Saturday, January 20, 2018

Sabbath Sanctuary: Reminder to Rest

Sabbath. It is the one theme that the Lord consistently speaks about to me—and on a regular basis. Some messages come hard to one like me who seems to be intent with doing things the hard way. I was looking for something else when I came upon it…two of my most treasured books. I read through the thoughts and nuggets that I underlined in times gone by. I must have read these jewels several times, and yet, each time I find something new, something that urges me into sabbatismos. I wanted to share with you a few of my favorites and hope that the words below will help you rest this sabbath weekend. Rest in Him. You will have no regrets.

Faith is finally this: resting so utterly in the character of God—in the ultimate goodness of God—that you trust Him even when He seems untrustworthy.

Faithfulness is, by definition, the predictable, the habitual, the sturdy, the routine. It is the evidence of things seen, but seen so often we’ve grown blind to them. It is the substance of things expected, expected so unthinkingly that we now take them for granted.

God’s faithfulness is one divine characteristic that we rest in so completely that our rest has become apathy. “In him we live and move and have our being.” We just hustle in, heads down, duty-bound, and clear the table.



Thankfulness is a secret passageway into a room you can’t find any other way. It is the wardrobe in Narnia. It allows us to discover the rest of God—those dimensions of God’s world, God’s presence, God’s character that are hidden, always. From the thankless. Ingratitude is an eye disease every bit as much as a heart disease., It sees only flaws, scars, scarcity. Likewise, the god of the thankless is wary, stingy, grudging, bumbling, nitpicky. He’s by turns meddlesome and apathetic, suspicious then indifferent, grubbing about in our domestic trifles one moment, oblivious to our personal catastrophes the next…But to give thanks, to render it as Scripture tells us we ought—in all circumstances, for all things, to the glory of God—such thanksgiving becomes a declaration of God’s sovereign goodness…You cannot practice thankfulness on a biblical scale without its altering the way you see. The more you do it, the more you find cause for doing it.

The devil distracts. God interrupts. And for some reason, we fall prey to the one and grow oblivious to the other. Brother Lawrence found the most simple device for reversing this. In his small, wise book, The Practice of the Presence of God, he speaks about a companionship with Jesus that is without boundary—not in time, or place, or circumstance. Anywhere, everywhere, in anything, you can be with God. God wishes it and invites it and is present and available right now for it.  

My pursuit of God had an end-of-the-world kind of desperation. Like Racheal crying to Jacob, “Give me children or I die,” I cried to God, “Give me your Spirit or I die.” I was spiritually lean, wily, stealthy, alert, and yet also vulnerable, wide open. A child and warrior both. Somewhere I got dull. The child got old, the warrior timid.







It is the times that we feel drained and tired, that we refresh ourselves—encourage ourselves in the Lord.

The king and all the people with him arrived at their destination exhausted. And there he refreshed himself {2 Sam. 16:13-14 NIV}. They arrived exhausted. But David refreshes himself—the word in Hebrew is nephesh. It is a word related to both breath and soul. Literally, David breathes his soul back to wholeness. He restores the inmost places.

This sabbath, stop and listen for God’s voice. He has much to say when we listen.

I want it. I want God’s voice to be to me as it was with John, a thing so real and solid and inescapable I can virtually see it. I want to live by faith, not by sight. And faith come by hearing. I want to have ears so tuned to the Voice that when God speaks there is not ignoring it. Speak Lord for your servant is listening.













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