Delight, not a Duty
One deterrent to getting something done can be the thought, “I ought to do that.” In our experience, guilt-driven obedience wavers over time. It degenerates into a troublesome duty. What a far cry from the intent of our Master who said that His yoke is easy, and His burden is light! (KJV-Mt.11:30) Many of us seem to have that dreadful “ought” mentality when it comes to taking a rest, or a Sabbath. Isaiah 58 (vv.13-14 in conclusion) reminded us recently that a Sabbath rightly observed honors the Lord and gives DELIGHT to the person who keeps it. If we struggle with the reality that the harder we work, the less we accomplish, or that things are just not right, then we may need to adjust our view of God’s rest to help mend our souls.
A few years ago, we discovered a gem of a book called The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath by Mark Buchanan (Amazon Offer). Applying Biblical principles from the book helped bring healing and restoration into our weekly routine. If we backslide into the “I ought to do that” or “there’s not enough time” mentality, stressors abound. Join us in developing a better understanding and promoting this beautiful gift from God, the Sabbath rest!
A Habit, not a Holiday
Sometimes we think, “If only we could have a vacation, everything would be better.” And at times, our bodies do need some sleep and a break from work. Ironically, we often return from vacation as exhausted and anxious as when we left. If so, that is a prime indicator that our souls need restoration. We have learned that we need regular Sabbaths more than a trip to the beach. Even simple resting, while helpful, is not the point. We need time to reflect on what God has done with us and through us. What does He want to do in the future? For example, advancing artificial intelligence (AI) (Frontline Video) presents a problem demanding reflection on our being created in the image of God. How do we distinguish ourselves as rational beings from machines through our acts and communications? Through other elements of our personhoods?
Sabbath rests allow for the percolation of ideas that prove invaluable for the future of all. The Creator wove our need for Sabbath in human DNA. The times of reflection let us adapt through life-giving, truth-spreading worship (John 4:22-24). Our supposed “fixes” by working harder, physically resting longer, or growing in social influence do not match the enduring remedy of God.
Thankfully our sending mission, the Christian Health Service Corps, takes both physical rest and Sabbath seriously. Every quarter we are expected to physically leave our place of service for a time of physical recuperation. They also do not consider it spiritually or emotionally sound to work seven days a week habitually without keeping a Sabbath. Empty cups have nothing to pour out for a lost and hurting world to take a nourishing and satisfying drink of living water (John 4:7-26).
Prayer & Praise
- Pray that in our new routines in the States while traveling and speaking to friends, and in churches, we do not neglect to mend our souls by taking Sabbaths. In turn, we pray that if it is not already a habit for you, the Sabbath will become a delight for you.
- After finishing in Texas, it was a joy to visit Corbin in Missouri on the way home!
Your partners the Gospel,
Verlin and Debbie Anderson
Last weekly: Persist in Prayer — 200125 PDF
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2019 Q3 Report: Timing — 3Q 2019 Report 191207 PDF
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