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The Temptation Towards Drivenness: Part 2

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Do you struggle with the compulsion to always do more?

Are you ready for some good news?

Though America applauds the man or woman who always works, always strives, always excels, there is a better way. You aren’t a human doing; you’re a human being. There is real rest in Christ.

Today’s devotional explores the everyday temptation toward drivenness- a compulsion to always do more. The epistle to the Hebrews points to the key:

So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.” (Hebrews 4:9–10, ESV)

The “rest” described in Hebrews 4 is not rest from activity. It is not rest from fighting life’s spiritual battles. And it certainly is not rest from accomplishing the things that God has called you to accomplish. Instead, it is rest from the work (the human effort) to make yourself acceptable.

I lived much of my life under the tyranny of drivenness. The need to do more and be more can look noble, sacrificial and spiritual. But, without the healing I’ve experienced in Christ, my compulsive work ethic might have cost me the dearest things in life. The root of drivenness is uncertainty of utter acceptance. Compulsive “doing” is fueled by a love deficit.

What we learn from Hebrews 4 is that we can rest from our labor for love only when we grasp the depths of the Gospel. When you accept Jesus’ final, full work as sufficient, you enter the deepest sort of rest. Real Sabbath isn’t inactivity; real Sabbath is sweet peace no matter how hard you are working.

Unrest is a brooding consciousness of sin and failure that is accompanied by a gnawing concern that I must pay something more, accomplish something more or do something greater in order to be accepted. But the Sabbath rest we have in Christ is a peace that passes understanding. You can work hard (and sometimes really hard) without being driven. The grace of God sets you free from compulsive accomplishment. Jesus has already accomplished it all. And that’s the Gospel!

 

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