In the book of prophet Isaiah, chapter 28, we read that the people can be easily dominated by a mindset in which the individual and the collective soul may go from one end of inebriation and numbness of the conscience to another of legalism with line on line, precept on precept.
For the soul that doesn’t surrender to the Spirit of God and the guidance of his/her own spirit in obedience to God’s Word, God’s simple commandment to rest in Him and offer his/her neighbor rest (as salvation) is something worse than schizophrenia full of neurosis: Precept on precept, line on line, here a little, there a little...while the person goes on in a state of numbness and inebriation.
Read the passage (Is. 28) to make sure that the spirit of the message is actually according to what I’m saying.
However, what I want you to think about and meditate on is simple:
Why ever does our nature prefer winding roads to straight ones, complexity to simplicity, and a burdensome yoke to what is easy and light as a yoke to take on in life?
That’s why the Leviticus links the day of Rest to the soul’s affliction. Yes! The soul prefers any other thing to having to rest. The soul is distressed on the Day of Rest. That’s why Resting is an Order, a Commandment.
The natural soul does enjoy fun and leisure, but it hates Rest.
In fun and leisure, or even in idleness, the soul still feels he/she has paid for that. And as for idleness, the person feels he/she is better, smarter than the others, thus he/she can enjoy it with no haste...
But when Rest is proposed, then even the idlest person flees!
Rest, in the truest sense of the word, isn’t irresponsibility or idleness. Resting means trusting. It’s giving yourself over. It’s having faith and assurance that God takes care of us. And this goes from end to end, covering every realm of what life is and we still ignore it.
That’s why Resting is the hardest of all tasks. So, for this reason, the soul prefers wandering between numbness and legalism; guilty and dizzy; meaningless and joyless—to simply trusting in God and giving himself/herself over courageously in faith, in such a way that whatever comes over him/her won’t take away his/her assurance of God’s love and care for him/her.
However, this demands that the soul let go of himself/herself (by dying to his/her own vanity), no longer considering himself/herself right, and trusting much more in God’s Word and commandment of love than in any other impression of assuredness in this life.
Resting and offering rest: That is the salvation!
However, who is willing to go in through the Gate of Rest just resting and trusting entirely in the Grace of God?
Then, this is Isaiah’s teaching: You either trust in God’s Grace, which is materialized by Resting in God and offering Rest to your neighbor (by not oppressing him/her) or you’ll be left with the other choice, which is neurosis and an ever-increasing schizophrenia of those who get inebriated so they can say, “Do it this way!”—as they themselves neither do it nor believe it, because they are not.
Our labor is to Rest in Him.
Otherwise, we’ll be left with either the schizophrenia of a life lived between inebriation and evasion from truth and reality or the most serious neurosis, through moralism, legalism, and keeping outward appearances.
From the original “SEU TRABALHO É DESCANSAR EM MIM”
Translated by F. R. Castelo Branco :: July 2007
Scripture citations (whether or not in quotes) are taken from the MKJV