Are you busy?
Seven days… is it “enough” to get everything done?
Do you ever feel like you need one more day in the week? … an extra 24 hours to “get caught up”, or a day to just sit still before you pass yourself coming and going? … or how would you like a day just to rest, to lay back and relax, to pause and step away from it all while the earth spins around once?
Lord of Heaven and Earth, “the heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you” (1 Kings 8 – from Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the temple); “You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, all the starry host, the earth and all that’s on it, the sea and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitude of heaven worships You.” (Nehemiah 9, after Erza reads the Law, and the people rediscovering the feasts and realizing that in the seventh month, the month of Tishrei they were to live in booths during the feast, they continued to read the Scriptures and the Levites led the people in worship… It was at this time of year.)
“The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed time and the boundaries of their habituation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might reach for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist…”
(Acts 17 , Dear friend Paul, no English grammar rules for you; I love your run-on sentences. How could your learned listeners of Athens not be? Before or since, Mars Hill never heard such truth.)
With Jesus, I say, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.” (Matthew 11:25)
Have you even felt too tired to seek the LORD; yet you wanted to worship… deep down you knew that was what you needed?
We need worship; because we need to be inspired in the muck and mire of the mundane. We need our eyes to be lifted. We need time… to worship.
Sometimes I don’t even know what has distracted me or what I am seeking, but when I turn my face to You, LORD,You draw me nearer.
You who “searches hearts and minds”, expose all that is fearful, insecure, defensive, demanding, self-protective, controlling, striving, hurried, anxious, and give me Your LOVE that casts out fear, gives me security and acceptance. You defend me, protect me, provide for me, and I find I have no reason to be anxious or demanding or try to control what is beyond my control anyway.
Here I stand, humbled. I am reminded of who You are, and I know who I am in You. Apart from You… we both know I am nothing; I can do nothing. (John 15)
In a creative class I’m taking, my instructor mentioned that she’d like an additional 24 hours each week, “an eighth day” designated to be a “sleep day”, a “…day of rest… No exceptions.” I smiled and thought, we have one, the seventh day. But, that commanded Sabbath (supposedly with “no exceptions”) is overlooked not just by the culture but by the church, too.
This month did you rest on the feast of trumpets? on the day of atonement? … will you rest on the seventh day of this week? Will you ever in your lifetime experience a year of Jubilee?
I want to encourage you to enjoy the gift that comes with obeying the LORD in rest. Come into His presence and BE STILL and KNOW He is God. (Psalm 46) I write about it all the time; not because I want you to be lazy, but because there is a secret blessing, a special gift that only those to obey Him ever know.
The LORD of Heaven and Earth, the Maker and Sustainer of Life designed you to be at your best with a Sabbath’s rest.
Every command the LORD has give us is for our good.
- … rest, do no ordinary work.
I was happy to see many stores in the area I am visiting were closed for Yom Kippur, and as I explained to my kids why, and as Handsome recalled a time when stores were closed on Sunday, I couldn’t help but recall once again what my Daddy used to say, “You don’t know what you miss when you don’t obey.”
When we forget the feasts, when we forget the commandments, and when we miss what the Spirit of the Law was pointing to, the abundance that is ours in Christ in, our atonement, our redemption, God’s Grace Revealed. When we choose not to rest in what Christ has done for us or when we, His children, choose any other way that what He has told us is His best for us, we miss out on freedom, joy, peace, victory, true success. Once freed from the Law, we have created and subjected ourselves to a new law; we’ve made ourselves slaves to another master, another god.
We have chosen to worship an un-named idol, like those in Athens that Paul addressed, “I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’…what you worship in ignorance…” (Acts 17) As quoted above, like Paul, I want to point you back to the One True God, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, the One whose kingdom we claim to seek first. (Matthew 6)
Who are you serving? If your master is not allowing you to Sabbath, then are you really “serving Christ”? Who is your “master?” Yoke yourself with Jesus. He knows what you need. If your Father provides for birds and clothes flowers. Trust Him for the Sabbath manna to be provided on the day you obey and rest.
As you read this, are you feeling trapped? Is there nothing you can give up, no day you can be free? Does the idea of a day of rest depress you because it sounds too good to be true? — You don’t have to rest.
“Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand. One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord… and gives thanks to God.” Romans 14
Rest is not supposed to be a burden but a blessing. Sabbath was made as a gift for man not vice versa. (Mark 2:27)
Paul also wrote, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.” (1 Corinthians 6:10)
Here is my advice to you:
“Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hunter’s hand And like a bird from the hand of the fowler.” (Proverbs 6:5) If this you have fallen for your enemy’s snare, that you cannot rest, you do not have time to observe an “Old Testament” commandment, come to your senses! He is hunting you, wanting to trap you, seeking to devour you! Set yourself free. “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” (Hebrews 12:1)
Is it possible that your 24-7-365 busyness is sin?
Ask the LORD to show you what needs to go from your schedule. (Why not begin with an empty calendar? Mark off your Sabbaths, your prayer days, your “holi-days” and family days, and then ask the LORD where and how to add everything else.)
Do not fight against your Maker? Cooperate with your Loving Savior. He wants to rescue you, not only from death and hell, from the futile life, from the ciaos of fighting battles with worldly wisdom rather than being abiding in Him and obeying the still small voice of the Spirit that reminds us of what the LORD has shown us in His Word is His will for us and how He wants us to view ourselves, our lives, our work, our relationships, and our rest through His eyes, from an eternal and spiritual perspective.
“Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain.” (Psalm 127:1)
I am praying for rest for you, sweet tired Seeker.
May you take a deep breath and co-labor with the LORD, letting Him direct you as you build your house on the Rock of His Word that you have already heard. May you surrender your calendar and the expectations of others and no longer strive to build something that will only wash away.
Just a thought: When was the last time you woke up early to watch the sunrise just for the sake of worship? When was the last time you paused from cleaning up the dinner dishes to watch the sunset to see the heavens declare the glory of God? As it gets later in the year, you don’t have to get up very early or stay up late to catch the show. Your Father puts on a spectacular performance twice a day, changing the sky from darkness to light in never to be repeated shades. Don’t miss it.
(And if you live in the city where you can’t get a big-picture view of the sky, skim through these pictures again, and ponder that they were all taken on the same morning within about a half hour’s time. What an amazing LORD we have!)