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Better Not Bitter

Responding God's Way to Life's Challenges

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Sabbath

Me? Too Tired to Worship? Not Anymore!

A couple months ago, my pastor preached a sermon entitled, How to Worship Wounded. I really needed to hear it then but figuring out how to worship wounded hasn’t really been my plight lately. Rather, I’ve just been doggone tired!  I mean physically tired, spiritually tired, emotionally tired….just TIDE…yes I intended to spell it that way!!! Even as I type these words, I’m fighting to stay awake so that I can do what I’ve planned and failed to do for at least 6 months or more…I’m heading to 8 am service…determined to not allow the cares of my yesterdays bog me down today.

I’m determined to remember the Sabbath!  

Exodus 20:8-11(ESV)

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Now I’ve often run across those verses over the years and until last week, they really hadn’t convicted me all that much.  Concluding the bible study series about rest, my pastor outlined how we as Christians have forgotten to do as this verse says…that we tend to do everything we couldn’t manage to do during the week on Sunday instead of resting in His presence alone.  I was not just guilty by association, but over the last few months even when I’ve been in the house of God, I too have been focusing on “other things.”

I was so caught up with being a single mom, working, cooking, cleaning, and fussing that I was too tired to receive the gift Christ came to give me.

Notice I said receive?

Yep, Jesus came, bled, died, and rose so that we could receive that which we could never earn on our own.  He came to lighten my load, but over the years, it seemed the more He offered the more I took back…As if He couldn’t handle it.

Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV)

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

If one were to look at my life five years ago and compare it with today, one might consider I was a more mature Christian then.  I kept God first. There was not a decision I made without His peace.  I was not concerned about what people thought or said.  I realize how the enemy used a lot of “little distractions” to knock me off track.

I was still a baby in Christ, a child eager to sit in my Father’s lap and hang onto every word He said.  I trusted without question.  Now the only question I’ve been asking myself is why have I begun to feel like I can’t go to my Daddy like I used to do?  The long answer is a list of things I’ve done and haven’t done, but the short one is just that I’ve allowed guilt to form a wedge between us.  It’s not that God has closed a door or that He’s ever turned His back on me, rather, it seemed that I allowed everything to come before Him.  I’ve repented many times only to do little differently.

Now I understand that it was really that I lacked faith in His willingness to assist me when I needed it.  Let me explain.  I know that God is able to help me…He’s done it over and over, but because of the misguided underlying nagging that I needed to “do something” to receive His help was where I’ve erred.

Now I know I allowed myself to get so consumed by all that little stuff that  I completely neglected the notion that my emotional, physical, and mental rest all were directly impacted by the amount of spiritual rest I received.  Of course now that I type it, I can see how completely moronic it would seem not to realize this in the beginning, but life happens and we all make mistakes.

I suppose the only thing that separates us in wisdom and foolishness is that wisdom is achieved by learning from the mistakes made, while foolishness is marked by dwelling on them as if a different result would occur by doing the same thing.

Since I’ve been a Christian, I’ve learned what works…Keeping God first…so tired or not, I’m choosing to be wise and remember the Sabbath.

Duty Calls, but should you listen?

Most of my life I’ve had difficulty allowing the word “no” leave my lips. I’ve always volunteered. I like doing for others so I guess I’m a servant at heart.  Well, Jesus exemplifies the ultimate servant and I’m glad for His example.

Yes grateful, but admittedly hard-headed as I am, I haven’t always followed His lead.  I mean the bible shows that “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed”  (Luke 5:16 NIV).   He literally stepped away from His “duties” to get in God’s presence alone. Yes, Jesus knew the importance of prioritizing appropriately.  I thought I did too…

I mean I was singing in the choir, feeding the homeless, writing for the newsletter ministry, and attending just about every service we had in church so how could I not have it right?  

Yep, I was wrong! What I had were mixed up priorities!  Rather, I guess I really hadn’t prioritized much of anything.  Instead, I was a mini- Pharisee (CRINGE)…so caught up in the “duty” of things that I never took the time to recognize what was truly important.

Okay so I’ve written about this before but considering the messages and questions I’ve gotten lately about why I’m not “doing” anymore, I suppose the message bears repeating…Not that I owe anyone an explanation, but perhaps in doing so, others will realize they too may have some changes to make.

God rested on the Sabbath. Yet, the bible also says, God never sleeps so what’s up with the need for the Sabbath day rest?

Well, the period of rest was not meant for God’s sake, but merely an example so that we’d realize we need to take a break every once and a while. Otherwise, unlike God, we’d get burnt out and even resentful, ie: weary in well-doing.

And who is that helping?

Yep, nobody but the devil.

realtalk

When we’re overburdened with duties, however well-intended, we murmur and complain and that’s equivalent to praising satan! Now as much as I hate to think that I’d ever be considered one to praise the devil, I had to come to terms that my complaints (and yours too), however small, are still just that.

Now I’m learning to be content in every situation.  And yes, the many challenges I’ve faced in recent months have indeed tested my allegiance to that statement. Yet in retrospect, had I listened to the right voice the first time, I likely wouldn’t have even encountered it.

To clarify, the right voice is the Holy Spirit and though for years I was urged to take a seat, I chose to “do the right things” my way instead.

544_LittleMissStubborn_original

My prior disobedience resulted in depression, family turmoil, faltering faith, and the list of woes goes on…so if you’re reading this and you know me personally, understand that it’s not that I haven’t heard Duty calling, I’ve just decided to listen to the Holy Spirit instead.

©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

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