Leisure mingled with faith became a reality for me in 1989 on the paradise Island of Maui where I lived for seven years. It was there and then that the biblical perspective of leisure became evident to me, and the true concept of work, leisure, faith, peace, and contentment made sense from the lens of Scripture.
After God completed the creative work of the heavens, the earth, and all the host of them, He rested on the seventh day. Amazingly, that man was created on the sixth day seems like God chose to rest after His masterpiece was created. “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27).
God’s work of creation was ex-nihilo, an absolute creation out of nothing. God’s creative act involved no preexisting material except the creation of man who was formed from the dust of the earth. His was the work of Omnipotence; however, He rested after blessing His creative work, and He rendered it very good.
Leisure, repose, rest—this was introduced to the creation order by God Himself, who experienced no drudgery, grind, or labor. His was the work of faith in Himself.
On the other hand, man was assigned the grinding task of tilling the soil after his rebellion, so labor was to be the means by which man would acquire sustenance. “By the sweat of your brow you will eat bread, until you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19).
Man is on a pilgrimage from dust to dust, and in the case of the believer in the atoning work of Christ, his pilgrimage is from dust to dust to glory according to our Creator (Daniel 12:2-3). Because we believe Him, leisure and faith are compatible just as labor and rest are necessary.
The ground from which man was formed, and that which will yield man’s bread from hard labor, was also given a year’s rest. Man was created on the sixth day, and now God commands: “Six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its crop, but during the seventh year the land shall have a Sabbath rest to the Lord; you shall not sow your field nor prune your vineyard. Your harvest’s after growth you shall not reap, and your grapes of untrimmed vines you shall not gather; the land shall have a Sabbatical year” (Leviticus 25:3-4).
For the farmer to profit from God’s counsel to give the land a year of rest, he must believe God’s Word to him or unite the word with faith.
As the Good Shepherd of His “sheep,” Jesus providentially causes His sheep to want for nothing but His guiding staff and protecting rod.
He makes them to lie down in green pastures; He leads them beside quiet waters. For the purpose of their soul’s restoration He guide them in the paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.
Even in leisure, I have come to understand that the sheep of the Shepherd, of which I am one, must trust the Shepherd of my soul. Leisure times are a gift from the God who started the trend because He is gracious to all, the just and the unjust, the righteous and the unrighteous.
Leisure and faith when united will produce a peace that transcends comprehension because from God’s vantage point, leisure for the believer is an act faith.