Today Abba presented me with another opportunity to share the message of Shabbat with someone. I am thankful, b/c each time someone asks me I grow in explaining. 🙂 Many times, ppl want know what do I do to observe Shabbat. This has always presented me with difficulty, b/c the things I do on Shabbat I do every day.
(It can be a trick question from those who are not truly interested in Shabbat, b/c as you begin to list what you do on Shabbat, the inquirer can always say that they do those things any/every day!)
So how do I make Shabbat different, holy, sacred, set-apart from any other day?
As I consider my journey to finding Shabbat an actual delight, I have come to the realization that it’s not so much what I do on Shabbat that makes it unique, but rather what I DON’T do.
I don’t buy or sell. I don’t watch tv. I don’t work. For me, it’s the stripping away that creates the separation. This is what made the path to finding Shabbat a challenge for me in the beginning. B/c it required sacrifice. Now I am a big believer in sacrifice –(What is following Yeshua costing you TODAY? ), but how does sacrifice bring about delight…
Even though I believe there should always be a cost in obedience, the cost is always going down for me personally. Since I find less and less value in the things that obedience costs me the price of following Yeshua never goes up for me. As the things of this world depreciate, the things of Yah become more and more delightsome!
The person I was talking to loves the Lord, and the conversation went well. It is not our first conversation on the topic, and I am sure we will re-visit it another day. She has studied Shabbat on her own, and I believe she will continue to study. Meanwhile I am praying for Yah to bring her a strong desire for truth in this area and to a place of personal understanding.
As a Christian, she believes that she has access to the Father 24/7. So I shared with her the “date night” perspective – that just as a husband a wife interact with each other every day, it is good for them to set aside time to spend together just “being”. Talking and listening, having fellowship and conversation these things are beneficial to the relationship. This perspective seemed to really resonate with her.
Even though we are able to enjoy the presence of the Father at any time, He has provided a day for us to meet with Him, and He asks us to join Him at that specific time. During that time we build a stronger connection, and bond with our Creator, and our relationship grows.
She asked me if I thought the Father rested on Shabbat. I was really blown away by that – what a great question! I said that I believe that He does rest on Shabbat, and at the same time He never ceases to work on our behalf…a mystery that my finite mind cannot comprehend!
So then we talked about what it means to rest on Shabbat. That it doesn’t mean take naps and be a slug, although I do love a good Shabbos nap 🙂 We are always to function in our calling, b/c in doing so we are found pleasing to our Creator. But that doesn’t mean our function is static.
During the week I am called to execute certain duties at the office. As I do a good job for my employer I glorify God and function according to the purpose He has called me in that capacity – to be a worker worthy of hire.
On Shabbat He has called to function in spending time with Him. If you have a family it means you spend time with Him as a family. Or maybe it even means you and your family spending time building your relationship with others while at the same time building your relationship with Him.
How can you build your relationship with Him if you’re working on relationship with others?
Look at the beautiful example Yeshua presents us in the gospels when He healed and delivered people on the Sabbath. As Yeshua walked with His talmidim, talking with them, bonding with them, they would invariably come into contact with people in need. The Torah would come alive as Yeshua met the needs of people through healing and deliverance. When questioned on whether this was “legal” Yeshua illuminated the Torah by declaring that not only was it legal it was the DESIRE of His Father! Just as a man desired to water his beast on Shabbat, so did Yehovah desire to heal and deliver His children on Shabbat. Yeshua was in effect showing us that ministering to people on Shabbat was being Torah compliant – a mitzvah!
Yeshua’s diligence in ministering to others on Shabbat while with His disciples demonstrated to them a true understanding of the Father’s heart for His children. They witnessed the Father’s love in action in these people’s lives. They were able to testify that Shabbat was not a barrier to Yah pouring our His lovingkindess into people’s lives, but a conduit. Just a wedding ring is a symbol of a love covenant shared b/t husband and wife. So is Shabbat a sign of a love covenant b/t Yehovah and His people.
Yes, Yeshua could heal on any day of the week, but they didn’t know that. They didn’t know they could be healed on Shabbat. They forgot that Shabbat was a token of love and not a burden of hate.
Yes, we can meet with God any day of the week, but we’ve gotten so used to the idea that we are free to meet with Him whenever we want, that we’ve forgotten that He is waiting for us every week as the sun sets on the sixth day. We’ve forgotten that it is a gift and not a punishment. While we are going to the movies Friday night, He is waiting. When we are cutting the grass Saturday morning He is waiting. While we are getting groceries Saturday afternoon He is waiting. And when we plop down on the sofa exhausted Saturday evening, He is watching the sun set by Himself at the end of another lonely Shabbat.
For most of my life I stood Him up. Week after week, month after month, year after year. I will ever be thankful to Him for opening my eyes to see the beauty and necessity of Shabbat. For patiently helping me strip away all the things that took up that sacred sunset to sunset, and fill it up with Him. For showing me how to let Him plan the date and follow His lead on what to do. Sometimes we just spend it together. Sometimes we go away somewhere. Sometimes He invites ppl over. I just never know what kind of date He has planned, and that’s ok!
I’m thankful for this sign of the love covenant we have, and I’m happy to let people know about it. He’s committed to me, and I’m committed to Him, and that’s a beautiful thing