By Brenda Jank
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 with 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 misstep 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.
Note: This post is part of our original series on rest. We are re-posting some of our favorite articles because we believe they are just as important today as ever. We hope to encourage and inspire you and those you love and lead to REST WELL through this time of COVID-19 crisis, comeback, and recovery. Onward!
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