Elul Day 7
“House Rules” from God--What brings true rest? I’m tired!
How are you doing Physically? Emotionally? Mentally? Spiritually? Are you feeling alive? Energized? Overflowing with gratitude? At peace? Trusting God and resting in His promises? I have my moments but honestly over the last several years I have been feeling more run down than not. I let anxiety, unbelief and frustration creep in and rob me of my peace and well-being. Even with an excellent set of friends in my accountability group trying to steer me towards God’s peace, I kept my eyes focused on the problem rather than on the Only One who could truly be my Problem Solver.
Way back in the first book of the Bible, God gives us the prescription for true rest. He models it for us. He “works” for six days and on the seventh day, God rests. Now, you and I know God doesn’t wear down...but I do think He takes time to enjoy! See the beauty and appreciate it. I tend to be a Martha and before you “get your judge on,” I want to remind you that God “Martha-ed “ for six days out of seven. He was busy!! But He also knew there was a time and place to cease from activity and just enjoy. It is recorded in Genesis that at the end of each day (except the second day) God sat back and reflected on what He created and pronounced it “good” or “very good!” But on the seventh day, He ceased from activity and for a whole day He just enjoyed creation.
Have you ever thought about the fact that in every culture around the world we follow a seven day cycle? Note: The number seven in Jewish belief signifies completeness or perfection Every people group follows this schedule! This “cycle” repeats itself into weeks and months and years which are also universal concepts of time. The simplified difference I see in calendars is the choice of a lunar based vs solar based calendar and how leap years are handled. The biblical calendar is very different than the Gregorian calendar that you and I are very familiar with. It originated in the Julian calendar and dates back to 1582.
The biblical calendar must be very important to God because He is very specific in His Word about celebrating His feasts on certain days of the month. One thing was revealed to me as I studied Genesis was that God’s day starts with evening and then morning--that is God’s day. Enlightening! How did we get off His plan? (I am not going to get into this subject...but I find it fascinating that over the span of years we walk farther and farther from the Truth of God’s Word.)
Today we are going to concentrate on the fourth “family rule” for those In God’s Kingdom on earth. He tells us we are to “remember” the Sabbath and set it apart (keep it “holy”). We are told to do no work and He called that day blessed and set it apart as His own. I was first convicted of this concept about 20 years ago and my longest standing celebratory act was to take a nap each Sunday after church lunch! But five years ago I was truly convicted in a deep and life changing way. I was coming off of one of my biggest life crises and my health was failing. I was on the couch most everyday unable to physically move with tests showing Lupus, hypothyroidism, leaky gut, parasites, major food sensitivities, Hashimoto’s and on the brink of Diabetes 2 to begin to name a few. It was no wonder I felt bad...I had denied God’s prescription for health and wellness and selfishly done what I wanted on the day He declared His. It was bound to catch up with me...and it had...with a vengeance. When my Creator wrote the manual, He knew what He was talking about...when would I find wisdom and quit rebelliously doing what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it? From my position on the couch, my gaze was heavenward and I began to seek solutions in His word. That is when I was drawn once again to the notion of a Sabbath rest. That was the turning point in my healing and one of the major things I pursued and still pursue.
It required that I reorder my priorities, my thinking, my plans, my activities and my desires. Not an easy nor small task. It took perseverance, patience with myself, and a tremendous amount of confession and repentance and it still is difficult today. But, as I look back, it was DEFINITELY one of the BEST THINGS I have ever done...on so many levels. There are many verses in the bible about how to celebrate the Sabbath and I encourage you to read them. One of the hardest for me to put into action said, “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy (set apart) day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob. (Isaiah 58:13-14 NIV)”
So after reading that scripture, how do you measure up and what changes do you need to make to align with the Word? What are you feeling prompted to do differently to honor the Sabbath? God is a good Father and He wants your best. Are you willing to face the consequences of robbing God what is due Him? This may be a daunting goal but take it one step at a time...find others of like mind...encourage one another...Remember God is looking for a heart bent on pleasing Him not on perfection! Never forget that and grow discouraged!
Note: I have seen miracles in this area...one of the most notable is that what used to take me 7 day to accomplish I can now do in 6 days...including cleaning, grocery shopping, entertainment, etc and I truly believe that it takes less effort than before! Obedience has its blessings.
Follow the season of Teshuvah during this Month of Elul with Guest blogger Denise Dee Lytle Gibbs who originally posted these blogs on her Facebook page Fall Feast Prayer Initiative.