One Command From God that Most Christians Ignore | Enduring All Things

Saturday, February 20, 2016

One Command From God that Most Christians Ignore

That title may be a little harsh. Maybe I should say most Christians just forget about it. Some Christians completely ignore it. At least, in my opinion. And I am certainly in the forget-about-it-category. It's so easy to forget. There are so many other things to do like not forsaking the assembly, and helping the poor and orphans and widows, and training up children. Pfew there is a lot to get done in a day.

So what is the one command I am talking about?

Rest.


We've become slaves to our work, friends, hobbies. And we don't even know it. As Priscilla Shirer says in her book, Fervent, "Slaves don't rest. Slaves just work. They don't control their agenda for the day; the day's agenda controls them." Do you ever feel like this?

I sure do. Especially with my blog. Sometimes I feel like my blog controls my day. Especially when you add my blog commitment to my work schedule, spending quality time with Pearson, teaching Sunday School, keeping our home clean and livable, and all the millions of other things I commit to daily.

Satan uses those things against me. He turns them into cruel taskmakers that boss me around. And I'm used to being a slave to them. It's hard to get out of that mind set.

Even the Israelites had a hard time getting out of that mindset. They'd been enslaved by the Egyptians for years and God had to command them to rest...
"Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates." Exodus 20:9-10 ESV
Several times...
"You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you." Exodus 31:13 ESV
Because even God rested from his work...
"It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed." Exodus 31:17 ESV
And we are told to make every effort to enter into Sabbath even in the New Testament...
"So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience." Hebrews 4:9-11
But, as hard as it may be to understand, we don't have to be slaves. We can be set free.
"For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." Galations 5:1 ESV
"and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32
We think we live in a society where our value comes from how much stuff we can do. We try to impress people with our work. We worry about what they'll think of us if we don't do what we said we would or if we say "no" to another responsibility. Or even if we don't look perfect doing all that we're responsible for. And maybe we do live in that society. But God sees our value, not in what we do, but in who we are. We are His children and that's all that matters. That's all we need.
"His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love." Psalm 147:10-11 ESV
So how do we leave the bonds of slavery? How can we be set free? We learn to say no to doing too much. We need to say no to too much responsibility.

Some more wisdom from Priscilla: "Your Father just wants you to be you. And that means not having to be two of you to get it all done."
Now don't get me wrong, we are certainly called to serve. But we can't serve all the time. We get burnt out. We get over tired. We start resenting the work. And we can't serve to the best of our abilities. It's our responsibility to determine what tasks are things God is actually calling us to do and what tasks are simply extra things we're trying to do ourselves. And that's easier said than done.

It starts prayer with knowing our limits and setting boundaries. And knowing when we're getting overwhelmed and we might need to adjust those boundaries!

My word of the year is "present" and I haven't been able to be present in the here and now at all yet. And we're almost two full months into the year. I can't concentrate on the single task at hand because I'm always thinking about the million other things I need to get done. I can't simply be still and be at peace with God let alone spend any time in His Word or in worship. It's because I'm a slave to my schedule. And I'm a slave to my blog.

What's worse, my blog has become an idol. God tells Pharaoh to let His people go that they may serve Him (Exodus 9:1). The Israelites couldn't properly serve and worship God while they were slaves to Egypt. And I can't properly serve and worship God while I'm a slave to my blog and my schedule.

But, my friends, I have some encouragement for you: True rest comes from God:
"And he said, 'My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.'" Exodus 33:14 ESV
"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt 11:28-30 ESV
"For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken." Psalm 62:1-2 ESV
So take these verses to heart, pray fervently for God to give you the peace to stand up to your masters and idols. And break through with a resounding NO! Then go take a nap or a bubble bath or whatever it is you need to do to rest.

Are you a slave to your schedule? Do you have trouble saying "no"? When was the last time you truly rested?
Thanks for reading!

This is for day 20 of the #LoveBlog challenge. See Brita's introductory post for all the prompts.
Follow me on Instagram as I host the #LoveBlog challenge over there this month!
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Meet Brita Long: Christian feminist blissfully married to Dan Fleck for almost two years. Lover of Paris, pink sparkles, sensible shoes, manicures, and books. Fueled by hot tea and mimosas.
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Meet Charlene Maugeri: Christian, wife, fur-mom, nerd, blogger and much more! She uses her blog, Enduring All Things, to inspire young wives to keep God first and their husbands second in everything they do.
Meet Tayler Morrell: Mormon stay at home mom married to her best friend, Justin, for 3.5 years. Mother to 19 month old Rhys. "Retired" history and English teacher, runner, lover of video games, fantasy, books, and cooking. Consumer of Italian food, chocolate, steak, and strawberries.
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