It’s so easy for us to turn the things God designed for pleasure into a task. As soon as someone says to me, “You have to…” it begins to feel like a burden, a chore. I think we’ve done that to prayer – and especially corporate prayer – as well. Instead of thinking that we are privileged to spend time in the presence of the ultimate lover of our souls who brings us together in relationship with Him and with each other, we talk about scheduling meetings and getting down to the work of prayer. We bring our agendas and have our lists that must be covered in well-worded presentations. Okay, time to drop the pleasantries and get down to work.
Even our times of worship can turn into hurried rituals of sound checks, singing songs, or genuflecting, or waving incense or flags, or lighting candles, or shuffling the two square foot pew-side hokey-pokey, whatever, trying to think of ways to get God in the mood to respond to us (or manipulate our own emotions to be in the mood to worship and pray. It’s hard to tell sometimes.) Why does it sometimes feel like one more thing to check off the to-do list before we can get on with the program?
What if the Lord just wants to sit on a deck chair beside us and be welcomed into our conversation? What if Father, Son and Holy Spirit want to welcome us to sit with them and be part of their conversation? What if entering his rest is realizing that he is not hurried or anxious or stressed like we are? What if worship is enjoying him in that place of rest?
What does it mean to enter his rest together?
So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God. For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. So let us do our best to enter that rest. (Hebrews 4:9, 10 NLT)