We are in a teaching series on Sabbath at Calvary, called “Press Pause for Life.” So during the next few weeks, I and other guests will be posting thoughts on Sabbath. Today Sherilyn Jameson shares about a new view on Sabbath which she gained.
I always thought Sabbath was only about time with God. I knew it was for resting from work but I thought it was all about a day of quietly sitting alone reading God’s Word. However, over the years I’ve learned that if Christ is living in me (and He is) then whatever I’m doing, He’s there and it can be about Him. Then I began to embrace what Pastor Dan says about Sabbath; “time set aside to pray and play.” I’ve come to understand how our Father (heavenly not earthly) always has something to say to his children and that He delights in watching them enjoy themselves, just like any loving parent does. That revelation refreshed my view of Sabbath; it became heart and life-changing for me.
A practice that has made Sabbath something I look forward to is Listening Prayer; letting God talk to me about what’s on His heart. Typically that is through His Word but now that I’ve done that for so long, I can also hear His voice without reading my Bible. If what I hear doesn’t contradict His Word nor condemn me (Romans 8:1) then I trust what I hear. His voice is gentle and kind-loving even though it often corrects me but as I receive His loving words, my anxious, sinful, worried, fearful and unbelieving heart becomes soft, comforted, instructed and hopeful.
I used to spend my Sabbath doing with God, trying to earn His love and make him happy. But He’s happy. He’s complete without me and yet He loves to include me in His plan regardless of what I do or don’t do. My doing the right thing is for my benefit! Sabbath is now about being with God which gives me permission to listen to Him, to play and enjoy myself, more fully resting as I trust my loving Father to take care of the things I’m not doing that day.
Psalm 46:10 instructs us to “be still and know that He is God” – to be still literally means to “cease striving” – at work and at home. So, six days a week I can strive to get things done, figure things out, work long hours, and more. But God was thinking of me (us!) when he said, “Stop striving one day a week to listen in prayer and to play, enjoying what and who you love!”