Coronovirus, AKA Covid-19, started at the very beginning of 2020 in China, but it wasn’t declared a national emergency in the United States until January. 30, and schools and businesses didn’t shut down until mid February. In early February, I started a bible study group called Women in Business with some ladies from my church. Little did I know at that time, that we would be reading a book called “Breathe” by Priscilla Shirer that talks about and focuses on the Sabbath. Nor did I know at that time that God was about to call a worldwide sabbath rest.
The book starts out with this passage…
“Harriet Tubman”, the great emancipator of thousands of slaves in America, is quoted as saying “I freed thousands of slaves. I could have freed thousands more, if only they had known that they were slaves.”
That passage is so powerful to me. We are all born into slavery, and most of us do not know it. It is our birthright to be stuck in a pattern of bondage, and we have the ability to break those chains every single day. It’s all about choices.
Slavery is a mind-set that is rooted in scarcity and lack. From these roots grow selfishness and stinginess.
Slaves hoard, but free people give.
Slaves live with closed fists, but free people live with open hands.
Slaves live from a posture of lack, but free people live from a posture of abundance.
Slaves live from a stance of deficiency, but free people live from a place of holy expectation.
Slaves never think that they have enough, but free people believe that whatever they don’t have, God will graciously, miraculously, and abundantly give in his timing.
Slaves keep going, but free people can willingly discipline themselves to stop.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. -Romans 12:2
God created rest for a purpose. He not only rested himself, but that day of rest was also an act of creation that is defined as Menuha. It is so much more than withdrawal from labor and exertion, and more than freedom from toil, and strain or activity of any kind. Rest isn’t just physical, it is mental, and it is ultimately a sense of peace. God wasn’t doing nothing on that seventh day. He was creating something. A day of rest.
The Sabbath had two purposes.
- A time to rest
- A time to remember what God had done.
The sabbath was a day set aside for rest and worship. God commanded a sabbath because human beings need to spend unhurried time in worship and rest each week in order to rejuvenate themselves and ultimately be more productive. Yet, society and culture has taught us that not being constantly busy and on the go is a bad thing. Many times it is even equated to laziness. When the world shut down, many people didn’t know what to do with themselves.
In another book that I recently ready, Battlefield Of The Mind, by Joyce Meyer, it quotes the scripture Hebrews 4:11
Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], that no one may fall or perish by the same kind of unbelief and disobedience [into which those in the wilderness fell].
“It then goes on to say, If you read the entire fourth chapter of the book of Hebrews, you will find it speaking about a Sabbath rest that is available to God’s people. Under the Old Covenant, the Sabbath was observed as a day of rest. Under the New Covenant, this Sabbath rest spoken of is a spiritual place of rest where the believer can abide. It is the privilege of every believer to refuse to worry or have anxiety. As believers, you and I can enter the rest of God and stay there.
Careful observation of Hebrews 4:11 reveals that we will never enter that rest except through believing, and we will forfeit it through unbelief and disobedience. Unbelief will keep us in “wilderness living,” but Jesus has provided a permanent place of rest, one that can be inhabited only though living by faith.”
And the Peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
Are you experiencing a peace which transcends all understanding?