Friday, November 14, 2008

Sabbath-rest

The last couple of days my soul, my spirit, my heart, my whole being has all felt pretty quiet. I am always going. Always on my way to work, or to the store, or to the supermarket. Always going somewhere. In the midst of all that, my mind is always going, always thinking, always reasoning, a song is always in my head or a passage of scripture, or a conversation.

However, for the last two days or so even though I am still going physically I feel as though I have slowed down on the inside for some reason. Not sure what is happening or why, I turned to the word of God to help me sort out what I was or wasn't feeling.

I have been studying the book of Acts for a new study we have coming up starting tomorrow, but then I decided to put it aside and go back to my study of the Pauline Epistles. I had started in the Hebrews and so I went right there, spent some time praying asking God for fresh insight and a clearer understanding of His word.

In reading Hebrews 3 &4, God showed me right away: its time for a sabbath-rest. Paul in these chapters was referring to the time when God's people hardened their hearts and rebelled against His voice even though they had seen His hand meeting their needs time and time again. God in His anger, had declared that they would never enter into His rest. (3:11)

They would never enter His rest but there was still a sabbath rest laid up for the people of God.

"There remains, then a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for those who enter God's rest also rest from their own work, just as God did from his. Let us therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience." (4:9 & 10)

God is calling us to a rest in Him. Yes we set aside a certain day or time for worship with the saints, which is absolutely necessary. If that was the only kind of rest we needed, we would not be so burnt out time and time again.

A Sabbath-rest is not just resting from work on the Sabbath day but laying aside all our worries and resting in God. I need a refreshing, I need a rest from going all the time, thinking all the time. God is saying to my spirit today, stop working so hard at worrying about life and food and family and just rest in me.

So one of my new intentions is to 'make every effort to enter that rest.'

I don't know what you are working hard at today, and it may all be legitimate, but I want to encourage you to pause and enter into the beloved rest of God. His hands are outstretched with peace and contentment for all who would take Him at His word.


Blessings,
Vickie

5 comments:

Betsy Markman said...

Lots to ponder there. How does one make every effort to rest? Effort and rest seem like opposites. But so much of Christianity is made up of necessary opposites: die to live, loss is gain.

I confess I've never mined the depths of those verses, because their meaning seems elusive to me. I'd sure love to learn more!

Yolanda said...

Vickie,

You are such a blessing. I'm needing to take heed of these words.

Love,
Yolanda

Terri Tiffany said...

I need this rest too and sometimes we don't stop to realize it. Your words are always filled with wisdom. I am blessed to read them.

Janet Roller said...

Such a great reminder of needing our rest in God. Thanks. I'm going to practice a little Sabbath-rest right now.
-Janet

HIS Daughter said...

Hi Beautiful Sister!

I am trying to check in on all of my "Bible Study" sisters after what seems like forever!

This post is something that I have a hard time grasping. You are doing it, Vickie! You are getting the "meatie" parts that satisfy the hunger...not just milk of the word!

A child who loves their Father is secure in that love. That dearly loved daughter knows that she is loved and her life is working for HIS pleasure and glory even during the times of "stillness".

When you rest - HE doesn't go away...HE is still right there planning your life as HE sees fit.

I love that you "get it". I pray that I get it fully and grasp that deep love HE feels for us. We don't have to be "on" all the time.

When my daughter was young she would wake up in the night and call out for me in fear. It reminds me of myself at times. I am resting and then I call out because I think - "HE'S gone..I don't feel HIM or hear HIM right this minute!!"

But, like a loving parent...HE is there and doesn't leave.

Rest, Sweet One...HE is right there!

Love in HIM,
Teri