“Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.” Hebrews 4:1
One of the great temptations for God’s marketplace ministers is to get so involved in the task, to be so sold out on the work itself, that God is somehow forgotten. It is: “Thanks Lord for calling me, and I am so grateful to know that work is from you, and I know I can be a minister for you….so now I’ll do it. And by the way Lord, I’ll call on you if I need any help along the way.” Of course, none of us would be so blatant as to put it that way, but nonetheless, that is what the result is. And so there we are, sold out to God’s call, but doing it in our own strength. And equating busyness for obedience, a full calendar for full understanding, and hard work for God directed work.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe in hard work, and surely the Bible speaks of this as well. Who can forget Paul’s admonition “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” Work is a mandate from God, a commandment that none of us can ignore.
We all know that the devil loves to counterfeit the real, whenever God gives something for our good, the enemy will offer a counterfeit shortcut that seems to fit but that does not. Even with work, if the devil can get us to work hard and to forget God in the midst of it, he will have the upper hand. Activity is often the enemy of intimacy. Activity is never an adequate replacement for intimacy. And this is happening to often. Work becomes an effort of the flesh instead of a consistent and regular process of staying in touch with the Lord of all. When work is done in the flesh, exhaustion and eventually illness is likely to follow. When work is done in cooperation with God, there is a rest that brings renewed energy with it.