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My Time to Dig ~ Julie’s Sabbath

July 15, 2010

If you’re reading this, you know about computers.  Odds are, you’ve had to hit “ctrl/alt/delete” when your system is unresponsive or technically stuck. There are times when this describes my life and heart.

One spiritual discipline I have practiced is that of practicing the principle of “Sabbath.”  While mine looks different than that God explained to Moses in Exodus 31:12-18, the purpose for me is largely the same: undistracted time to pause and focus on God.

This spiritual habit isn’t for those of Jewish descent alone; for anyone pursuing God there’s value in setting aside time to focus on Him.  With all the world’s noise today, we have to carve out space to hear from, consider, and respond to the One we worship and serve.

Resting ~ God showed His own example of choosing to set aside rest time when He paused the 7th day in Genesis 2:3.  When I try to rest it can seem like everything in life is against me.  Can you relate?  God told Israel to “practice” taking a Sabbath; it provided rest from their work, but it did so much more than that.

Remembering ~ Practicing the principle of Sabbath gives me time to remember who I am and who God is. This habit was meant to endure in the lives of those who follow the One true God. “So the sons of Israel shall observe the Sabbath, to celebrate the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant,” Ex. 31:16. This means I have to resist my fleshly instinct to bend to the urgent and my routine, remembering God’s covenant, instead. If we are believers under the New Covenant, we still benefit from stepping aside from life’s commotion in 2010 to sit quietly at the feet of our Lord.

Refilling ~ We are talking about carving out a day to waste; the intent is not so ordinary are ignoring work.  It’s a chance to to spend uncrowded time enjoying and listening to Him. God knows I need time to be with Him and be refilled by His truth and direction.  I need regular reminders that I am the beloved of the God of the Universe, the One Who has redeemed me and planned my steps. I have a purpose to fulfill, and His Word shows me how when I listen to it.

Reordering ~ “It is to be a Sabbath of solemn rest for you, that you may humble your souls; it is a permanent statute,” Lev. 16:31 I must take the reins of my schedule and multi-tasking mayhem and allow God to trump the visible things of life! Simply, I need to slow down, remember my dependence on God, worship Him for Who He is, and listen to His truth. This requires humbling myself and reordering my life God’s way.  This is my life hitting “ctrl/alt/delete.”

The world around me doesn’t “do” a Sabbath, but I need to regularly make unique chunks of time for the Lord alone. I have to plan and provide for my immediate world of people, work, email, trash pickup, etc to wait while I go to be with the Lord. It takes a little work to make a Sabbath happen, but the pause it provides is well worth the resting, remembering, refilling, and reordering.

If you want to read more about how I’ve made Sabbaths happen in my own life, a 4 part series starts here, and you can read examples of how it looks here and here.

Another great feature of “ctrl/alt/delete” is that it produces a “black screen,” maybe a first step to some of that sweet time of Sabbath for you with your Lord. Enjoy ….

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. July 15, 2010 5:54 am

    Those of us of Jewish faith who observe and sanctify the Shabbath find it an amazing spiritual and religious enriching experience.

    In concept it carries two major themes as expressed once in Exodus and once in Deuteronomy. One is to connect with our Lord and rest as he has rested. The other is to connect with God’s people and remember the equality between us all.

    In practice, in our increasingly non stop 24/7 tuned in media and telecommunication world, the experience of shutting down all electronic media and communication is a respte of the mind that allows for focus on the soul.

    I begin looking forward to that sense of peace and connection with God and people, from the beginning of the week.

    • July 15, 2010 9:24 am

      Morris, your insights add much to the conversation. We are thankful for what you share.

    • Julie Sanders permalink
      July 16, 2010 1:13 am

      I really like what you shared about looking forward to the Sabbath and how it allows the soul to focus. Thanks so much for sharing from your perspective. I think we learn so much from this pattern God set for us.

  2. Robin permalink
    July 15, 2010 9:03 am

    This is a great article, Julie. However – please ladies (and gentlemen) – take time to read the four-part series.

    I know this has been given to me at just the time I need it! Thank you, Lord!

    • July 15, 2010 9:23 am

      Yes … definitely read the whole series! Julie is such an encouragement, isn’t she, Robin?

      • Robin permalink
        July 15, 2010 12:38 pm

        Definitely, Terri!

    • Julie Sanders permalink
      July 16, 2010 1:15 am

      I’m so glad Terri. It’s a principle I have to keep going back to. As Morris said, our nonstop world has so many ways that fight against us resting and remembering our identity. It helps me to “plan for it,” and I find myself looking forward to Sabbath time too.

  3. July 16, 2010 1:25 pm

    Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

  4. July 16, 2010 4:37 pm

    It’s posts like this that keep me coming back and checking this site regularly, thanks for the info!

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