Our Bible verse for today: “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” James 4:8 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “You will be as close to God as you want to be.”
As we draw our month of thinking about Sabbath-rest to a close, let me leave you with a question to consider: “What kind of a person are you in the process of becoming?”
We are all in the process of becoming someone different from who we have been. Living things do not remain static. Even if you do nothing, time will change you. The days will pass, your body will get older, your patterns of thinking will become more established, the effects of your habits will accumulate and compound. Let me say it again, even if you do nothing, time will change you – either for the good or for the bad.
Therefore it’s imperative that we be proactive and incorporate into our daily lives practices and patterns of living that will have a net positive effect on us and which will help us to continue changing for the better. Sabbath-rest helps to do that because it draws us closer to God. You can be as close to God as you want to be, but it will depend on how much time you choose to spend with Him.
As we’ve learned, Sabbath-rest is rest with a redemptive purpose. It is rest that is specifically intended to be spiritually nurturing. The first and most important kind of Sabbath-rest is periods of extended quiet time with God.
But Sabbath-rest can take other forms as well. As I write this I’m concluding a week of vacation at Myrtle Beach, SC. I have spent many hours out on the back porch of the condo overlooking a very serene setting, praying, reflecting, reading, and journaling. It has been a wonderful time with the Lord. But I’ve also spent hours out on the ocean in my kayak. That too has been a great time with God. Linda and I also celebrated our forty-first anniversary while we were here. Celebration is also an important part of Sabbath-rest. As we’ve learned this month, there are many ways to rest, relax, recreate, and celebrate while keeping God as the central focus.
As we end this month of devotional reflection about the importance of true Sabbath-rest as a regular part of life, I want to leave you with a question posed by Mark Buchanan in his great book “The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath”. Mark challenges us to ask ourselves, “Does the path I’m walking lead to a place I want to go? If I keep heading this way, will I like where I arrive?”
That brings me back to my opening question, “What kind of person are you in the process of becoming?” If you continue doing what you’re doing, will you like the person you end up being?
Sabbath-rest is God’s gift to you. I encourage you to make it a regular part of your life. You’ll be glad you did.