Living on Sabbath Time: Day 19/31
- “You might not win every battle, but you should believe every battle can be won.” _H. Dale Burke, Less is More Leadership, p. 226
He shall consecrate to the LORD the days of his separation, and bring a male lamb in its first year as a trespass offering; but the former days shall be lost, because his separation was defiled. (Numbers 6:12)
Grace is a wonderful thing; but it does have limits. Today’s verse is a good example. Specifically the passage concerns someone who had made a Nazarite vow. (You can read Numbers chapter 6 for more information about the Nazarite vow.) But the general principle applies to all of life.
Simply put: God’s grace (freely given because of Jesus’ death), provides forgiven for our sin even when we do not deserve it.
However, grace does not go back and undo the past. The permanent scars of Jesus are a mute testimony of the permanent damage that sin leaves behind. They are a reminder that our choices do matter.
I know from long experience that there are three ways that people respond to change. There are a handful that will enthusiastically jump right in. It hardly matters what the change is about they just like the excitement of change. Then at the opposite extreme, are the handful who will stubbornly resist virtually any change. It doesn’t matter what the change is about, they instinctively resist anything that threatens the status quo. Both of those camps are the minority. The vast majority are those that sort of go along with the flow; they let life happen; they’re dabblers.
For example, when I call for a 40-day season of prayer and fasting they dabble a bit but there is not real commitment and thus no real improvement. If I call for a 31-day season of Sabbath rest they dabble a bit when they think about it but there is no real commitment and on day 31 there is no real change.
However, I want to remind you…when a 40-day season of prayer and fasting is over there’s no going back. Grace is available for the uncommitted but the opportunities for spiritual growth and maturity that were available are forever gone. The same is true this month. If you fail to capitalize on this season of Sabbath rest I dare say God’s grace will be available; but the benefits, lessons, and opportunities that God has available now will be forever lost come August 1st.
There comes a time when God shuts the door and then no man can open it. There comes a time that God’s spirit no longer moves in a certain way. God has seasons and when those seasons are over, they’re over.
Right now is a special season in our church; I feel an urgency today to remind you not to blow it. The fourth commandment to remember the Sabbath to keep it holy means something; it means something in the 21st century and it means something in your life. Take this season of Sabbath rest in our church’s life to reflect on what it means and to make changes in your life that better reflects that meaning.
Just this morning Sonja and I were talking about hard difficult it has been to do just what I’ve asked you to do. We have had an extremely busy month. We have had to fight for every precious Sabbath moment and day. But, I can say with integrity that we have fought (together; not against each other! J). We have refused to just drift along and dabble a bit in Sabbath living. We have refused to make Sabbath living a hit and miss proposition. We are committed to forever changing how we live our lives. We don’t have all the answers just yet, but we’re making the journey and discovering that answers make themselves available as we progress along God’s path for our lives. I pray that you will join us and that we can all discover more and more the joys of living on Kingdom time and by Kingdom principles.
God bless you my fellow warrior, may you find rest today.