When it comes to embracing the rhythm and rest of Sabbath Keeping, conviction is likely the first step, but the next step is always confession. It’s where the rubber hits the road. Confession means agreeing with God. It’s a very simple, powerful, God-directed interior redesign. We make it hard, however.
When we are confronted by the fact that we fall short of God’s best, we often sidetrack confession. Instead of starting on our knees, we make a plan for making things better. Feeling convicted and guilty we want to right the wrong. We want to save face. Amend our ways.
Jesus followers are not really accustomed to grace. It makes us squirm. We talk about it, but we try to live without it.
The prodigal son did just that. Hungry, gaunt and broken he recognized he made a wrong turn. Instead of simply walking home to where he belonged, he made a plan (Luke 15). “I’ll work for my father. I’ll feed the pigs. Surely he’ll comply.” We like to be in control, especially when we come up broke, with egg on our face.
When I was first convicted of my 9 Commandment form of following Jesus, I bypassed confession and moved right into rectification. I was going to make things right. Do Sabbath the way I should. Boom. Bang. All set. Case closed.
I moved into my Sabbath Keeping with conviction, but also confusion and loads of disappointment. There are a number of reasons why my first 108 days of remembering the Sabbath were miserable, but a critical first mis-step was bypassing confession.
I failed to fall on my knees. Instead I justified, blamed and planned.
By God’s grace (in the arena of Sabbath Keeping and many other areas) I’ve learned when conviction sets in, I need to name it and claim it.
Nothing more. Nothing less.
When it’s an issue that has a vice grip on my heart, I need to share it with another person. I need to say it out loud.
There’s something powerful about an out-loud confession (James 5:16). It releases the power of God into my transformation. An out-loud confession invites me to be honest. It’s painful. It lays me low. It’s a place of vulnerability and deep surrender. It is life-giving.
God meets me, arms opened wide. He pulls me into an embrace on his terms, not mine.
The generosity and extravagance of God’s love redefines me, the moment, and my future.
Is the Lord shining a light on your Sabbath Keeping? Does he want something more for you through it? Does he want something more for himself because of it?
Like a chunk of your heart and the focus of your affection?
When the time is right, find the prayer in Daniel 9:4-19 and make it your own. Don’t measure your ability or desire to change your ways. This moment is not about the future. It’s about meeting God with the white flag flying. Come empty handed – recognizing and confessing that you have forgotten to remember, honor, delight in a day God made for you and him to enjoy together. This is where the rubber hits the road. When it does, you’ll find yourself standing on Holy Ground.
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God’s richest blessings.
6 thoughts on “Week 7: Holy Ground”
good one, how often we rectify, without resting first in confession, and the forgiveness of rest.
Thank you, thank you! Yes indeed I was convicted; for me confession almost always comes! If people only knew it is not just for you but also for the “others'” we’ve hurt along the way. For me, this is a must to promote healing. I was coming up with excuse upon excuse: the other Pastor emotionally abused me, I don’t fit in here at the new church; there’s mostly elderly who are all set in their friendships, my husband now works most Sundays so why should I go, I get FED more with 3 ministries on TV than at any church I’ve been to around here, is it REALLY that important that I not only go to church, but HONOR His day of rest, everybody else is working and not attending church. The list could go on forever! Shared with my husband today. Very insightful; loved that prayer of confession by Daniel.
Excuses! You hit on a powerful point. We must face them head on. Thank you, Lord! The power of that prayer in Daniel has been the starting point of so much of God’s work in my life. May the blessings overflow!
Awesome Brenda. After reading this, I am definitely feeling that conviction. Thanks for shining a light. 🙂
Starting on our knees propels us to new places. May He who began this good work … ! My prayer for this blog? To see the Light shine in a million new hearts.