Sermon on the Mount [his yoke] will develop in us a balance and a “way” of carrying life that will give more rest than the way we have been living.
You can be caught up in all your doing for God and miss God in it all. You can also be resting and trying to seek Him when He’s asking you to go out where He is leading you. The way isn’t “I do more and have less intimacy, or I do less and have more intimacy.” The goal is, in all your doing- be with HIM in it all.
A “successful” life has become a violent enterprise. We make war on our own bodies, pushing them beyond their limits; war on our children, because we cannot find enough time to be with them when they are hurt and afraid and need our company; war on our spirit, because we are too preoccupied to listen to the quiet voices that seek to nourish and refresh us; war on our communities, because we are fearfully protecting what we have, and do not feel safe enough to be kind and generous; war on the earth, because we cannot take the time to place our feet on the ground and allow it to feed us, to taste its blessings and give thanks.
If Satan cannot distract you with worldliness, he will overwhelm you with weariness. Indeed, how easy it is to wear ourselves out; even good works done without recharging ourselves in God can drain us of life and energy. Daniel speaks of a time at the end of the age when the enemy will attempt to “wear down the saints of the Highest One” (Dan. 7:25). God never intended for us to do His will without His presence. The power to accomplish God’s purpose comes from prayer and intimacy with Christ. It is here, closed in with God, where we find an ever-replenishing flow of spiritual virtue.