“2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” Genesis 2:2-3
If we read through the beginning chapters of the book of Genesis, we see where God created the entire earth and the fullness within it, simply by speaking. He didn’t need a hammer, or nails; a pen, pencil, software, or a blueprint of every creation He was making. It didn’t take years of planning, or years to complete; to the contrary, He simply spoke everything into existence in a matter of days and everything was “good and very good”.
Now, being careful not to minimize the glory that God so righteously deserve---His work was (and is) indeed intricate and well thought out. Everything from the smallest and seemingly insignificant, to the biggest and most significant creation, was neatly woven, and then given purpose and ability (that took an abundance of knowledge, passion, compassion, and love! Who, but God, could plan out everything so carefully and perfectly and not “miss a beat”?) ---given that the Bible says God spoke every creation into existence, the question then is: Was He tired, or simply satisfied when He rested on the seventh day from all His work?
The Bible says that God never slumbers or sleep…
“[…] he that keepeth thee will not slumber. 4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.”
Psalm 121:3-4 (KJV)
This means that God does not, and did not, doze off, take a nap, or lie down and sleep. He never ceases to be God, and God over all. So, given the scripture above, we can accurately infer that God did not rest in the sense that He needed to get off His feet and sit down, He didn’t need to “sleep in” on the seventh day, He didn’t need to wipe the sweat from his forehead or get a drink of water and a bite to eat.
If we look at this from a spiritual point of view, we can see where God was likely not tired from creating the heavens and the earth (He is God, He is all powerful, He never slumbers or sleep); instead, He was likely satisfied (or pleased) with all that He had done. So, if God Almighty took time to appreciate His work, to be satisfied with all He had done, what does that say about what we should do, as His creations?
Remembering God's Blessings and Being Satisfied!
In today’s society it is so easy to get caught up in “the grind”, or trying to be a part of “the Haves” instead of “the Have Nots”; we try and keep up with the current trends, and sometimes we become so consumed with how we can get our hands on more, or move to the next level, that we forget the example that God gave us through His own actions…we forget to rest, or put another way, we forget to be satisfied in all that God has done (and is doing), all that He has blessed us with, and all that He has enabled our hands to do. In short, we forget to rest in the beauty of God…
“One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.” Psalm 27:4 (ESV)
It is important not to confuse “resting/satisfaction” in this sense, with complacency or slothfulness; there is a huge difference. To be slothful means to be lazy; while to be complacent means to be uncritically satisfied with self (or one's current situation), which in turn leads to an individual not willing to change or improve.
God did not command us to rest because He wanted us to be complacent; to the contrary, when we truly live for God and walk with God, change is inevitable…
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Romans 12:2 (KJV)
Not only is change inevitable, but we are also warned against thinking more highly of oneself…
“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12:3 (KJV)
God did not command us to rest because He wanted us to be lazy; instead, He wanted us to take time to lay aside our daily “grind” and appreciate Him, be satisfied in Him. He wanted us to remember the work He has done…
“8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8-11 (KJV)
We should acknowledge Him as being the giver and sustainer of our life…
“Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is the sustainer of my soul.” Psalm 54:4 (NIV)
Sadly, in many cases individuals are unable to be satisfied because they are constantly filling themselves with (metaphorically speaking) “foods” that contain “empty calories”; foods that have very little (if any at all) nutritional value and once consumed, individuals are shortly thereafter looking for more.
It is so easy to fall in a trap of creating an “if-then” analysis for life. This is where we have to be careful of treading on that slippery slop of becoming unfulfilled, that slope towards never being satisfied. It is through these “if-then” analyses that we began to consume “empty calories”, or things that add no spiritual value to our life. In this sense, we go through life thinking that if we could just have this job or title, and so we busy ourselves pressing for it at all costs; if we could just have a bank account with a larger balance, and so we busy ourselves pressing for it at all costs; if we could just have this person in our lives, if we could just live in a house this size, or if my ministry or church was bigger… and so we busy ourselves with trying to attain these things at all costs. We convince ourselves that if we could just achieve these things, all would be well, and life would be in a constant utopic state (we become so focused on things that are seen, and things that give us temporary good feelings). We become so caught up in the pursuit, that we forget to set aside time to praise God, to honor God, and to just be satisfied.
Unfortunately, many forget that true satisfaction and fullness does not come from people, places, titles, status, money, or things in general (there is always something seemingly bigger, or better); instead, fullness and satisfaction comes from the Lord…
“For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” Psalm 107:9 (KJV)
“Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:13-14 (KJV)
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” John 6:35 (KJV)
Understand that this is not to say that we should not desire nice things, or desire to better ourselves, or work hard to achieve (what we have personally deemed) success; however, we should not let the pursuit of those earthly desires consume us so much that we forget to rest in God—- we forget to be satisfied in God. By definition, the word satisfied simply means “pleased or content with what has been experienced or received” (Merriam-Webster). That said, it is absolutely okay to take time to remember God’s blessings, it is okay to take time to acknowledge God and all of His wonderful works, it is okay to stop and give God praise and honor; it is okay to be pleased, or content with how God is moving in your life and the world around you (even in the midst of chaos, God is still God).
Do not be afraid that this satisfaction will halt God’s blessings, or that resting in God will somehow stunt your growth. Instead, be encouraged through God’s word…
“If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit…” Leviticus 26:3-10
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.” Jeremiah 17:7
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” 2 Corinthians 9:8
“yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.” Psalm 37:25-26
It is okay to be satisfied!
Questions to Consider:
Are you unable to be satisfied and rest in God’s blessings because you are filling your life and spirit with “empty calories”?
“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18 (KJV)
Are you taking time to rest and praise God for all that He has enabled you to do, and not just on the Sabbath (even though to do so shows obedience to God), but on every day of your life?
“Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.” Psalm 145:2 (KJV)
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV)
“I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
“I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.” Psalm 77:11-12 (ESV)