It is Enough

enough

Jesus is our example and He kept the commandments. All of them…..Perfectly. In His heart and with His heart. He shared how hating one’s brother is the same as murdering him in the heart. He taught how lusting is the same as adultery in the heart.

He also kept the seventh-day Sabbath perfectly. As only He could. He often rebuked the Pharisees for their hearts over it. We read about Him doing that more than anything else regarding the Sabbath day.  Their rules took precedence over their heart for God and others. He had multiple issues with inconsistencies and hardened hearts regarding the Sabbath. My own convictions on the Sabbath have been challenged lately. What is ok? What is not? Why or why not?

Ultimately, it comes down to what Jesus asks of us. If your heart leads you to do or not do something out of your love for God, praise His name. I have nothing but respect for people who keep the Sabbath differently than me. But, I’d be lying if I didn’t say it has made me question my own convictions and personal relationship with my Creator. The One who created me and the Sabbath. (Genesis 2:3) It has. So much so, that the anxiety led to a three hour prayer session with a friend. Asking for answers. Asking for God’s guidance and direction in this area.

As a child, I was told to keep certain rules on the Sabbath without the heart or understanding behind it. They changed depending on where we were, who was around, or who’s house I was at. It led to so much confusion and even then I remember wondering if God wondered why so much effort was placed on outward actions rather than what was going on inside of us. Only God knows our hearts and why we do what we do.

My heart accepts, honors, and remembers the Sabbath day as holy and God’s special day. I could never please everyone with what I choose to do or not do and that bothers me greatly being the pleaser that I am, so I will rest in the fact that God told me “it is enough”. He knows that I am the type of person that would feel even going the extreme conservative route would never be enough. I could never do enough. I would lose every ounce of rest in my soul trying to please Him with my actions. I just need Him and to rest in His love for me.

Do I think the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord our God? (Exodus 20:9) Yes. Do I think that we should remember it and keep it holy in our hearts? Yes. What does that mean as far as external actions? That is between you and God. Me and God. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. (Matthew 22:37)

I’m pretty sure we could put twenty Sabbath keepers in a room and there would be twenty different personal convictions on what activities are okay, what’s not, and why. The judgment associated with how it’s kept pangs me deeply. It obviously panged Jesus too.

When I struggle with this I can feel Him ask me the question: “Where is your hope?” “Is your hope in the Sabbath?” “Is your hope in perfection?” “Or, is your hope in Me?”

In my opinion, if we base our relationship with God solely on keeping the Sabbath and how to keep it, a lot gets missed.

What about those who haven’t or don’t? The Christians who go into enemy territory. Just by proclaiming Christ they put their lives at risk and many die. The Christians who’s hearts are all in and willing to prove it. Their motives are pure before God. The truth they want to proclaim with all their heart, mind, and soul is the truth that Jesus died for us and is the Only Way, the Truth, and the Life. They are brave. They are warriors. They give their all for Jesus. Which is what I want to do.

What is more important to you? The truth of the gospel? Or the truth of the Sabbath? I believe both are truth. But, to me personally, the truth that Jesus died for us should come first. Then, when we keep the Sabbath (or any of the commandments) out of love and reverence for the One who died for us, we are keeping it in the “right” way, whatever that may entail. Out of love and because of love. The Love that gave His all to live with us forever.

I would rather my husband remain faithful to me because he loves me, not just because he’s “supposed” to. We can never keep the law perfectly, Jesus pointed that out. Because of our sinful tendencies, we lust, we hate, we dishonor, we all fall short. Thank God for His gracious forgiveness.

Because of His love for me, I WANT to keep all of His commandments in my heart. I live to please Jesus and He says, for me, it’s enough and to rest in Him. I believe that each commandment (new and old testament) is given for a purpose, keeps us dependent on the blood of Jesus, and points our lives to God’s will for us. I also believe God searches our hearts. And, wants them most of all.

 

Easier Said Than Done

walk

Growing in my walk with God has been an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything, even what I’ve been through to get here. It was worth it. Feeling His presence in my deepest pain has led to my desire to feel and listen to Him more. I long to hear His voice and I want to obey because of His love for me. I’ve learned so much about who I used to be, who I’ve always been, who I am to Him, and where He wants to take me. I’ve also learned how hard the Christian walk is to walk in this world.

I get now why it’s easier to say you’re a Christian, but not live like one. Because, I did…for years. I get now why it takes supernatural and divine power to stand up, speak up, and walk daily with Him. His way is HARD for us. His way doesn’t come naturally in our selfish human flesh. Once we’re open to Him and His love for us, He takes our hands and leads us out of sin by convicting us and staying on us until we see and choose His way for ourselves. Even with His help, we will never be sinless in this world, but by His grace it is possible to sin less. His way leads to lasting peace and joy. Once our eyes have been opened, we see how the world’s way leads to quick satisfaction, but is followed by regret.

I’d rather my girls choose lasting peace and joy. Not a quick fix, whether it be acting on revenge, hatred, jealousy, or lust. If I’d rather them choose His way, the best example would be for me to as well. I want that lasting peace and joy too. So, here goes…..a list of things easier said than done, but lead to lasting peace and joy, in the Christian walk.

  • Holding my tongue in anger
  • Letting the last word be God’s
  • Not lashing out at my loved ones
  • Having the courage to address issues with loved ones in a reconciliatory manner that leads to healing on both sides
  • Denying the flesh while single (especially after being married 10 years!)
  • Forgiveness
  • Choosing to love even when it’s not openly returned
  • Daily quiet and prayer times
  • Waiting on God
  • Stepping out in faith
  • Fighting the paralyzing fear of people’s opinions
  • Just doing what God wants me to do….the quicker the better!

These are a few things that come to mind that are very hard for me, but I feel called to do. They also never crossed my mind in my teens and 20s. I guess my relationship with God, marriage, divorce, and two daughters have brought me to a place where I’ve never been before. And, since this is all new to me, I’m more dependent than ever on God to lead me through it. Because…I sure don’t know how to do this! I just know He’s brought me here, so I’d better trust Him to help me. I could never do these things on my own.

I know I’ll need major help, where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. Psalms 121:1

I know I’ll need major strength, where does my strength come from?

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. Psalms 28:7a

I know I’ll need supportive friends. Thank God for the ones I have and the ones I’ve made. They are gifts! Where do these friends come from?

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

Sharing my walk in this format has been a huge personal step of faith and has forced me to face fear every single time I write and share. He has promised to teach me healthy love and asked me to share what I learn in return. That’s the least I could do for the lessons He’s teaching me! But still, He knows how much it scares me…..so He continues to lovingly nudge.

Blessing others in this process has been the biggest blessing of all. Words can’t express my gratefulness for your love, support, and encouragement! You have helped more than you could ever know. There are no sufficient words, only love and gratitude from my heart to yours.

Let’s continue to walk together….