Sabbath… What comes to your mind when I mention this word? I’m sure most people think of rest. Some might consider that it is a “law.” Some might recognize Jesus commented that He was “Lord of the Sabbath.” Whatever it is that came to your mind, believe it or not, God has placed you in a Shabbat REST.
Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all of you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Mark 2:27 “Then he said to them, “ Shabbat was made for mankind, not mankind for Shabbat;
As I said last week, I don’t know if this is God placing discipline because of the evil in the world, or is He just stopping everyone to wake them up to WHO He is and what He wants from us. Either way, we need to take time to LISTEN to Him once again. We need to be intentional about LISTENING.
The question now is, what are you going to do since you have been placed in this “time of rest?”
The world has walked away from a “time of rest.” Attending church does not mean you experienced true rest. The Jews around the world come the closest to stopping on Shabbat (Saturday), but even they often do things from a form of legalism, not truly stopping to rest. They hurry to get to their prayers. They follow the prayers that “must be prayed.” Too often, in both worlds, rest gets shoved aside because of all the “requirements” we have placed on ourselves.
Most of us, whatever religion we are, place our belief in having to do something, not wanting to do something. God, by forcing us to stop, is taking us back and asking us to LISTEN to Him and to prepare ourselves for whatever it is that HE WANTS us to do. By strengthening our relationship with Him, we return to a place of WANTING to do something, not being forced to.
Do we WANT to worship Him even if we are not in a building with others? Do we WANT to spend time in His Word even if we don’t have a preacher to teach it to us? Do we WANT to respond differently to the chaos that is happening around us so we can protect ourselves in the shelter of His wings?
Remember – HE WANTS YOU! He desires to spend time with YOU and you alone. So, by forcing you to stop, He is teaching you how to spend time with Him. Just you and Him.
While we were in Israel, we learned a lot about Shabbat. One was the thought that the 4th commandment was the one most easily broken. What is God doing to get our attention? Forcing us to have an extended Shabbat.
It has already been noted that the world is becoming a cleaner place because of the world “stopping.” Families are playing together, reading together, hanging out together. I realize that it can also be stressful. 24/7 togetherness when you are not used to it can be a struggle. All of it should show us that GOD wants us to be with HIM. When we are right with Him vertically, than our horizontal relationships line up too!
THAT, my friends, is the purpose of Shabbat. Being WITH HIM is why He stopped on the 7th day. Having RELATIONSHIP with Him is why He asked us to “remember the Sabbath to keep it holy.” We have lost that… We walked away from time with Him. The world got too busy. He has now forced us to REST, REFRESH and RESTORE ourselves so we can BE ALL HE WANTS us to be.
Worship Him. Read His Word. Be quiet with Him. He has given you this HUGE opportunity to change your LIFE and find HIS LIFE filled with Love and Joy and Peace. ENJOY IT, than share it with others.