LIving at Warp Speed

12:27 PMHeather

The problem in our Western cultures is that we are out-of-sync.  We are like a record playing on the wrong speed.  When I was younger, I would play a song on my vinyl records at too fast of a speed just to hear how funny it sounded.  It did not sound as it was meant to sound.  It was not what it was meant to be.

And neither are we.  This is us.  We are settling for a life on warp speed when we were made for so much more.  I believe with increasing conviction that it is in the DNA of all mankind to live in a way other than the current cultural norm.  It is not how we were wired. It was never God's plan.

And like an iPhone that you haven't synced to your computer lately, you will lose all your data if you don't sync correctly.

If we don't sync our lives in that way that we were intended, then we will lose out eventually.

Because we, the human race, were made in God's image.  The God whose original pattern for mankind was not to go faster, do more, strive harder, perform better.  But rather, the original pattern for mankind since the beginning of creation was to live in the rhythm of Sabbath.  I believe that ALL that God has been revealing to me as of late boils down to this idea of Sabbath living.

He gave us a key instruction when he instituted the Sabbath as an integral part of life.  And by Sabbath, I don't mean Sunday afternoon naps and the old laws that made stores close on Sundays.  

I mean so much more.  If you will stick with me through this entire series on Sabbath living, then I promise you will be blessed by the fresh word from the Lord. Because I know that what is turning my life on its head can have the same beautiful impact on you.

Here's where we start.  Before we can consider our transformation to Sabbath living, we have to define Sabbath living.  

I did my research through my handy dandy Wycliffe Bible Dictionary.  And boy, was I pretty amazed at what I learned.

First of all, the word Sabbath derives its origin from the Hebrew shabbat, which means to cease or desist.

We know from the very beginning--literally, in Genesis 2, from the beginning of time, God himself modeled for us a rhythm of life that included rest.

It is the pattern set for man to follow since the day the world was spun into motion.  We know from Genesis 2:2 that God rested on the seventh day.  In other words, He ceased working.  He desisted from his efforts.  He paused.  

God himself.  Who does not sleep nor slumber.  

Listen, He did not rest because he was tired.  

He rested to make a point.  To set an example.  To show us how to sync our lives and live as he intended for us to live. 

Bear with me as I lay some foundation to the blog posts to come on this idea of Sabbath living.  We are going to do a quick history lesson as we define what is even meant by the idea of Sabbath living.

1.  Receiving his provision.  In Exodus 16:23-30, we see that God's people were given manna for their Sabbath on the day before.  In other words, part of Sabbath living is leaning on the provision that He grants us, not by our efforts, but by his goodness.

2.  Remembering his covenant.  In Exodus 31:12-17 and again in Ezekiel 20:12, we see that God ordained Sabbath keeping as a sign of his covenant relationship with his people.  It was a seal of the Mosaic Covenant, as he delivered, rescued and redeemed the Israelites--his chosen people. Every one of us were grafted into this covenant through Jesus.

3.  Remembering his atonement.  In Leviticus 16:31, 23-32, we see the practice of the Day of Atonement, or the day of complete rest when God atoned for the sins of his people.

4.  Precursor to fruitfulness.  In Leviticus 25:2-7 and again in Exodus 23:10-11, we are instructed about the seventh year when the fields were to rest in order to recover from their years of crops so that they could again be fruitful.  In order for us to be fruitful, we must include the habit of restfulness.  

These are some of the Old Testaments purposes and definitions of Sabbath.  Unfortunately, we tend to stop here and get tripped up, seeing Sabbath as an outdated practice.  But we must stop and be mindful of the fact that the Old Testament paves the way and points us to the full gospel offered in the New Testament.  It is not outdated at all, but rather full of purpose and rich in meaning when we take time to appreciate it and to decipher how it applies to us today.

The problem with Sabbath practices is that during the time between the Old and the New Testament, when God was silent with his people as they waited for their Messiah, the people began to attend synagogues.  Sabbath became a time for the study of the law, and not just a time for rest and worship.

Like all GOD THINGS, when people begin to add to it, it's no longer a GOOD thing.

And thus, with the restrictive and choking legalistic practice of the Sabbath, we have come to disregard the idea of Sabbath living altogether.  We throw the baby out with the bath water.  

Fast forward a couple thousand years, and we have a people calling themselves Christians but living completely out of sync with the rhythms of life that God intended all along.

Jesus had much to say about man's legalistic bent and man's tendency to twist what God originally intended for his people.  Repeatedly in Scripture, we see Jesus pointing the people back to the original intent of Sabbath (see Matthew 12:5-7 and 10-12, Luke 13:15, Luke 14:1-6). 

What Jesus was doing was actually underlining is the fact that HE is our Sabbath.  He is our rest.  He is the reason we can cease and desist.  

Yet, like the stubborn Pharisees, we don't see the freedom sitting right in front of us.

Throughout his earthly ministry, Jesus pointed us time and again to the idea that mercy and grace and the rest found within them take precedence over legalism.  THIS is the heart beat and bottom line of all that I want to share about Sabbath living.

Because, as I said, we are a people living out-of-sync.  Running on a treadmill speed too fast for us, dangerously close to being thrown off completely.  We have disregarded Sabbath as an outdated practice or a pie-in-the-sky ideal.  Who has time to actually find a pattern of rest?  

Instead, we live out our faith in warp speed, crashing and burning for vacation times that emphasize how out-of-sync we are because we have no idea how to function without a mountain of tasks to complete.  We've traded God's idea for an abundant life for a life filled to abundance with tasks, events, technology, distractions, and places to be.

We've bought the lie -- hook, line and sinker.  We've been numbed by our fast pace into believing that a productive life--even one lived for Christ--is one that is overflowing with activity.  We work to maintain a standard of how-to's, taking on a religion that burns us out and constantly accuses us of not doing enough.  

It leaves us weary and worn.  Frazzled and frayed.


All the while, God has shown us a way since the dawn of time.

Sabbath living.

Learning to cease and desist.  

To find rest for our souls through the One who invites us to the unforced rhythms of grace.  The One who is the Living Water to refresh us.  The One who provides through His covenant of love and redemption to guide us to a fruitful life.

Which does not mean a busy life.

Quite the contrary.

I'm learning that taking the headlong leap into a deeper life of thriving with Him is actually learning the harder discipline of slowing it down.  Being still.  Resting in the arms of the Savior who made a way.

Not so that I could spend my days toiling and straining.

But so that I could spend my days learning the practice of staying.  At the feet of Jesus.  Where Sabbath is the call by a God who spun the world into motion.  And this is not a call to some outdated ritual.  It is as relevant today as it was on the day the earth was created.

It's a call to a rhythm of abundant living.

Living freely and lightly.

We have so much to learn.

Blog post #4 in a series on Sabbath Living: the Sacred Practice of Sitting at the Feet of Jesus.

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