Do you find it hard to establish time for spiritual things?
What steals your concentration?
The blessings of the “Sabbath Principle” are not automatic – God’s response and promises await your initiative.
Daily lives seem consumed by “business & noisiness.” We struggle with the frantic pace of our schedules, and the deafening volume of our surroundings.
The Result – the debilitating effects of stress and its damaging effects on your health and life. This pace leaves us stressed and exhausted. It effects our marriages, our families, and our relationships.
Most importantly, your spiritual life and personal relationship with God is diminished and less satisfying.
God, who has provided the remedy for the sinfulness that plagues you has certainly provided the cure for the pressures of – hurry, worry, and weariness.
God’s remedy is the “Sabbath Principle” – as powerfully true and relevant today as in the rural, agricultural times of ancient Israel!
Hebrews 4:9-11 “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.” NIV
This is God’s principle of rest for body, soul, and spirit. To experience recovery, restoration, and renewal is much more than withdrawing from things that deplete you.
Sabbath rest can be found in the simple truth –
James 4:8 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
Mark 6:30-32 “The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me – by yourselves – to a quiet place – and get some rest.’ 32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.”
These verses are the parenthesis in this chapter. They were busy ministering to people before this point. Jesus recognized the disciples were over-stretched and in need of a quiet interlude for renewal.
What was going on in the lives of Jesus and the disciples during this time?
1. Unfortunate Circumstances – (vs. 14-29) They learned of the death of John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin. They were doing exactly what Jesus sent them to do – preaching, healing the sick, delivering the oppressed.
They had a brief time to be replenished spiritually between the previous activities and the demanding experience ahead.
2. Demanding Circumstances – (vs. 33-44) Jesus knew they would face an impossible need – thousands of hungry people far from home with nothing to eat.
You will face needs beyond your ability to supply in your life, business, family, and finances. You will need to have had time in Jesus’ presence to prepare you. “Rest” and “trust” are not far removed!
We need to be driven into His presence and be desperate for them!
3. Dangerous Circumstances – (vs. 45-52) The disciples did not anticipate a storm at sea, but it came. Expect the unexpected! Resting and refreshing time with Jesus strengthens and prepares you for times like these.
Jesus was not surprised by the storm. Remember, He told them to get into the boat.
4. Dire Needs – (vs. 53-56) People from the villages, cities, and countryside were dependent on the disciples time.
- “By yourselves” – Crowd is not the place to be refreshed
- “A quiet place” – Away from distractions and disturbances
- “Get some rest” – Adjust your focus and priorities; get ready for the journey _____________________________
Sabbath rest draws you away from the busyness and noisiness of life.
1. Busyness compromises the authority and priority of God’s voice.
Exodus 3, Moses and the burning bush, “When God saw that Moses turned aside to
see, God called to Moses and said…”
Hearing God’s voice will require a priority busyness won’t allow.
2. Noisiness competes with the clarity of God’s voice.
The noisy world has us overstimulated and de-sensitized to listening.
Read I Samuel 3:4-11
This is the story of young Samuel and during this time the Word of the Lord was scarce. God calls to young Samuel three times. Each time he goes to the priest Eli to see what he wants. Eli finally tells him that if he hears his name again to say, “Speak Lord, your servant hears!”
When was the last time you said, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening?”
I want to be there listening for God. Do you?
Come with me to a private place and rest awhile!