Dear Sabbath Seekers,
In working with a local church on renewal issues, I came across an article written by Lawrence Wilson entitled “7 Ways to Renew Yourself Spiritually.” In it he lists seven basic spiritual disciplines that Christians have been practicing for centuries.
They are: Silence, Solitude, Secrecy, Simplicity, Submission, Service and Sacrifice. His premise is that modern Christians seek lively worship, great activities and pronounce strong opinions on public morals; yet, we do not act as if we know Jesus very well when it comes to our behavior and attitudes.
I’ve heard this said often and it usually comes in the form of “church goers are hypocrites. They profess one thing and do another.”
According to Wilson, we can move beyond the trap of disconnecting our life from our faith by delving more into these disciplines. These disciplines help us to stay connected to God throughout the week and allow us the grace and time to reflect on how we can be more like Jesus in our actions.
Keeping Sabbath is a spiritual discipline within submission and simplicity. In order to keep Sabbath or even to take Sabbath moments we need to submit to the command of God that this is what is required and to simplify enough to have the time and room to enter fully into the presence of God within a Sabbath experience.
We all know this…in our heads. The interesting thing is that even though we know it, we don’t do it. One person from the church I am working with was honest enough to say, “if everyone did this (practice the seven disciplines), we wouldn’t need a renewal process. We would be acting and not trying to figure this out. However, I am not very optimistic. It is difficult not to focus on our own needs and wants.”
“I am the vine and you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing.” John 15.5 The Message