I Have a Pause Button?


pause button

Last week I spoke of hitting life’s pause button and taking a break with God…I even used some “church-ology” by using the words Sabbath rest. When people hear the word Sabbath they immediately begin to focus on the question, “What CAN’T I do on the Sabbath?” We tend to focus on our perception of what the Sabbath is – a bunch of rules limiting us.

But in reality, true Sabbath has a lot more to do with freedoms than it does limitations! It isn’t about the “have-tos” but it truly is about the “get-tos.” It isn’t that you have to stop working and you have to do nothing. It is that you get to stop working; you have permission to do nothing, to produce nothing and just simply “be” in the presence of God! Authentic Sabbath rest isn’t about doing, it is about being!

In regularly pausing from the “normal” routine to be with God, we start to know, recognize and have relationship with God and understand He is Light. In doing so we now have a benchmark in the craziness of life; we now have a true beacon…our personal Guiding Light to run toward in the worst of storms and in the best of life as well! Learning this concept is key to living life as God intended; in fact Jesus Himself says it is the “one needed thing,” the only thing of importance!

In Luke 10:38-42, Jesus is a guest in the home of Mary and Martha. Mary chooses to sit at Jesus’ feet and hang out in His presence (take a Sabbath rest)…Martha chooses to plow through the work that “had” to be done. Martha rapidly hits the point of boiling mad and accuses Jesus of not caring…read the following passage.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but indeed only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Martha has the fantastic opportunity to spend time in the very presence of Jesus. Instead Martha chooses to first focus on other things…because of this choice, she is not filled by Jesus, she is not guided by Him, she is not empowered by Him…in fact she can’t even focus on Jesus! She is living and operating under her own power and strength. Martha could only focus on the size of the job she needed to do to please, feed and satisfy the fourteen other people in her house. Does this sound like we are reading about your life sometimes?

Instead, Mary had chosen to first focus on Jesus…Mary chose to spend time in the presence of the One who had the power to speak a blessing on the measly amount of food which was already on hand, feed the entire village and end up with baskets of food left over! Do you see the difference? Where we spend our time becomes where we focus, which in turn becomes what we fall in love with and put our trust in! Martha spent her life doing therefore she put her trust in what she could accomplish leaving no room for time with Jesus! Our choices of where we spend our time alters the course of our lives…just check out John 12:1-8 and see where you find Martha and Mary again!

Learn more about sabbaticals in our Personal Retreat Toolkit. Click here to learn more!


Chuck Lehman

REST Ministries / Shepherd’s Gate Inn

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