8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labour 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, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.
This is a verse you see a lot as a Christian, but how often is it really practised?
Today, I’m going to share my experience of the long hard struggle for real rest in God.
From a very young age I can remember how difficult it was to stay still, in 90% of report cards at school it read “Tommy finds it difficult not to fidget in his seat”. To this day it hasn’t changed very much, I often find myself in a rush to do nothing whilst constantly asking myself what’s next? Over the past week, I have been forced to have a real look at this behaviour, asking myself what real rest looks like to me and how do I achieve this?
I don’t need to look too far to see what I believe is real rest. My girlfriend is a very calm and soft-natured person who finds a lot of joy in the small things in life. I often take notice of her sitting peacefully reading a book or playing her piano, deep down I wish I could switch off like this, but my head tells me it isn’t exciting enough. It’s relatively easy to stop doing something, but it’s what we do after that which is key. I should be taking this time to fill myself with Godly stuff, whether that’s reading my bible, praise music, or listening to a faith-based podcast.
It’s a bit like someone coming along and cleaning up a rubbish dump, unless you build something in its place it will always be referred to as the rubbish dump, and before long people will start dumping their rubbish there again because its familiar. That’s like us when we stop, we need to put something in the gap that has been left, or we will just revert back to the old stuff. For years I used alcohol and other destructive things to fill that gap and it always ended very badly, however since becoming a Christian I still find myself looking for other things that specifically aren’t God to fill that gap, why is that?
For me, it has to be avoidance. The busier I am and the more my head is consumed with worldly things, the less chance God has to tell me things I should be working on. It would be a real travesty if I actually found out I had some character defects I had to work on! I see my relationship with God as the way I try and answer the phone at a football match or in Tesco, there is so much going on and so much noise that it’s impossible to hear what is being said to me. So this week I have made a real effort to reduce this avoidance: I have set out time to be alone with God in prayer, quiet time with God, and just generally taking one day at a time, to condition myself into this new way of thinking and living. I feel that by doing this it has already put me in a much better place to be able to hear from God for myself, and through this I can put positive plans in place to improve as a person. I am blessed to have been given the gift of prophecy, but I feel I have neglected this gift by not allowing God the time to speak. My hopes are that through these new measures I have put in place, I will be able to bless others as well as myself, and truly live out God’s calling for my life.
“Holy Spirit, help me take an inventory of myself and cut out pointless activity.
I don’t want to be too busy. Show me how to live a more fruitful life”
“Just for today I will make space for God to speak into my life”
“I could endure something for a day, if I felt I didn’t have to keep it up for a lifetime”
I hope these quotes help you to take things a day at a time, and that God really speaks to us all this week. Please share any ground gained with the Freedom Fighters team, we love to hear how things are going on your walk with God.