“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honourable, and if you honour it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,then you will find your joy in the Lord” – Isaiah 58:13-14.
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This is my last chapter-post, and what a great way to end – with a post about God’s Sabbath-rest. What does the word Sabbath mean to you? Depending on your upbringing, it may simply be a day with lots of rules attached. Or a day of rest, only to find you have double the work the following day. I went through a phase about 6 or 7 years ago where I decided not to do work on a Sunday. Dishes piled up, to the point where if visitors came unexpectedly towards the end of the afternoon, I’d shut the kitchen-door in embarrassment, and it was daft; I wouldn’t do my own dishes, but if someone else asked for my help with theirs, that was ok because that was serving! I wouldn’t have dared admit it to you then, but I didn’t find that a delight. Sticking rigidly to those sort of rules can become legalistic, not freeing, but that was a very necessary time for me – a time when I looked at lots of different areas of my life, to see if they aligned with what God wanted for me. It showed me what I could do without and what I was obsessing too much about, so it really has freed me. I suppose in a way, the whole of that time was a Sabbath.
Because I like how Lysa describes her Sabbath – a time to hit the pause button, and to reflect on her Christian journey. She looks at the Bible-passage quoted above, and asks herself 3 questions: Are there areas in her life where she’s going her own way, not God’s? In what ways is she pleasing herself? And what idle words need to be reined in? She noticed that when she took care once a week to pause and reflect on her life, she felt more emotionally stable the rest of the time. When I do the same, when I pause and reflect and spend time with God, that’s always something I find a delight. It helps; strengthens; refreshes me. I can’t think of a single time I’ve regretted it.
“Keep My Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us” – Ezekiel 20:20. A sign of what?
“He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ” – Colossians 2:15-17. The Sabbath was pointing to a future reality that would be found in Christ. When we think of our relationship with Jesus as our Sabbath-rest, we see it doesn’t have to be on a Sunday.
As Lysa says, “There are private conversations we need to have with God”. When you next have some free time, will you spend it with Him? Maybe it’ll mean leaving your dishes in the sink for a bit … or maybe it won’t, but I hope you’ll find it’s a delight.
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Thank you, Faith Without Borders people, for reading “Unglued” with us. I’ve really enjoyed writing these posts, and chatting to you on Facebook. Stay tuned for Jess’s post on the last chapter, and the group will still be there for a while if you want to keep in-touch with us.
Have you enjoyed it? Would you like to see more book-studies on this blog in 2013?