Monday, September 1, 2014

Addicted to Slavery

Don’t ever forget that you were slaves in Egypt and God, your God, got you out of there in a powerful show of strength. That’s why God, your God, commands you to observe the day of Sabbath rest” De 5:15.

I started an amazing Bible Study that you and I desperately need…a Bible Study with its principle seemingly easy, but walking it out is impossible left to our own devices.  Breathe by Priscilla Shirer speaks to the age old principle of resting on the Sabbath.  Somewhere along the way we have adopted a narrow view.  Let’s revisit the ancient days and understand the principle behind the Sabbath.  It wasn’t in full about a day of the week, and it wasn’t about God wanting to hog the spotlight for a 24 hour period.  The Sabbath principle was an attitude…a way in which His children were supposed to approach life …a principle for freedom.  It was a tangible way for God to draw boundaries in the hearts and minds of His children.  The Hebrew word for Sabbath is Shabbat which means to cease, stop, pause and come to an end.  The Ten Commandments were boundaries that God drew to ensure that His children didn’t become enslaved to something else once He freed them. 

Why is it that God brings freedom into our lives in one area only for us to become enslaved in another area?  Left to our flesh, our inclination would be to one-up God’s freedom with another form of enslavement …to busy ourselves where God has freed up space…to be drawn to overdo and overthink things.  Many of the things where God has brought us freedom are things He originally gave us as blessings.  We have been given our children but we obsess about their health, their schooling, and their appearances…Lord, give us a Sabbath in those relationships.  The Lord has blessed us with a job, but we become workaholics…Father, give me Sabbath away from my toiling.  God gives us a loving partner, but we obsess whether they still find us attractive…Lord, give us Sabbath in our heart.  One of the statements from Priscilla this morning is a great question to ask ourselves.  ‘Are we so addicted to striving that we cannot even enjoy relaxation?’  She follows up with a powerful warning about not living in the boundaries of God.  Anything we have been given to enjoy outside of the boundaries in which it was designed to flourish will cause chaos, catastrophe, destruction and disaster’ Breathe.   We must stop worrying about everything...we must cease the busyness of our hands... we must pause and relax in the love and freedom God has given us...and most importantly we must come to an end of ourselves.

Galatians 5:1 states that ‘It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.’ 

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