We all know how important physical rest is for our bodies. We know we need consistent sleep to restore our bodies. We know we often need rest in order to rejuvenate our energy during the day. We know children need naps and rest to grow and allow their brains to grow stronger and wiser. Physical rest is good.
It’s so good, God set apart a whole day for it. This clearly demonstrates the priority He puts on rest. He set the example by resting on the seventh day, and then also wrote the Sabbath into the Ten Commandments to remind His people just how important it was for them to model Him and follow that example.
Similarly, do we consider how important spiritual rest might be for us? Was God only talking about physical rest, or was He showing us something deeper and even more meaningful that physical rest?
I like to look at the Israelites when talking about biblical principals. They are a great example of what to do and what not to do in so many ways.
The Israelites failed to enter into God’s rest for 40 years. An entire generation died in the desert because their disobedience and hardened (unbelieving) hearts were the rule, not the exception, even in the midst of visible miracles, Moses’ leadership, and first hand experiences of His mighty provision in Egypt.
From the Israelites failure to enter rest, and through reading Hebrews 3 and 4, we can conclude three things: 1. We also can fail to enter into God’s spiritual rest, 2. that rest is still available to us today, and 3. the primary issue with failing to enter God’s rest is unbelief.
God has much to say to you to encourage your unbelief and to offer you the REST offered the Israelites:
God is calling to you, as He did the Israelites, to come and enter His rest. Come to Him. His calling is the same today as it was yesterday!
When you are feeling weary, tired, doubtful…when you wonder if the experiences you’ve had with God before are truly real…when you allow your heart to stumble into unbelief, you cannot enter the REST God has to offer you.
Those who enter God’s rest do so by faith (Hebrews 4:3). Unbelief leads to a hardened heart, which leads to rebellion and divine discipline.
The good news is that, as a follower of Jesus, when you have a heart of belief (faith), you can enter into God’s perfect rest. Not just physical rest, although God offers that abundantly, but what we can call Sabbath REST. This is rest from striving to achieve godliness, favor, or perfection in the sight of God and simply trusting in the work God has done for us in Christ.
How does this apply to labor, you ask?
Well, when we talk about SURRENDERING or BIRTHING FOR HIS GLORY, we can easily become distracted by trying to achieve some “pinnacle” of birth perfection, all in the name of glorifying God. We find ourselves unable to truly rest in Him and SURRENDER because we are so focused on “working” for some kind of unspoken favor or godliness. We fail to find physical rest because we doubt and don’t believe in His ability to provide it. We fail to have spiritual rest because we focus on our attempts at achievement.
When we truly glorify the Lord in labor and delivery and SURRENDER to Him, we are able to (through faith and a heart of belief) enter into spiritual REST with Him. We lay our desires and our wishes at His feet and truly see how He has already finished the work in us through Jesus. At each turn, we give our labor back to Him. With each breath, we praise His name. When there might be trouble, we cast our cares upon Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).
It is our desire here at Surrender Birth that you would find the ultimate offer of REST in Christ in all areas of your life, including labor and delivery. God is fully invested in your labor experience. He created it, set it in motion, knit your child together in your womb, and predestined the perfect day and way for your child to enter the world. Believe wholeheartedly in His mighty hand in your life and find the REST He has been offering for 4,000 years, both physical and spiritual! Believe that what Christ did on the cross truly completed the “work” of the law and gave you passage into His loving, RESTFUL arms.