Dear Sabbath Seekers,
It happened again yesterday. A deeply committed Christian told me she feels guilty if she takes time for herself to read, study and be with God because there is so much work she has to do for other people – for God.
I fear we have taken the James passage to its extreme – ‘show me your faith apart from your works and I, by my works will show you your faith’. (James 2.18) I do not believe this means that if we work all the time for God that makes us more faithful than if we take time to be alone with God. Being alone with God is part of our call as well. Time spent alone with God and being usable to God are two sides of the same coin. We can’t have one without the other.
God commanded us to stop and rest, to pray, to worship, to fellowship and to be with friends and family for a weekly renewal. Jesus took time to withdraw and go off and pray even when there was much work to be done and crowds of people waiting for him. He also tells the Pharisees that the Sabbath is made for man and not the other way around. (Mark 2.27)
God has given us a body that runs on energy. We have four energy centers – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. If one of these centers is depleted, the other three must make up for it. If that goes on for too long, then all the centers get depleted and we begin to feel burnout and lethargy.
Constantly ignoring the need to restore our spiritual energy is a recipe for exhaustion and moves us farther and farther away from our energy source – God.
So, please, no more guilt for taking down time with God.
The seventh day this week is June 21 – the longest day of the year. Why not start with some bonus time to slow down and reconnect with God to get your spiritual batteries recharged?
“for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.” Exodus 20.11