Are we just being lazy if we desire God's rest?

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Since the beginning of time, God has made rest serious business. Unlike many cultures today that are work-centered, our God is a God who values the Sabbath intensely.

Leviticus 23:3 tells us, "Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places."

Many people today struggle with the idea of taking breaks because it is associated with unproductivity. Why would a God who commands us with so much things to do call us to waste one out of seven days sitting and doing no work? Isn't that being lazy?

Rest assured, God does not promote laziness by commanding us to honor the Sabbath day. Days off are important. Studies show that companies without regular breaks often have more burnt out and unproductive workers.

But how can we be assured that our desire for God's rest isn't leading us to laziness?

We can be proactive in God's rest

My sabbaths are often jam-packed days as well. I spend a lot of time reading God's Word, building memories with my family, running half a marathon, doing groceries and reading other books. I never sleep in and I don't spend hours in front of a television set.

Sabbaths are God's gift to us to unwind by doing other things that are non-work related. It's a great reminder for us that work is not the only thing that fills up our lives, but it's also not an excuse for us to waste time doing unproductive things.

Sabbaths remind us that God moves on our behalf

God calls us to rest because He wants us to remember that even though we don't work, He makes things work. We are blessed not because of our ability, but because of God's grace so we are assured that even when we are not working, God sets our tasks, our income and our whole lives for us.

Exodus 16:29 says, "See! The Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day."

Laziness and God's rest are differentiated by the motive

When we are motivated by God's rest, we are motivated by obedience and faith in a God who makes things work even when we don't. Laziness is motivated by the pursuit of satisfaction in selfish desires.

It is never wrong to desire God's rest when we do so only to please God by spending more time with Him and by taking care of His temple -- our bodies. But when we start desiring too much "rest" and being motivated by other excuses, we may potentially fall into the trap of laziness.