Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
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Monday, July 08, 2013 @ 5:00:00 AM - Written by Doug Hignell -

What does the concept of margins have to do with entering into an ongoing state of Sabbath rest? Everything! We lose our margins because we pack our lives with too many activities, responsibilities, and desires. Like most of us, I hate to miss any good opportunity before me. And not only that, but we also live as "responsibility sponges," soaking up responsibilities as if our well-being and the well-being of those around us depend completely on us. In a word, life becomes hard, exhausting, and unending labor. We end up living lives full of expectation and responsibility, instead of living in expectancy and a readiness to respond to our heavenly father.  

Hebrews 4:10 in the Amplified Bible describes this well: "For he who has once entered [God's] rest also has ceased from [the weariness and pain] of human labors, just as God rested from those labors 'peculiarly' His own." 

We can identify with the "weariness and pain of human labors," and yet God challenges us to let them go. We're supposed to cease from the heaviness of our labor, but God understands that this isn't easy. The next verse says: "Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves]" (Hebrews 4:11).  

These two verses have challenged me for years. If I'm reading them correctly, I'm supposed to "cease from labor," and then be zealous and exert myself as I diligently strive to enter rest. In other words, entering true 24/7/365 Sabbath rest isn't easy.  

I'd like to be able to tell you that I always live with good margins, that I remain in a state of rest in spite of the many pressures around me, but I don't. Personally, I understand the struggle more than I understand the solution, but I do find myself able to enter God's rest for short periods of time. Several things help me, including: 

1. Understanding that God is a good God, all the time, and only wants the best for me.

2. Knowing that I'm deeply loved by God, just as I am, with no expectations on God's part that I should perform or work for him in order to earn that love.

3. Because God's Spirit indwells my soul and spirit, I am good at the core. I am a saint who occasionally sins, not a sinner saved by grace. I do not need to live in shame and guilt. Change isn’t required to be accepted and loved by Him.

4. Entering into deeper levels of faith and trust where I can lean completely on God in absolute trust and confidence in his power, wisdom, and goodness.

My problem is that I too easily lose sight of these truths, and when I do, I fall out of "rest.” A current issue in my life involves a loved one struggling. I find that when he or she shares his or her struggles and needs with me, I quickly feel a drive to fix the problem. I find it difficult to trust that God also has the best interest of this person at heart.

What issue in your life takes you out of a place of "rest"? Find a friend, share that burden, and pray together, asking God to reveal his great love for you in the midst of your struggle.


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