We live in a culture that has a very specific mindset about work, a mindset often perpetuated in the Church:
work is accepted, hard work is expected, and overworking is a virtue.
In our brave new world, there are no longer any boundaries. We are constantly connected through technology, no time is off limits. We live in a global marketplace, with globalization no place is off limits. We can, and are often expected to, “be available” at all times, in all places, in every way…and this has become a badge of honor. “Yeah, I work 70 hours a week!” This is not a complaint, but a declaration of importance. Let me cut through the bull and say what we really mean when we say this, “I am so important that my job can’t just have me for 40 hours, the world needs 70 hours from me!”
Into this mindset steps Hebrews 3-4, and it is a confrontation. This is not gentle reminder, soft nudge, or even firm request, Hebrews is going to step on our toes, get in our face, and confront us with one truth:
Hebrews 4:3 – “For we who have believed have entered that rest”
or on the flip side
Hebrews 3:19 – “So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.”
Do we as Christians know how to rest? For me this is an horrifying question, “What do you mean rest? I am a husband, a father, a professor, writing my dissertation, teaching at church, teaching in the prison! God when am I suppose to rest! Just tell me which of these I should stop doing?” Now we all have our own list and many are way longer than mine. Into this mindset, comes Hebrews and says those who believe find rest.
What do they believe? Well it is fairly simple, that Jesus is the builder of the house! We would be more comfortable with the story going something like The Three Little Pigs offering us a good moral lesson:
What kind of house are you building?
Are you working hard to build a strong house?
But Hebrews asks us do you believe Christ is the builder of the house? If so, stop trying to build it yourself and find rest. This is not legalism of have to spend this many hours a day, a week, a month, a year…but a reminder that we were created for God and everything we do is to be for him. Rest, sabbath, is having space to enjoy God.
When was the last time you had space to enjoy God?