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All Believers Need Sabbath
Be Still and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10
In the last edition of the Rocky Mountain Baptist I wrote about the insidious threat of internet pornography that is trapping some of our believers. I urged our men to flee evil. With this edition I’d like to suggest that there is another ministry killer out there that is more subtle than the computer. This “killer” doesn’t just threaten our ministers but it threatens all believers; both men and women. It’s called burnout or perhaps spiritual fatigue.
I would guess that if asked, a surprising number of believers would testify that they feel they are on the edge of burnout or are just downright weary. They would testify that they do not have time for a daily quiet time. There would be testimony of believers who go days without stopping to mediate on the Word or to draw aside and spend quality time in prayer. Many would say that if they were to be honest, the only time they really stop and focus on God is Sunday morning for an hour.
We live in a day and age of high-speed everything. We celebrate people that seem to get a lot done. We are encouraged to “redeem the time” so we cram as much activity into every 24 hours as we can. Even our recreational time focuses on activity and busyness.
Fellow believers, I strongly believe we must take care of ourselves spiritually. We must maintain margins. We must not allow our spiritual tanks to run dry. God did not design us to go full bore seven days a week. We are designed for Sabbath. Isaiah 30:15a says, “For the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said: ‘You will be delivered by returning and resting; your strength will lie in quiet confidence.’” Throughout the Bible we see the message of rest. Both in the Old Testament and the New Testament God’s people come to Him for rest.
What does rest look like? The Hebrew for rest is “Shabbat.” The meaning of the word is to stop or to cease. So we are looking at ceasing, breaking the pattern, giving God space to approach us, to cease striving. From childhood many of us have known Psalms 46:10 by memory: “Be still and know that I am God.” You can only really know God when you are still. If the only time you are still is an hour on Sunday morning, you will never really know God.
Do you have a true weekly Sabbath? I’m not talking about going to church legalistically. Jesus told the Pharisees plainly that, “The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27).” I’m talking about a time when you are still. Do you have regular time when you stop or cease your activity? Again, I’m not talking necessarily about Sunday. I’m suggesting a set time during the week when you withdraw from busyness and quietly come into God’s presence. A time when you still yourself, cease striving and come into His company.
Colorado Baptists, let us take care of ourselves spiritually. Let us regularly be still and know that He is God.
Mark Edlund, Executive Director