You guys. The sabbath study I’ve been doing the past five weeks has been AMAZING. But super hard and convicting. My latest discovery in this study is the connection between rest and trust. No wonder God is big on rest- he’s big on surrender. To rest is to let go of control- to admit that you can’t save yourself through your works and you trust God to do the work for you.
Sabbath means you cease. You have to let go of control. You stop. You trust that though you stop it will all work out. That you are not the captain of your fate. Therefore, you can cease and stop. Those who work and work and work, I think often work so hard because they believe there’s no one else there to hold everything together.
But we’re not subject to such a fate. We have one who holds it all together. We have one who’s got our back. We can let go. We can cease. We can rest because God is sovereign and I don’t have to be.
That’s a truth I often forget and need breathed into my life. However, sometimes my inability to cease is not because I think there’s no one there to hold the world together, but because I think I can hold the world together better.
This is heinous. I shouldn’t be able to type that without fear in my heart. Without lightning bolts smiting me. But I can and do and that is what makes God so amazing. He is long-suffering. He gives us more grace. Which I by no means want to abuse. By admitting that I can honestly think and believe that I can do life better than God shows a lack of faith and truth in my life that I want to fix.
In the book The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoffer explains that faith and obedience are two pieces of discipleship that are co-dependent. The only cure for a lack of faith- a lack of understanding of who God is in your heart: a healthy fear of his sovereignty and holiness, a healthy sorrow over your sin, and an all-encompassing bewilderment at his grace- is obedience. Bonhoffer doesn’t just say we should obey even when we don’t “feel like it” he says that’s the best thing we can do.
Because that’s the amazing thing about obedience and faith. They are reciprocal. If you don’t have faith, just obey. Fake it till you make it. As you obey, faith will grow. He’ll give you belief. As you believe and have faith, that heart knowledge will drive you to obedience. How can you not obey when you finally “get it” and see how great he is?
That’s where I’m at right now. I’m lacking faith and need to obey. I’m struggling with it because I think I’m God and don’t need to obey or answer to anyone. I’m lacking faith and it takes a while to build that up. To cut through the clutter and be still and know that he is God. Not me. It takes a while and it takes obedience. I need to just obey. To say to God, you don’t seem relevant or important in my life right now, but that doesn’t matter. I’m going to obey as if you are relevant and important in my life right now. How you act is an indicator of what you believe. I’ve just never considered that it can work backwards- how you act can alter what you believe. Faith and obedience are not linear, not chronological. They can causate both ways.
I’m so driven by my emotions that I don’t want that to be true. I want to “feel like” doing everything I do. To do something I don’t “feel like” seems wrong to me. But that’s also probably because I love to be comfortable and think life’s all about me, which is the root of my problems anyway, so I’m glad I’m at least consistent.
I’ll leave you with the lyrics of this old hymn. I remember singing it when I was younger and thinking it was such a legalistic and limiting stuffy old hymn, and just plain not fun. But the more I see my pride and see God’s grace, the more I see the role and potential of obedience in my relationship and knowledge of him.