A Sabbath Rest
Friday, March 20, 2020
“Bear in mind that the Lord has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day He gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where they are on the seventh day; no one is to go out” (Exodus 16:29).
Our spiritual father, Derek Prince, had a saying, “Take the Sabbath, or it will take you!” Part of God’s handbook for human beings is rest and recreation. God ordained that R & R be expressed as worship, returning regularly to rest in Him and be thankful. That rest day was also an expression of faith and trust that He was their ultimate source and supply beyond anything they were able to do for themselves. As Israel put themselves in God’s hands, He made miraculous provision for them.
The Sabbath is intended to let your mind and body rest, and to let those around you rest and rejoice. As a nation, America used to take a Sabbath rest every Sunday. We have slowly moved away from that, and rapidly increased the pace of our concerns and activities. The request by our local and national leaders that we step back from public engagement for a time may have a silver lining. It may give many of us the opportunity of bringing our focus closer to home, family, and a healthier ordering of our social and work priorities. Let’s do this together because we love Him and one another. And let’s trust God to bring us through this storm and provide for us along the way.
Give Yourself Permission to Relax
God will provide islands of refreshing in the midst of the storm that serve as an intermediate refuge. It does you no good to refuse rest because you feel either “super spiritual” or guilty! Get your mind off the battle and come back refreshed and clear-headed.
Let Go of All Options but God
You might find yourself seeking a dinghy to hop in and row out of difficulty. Beware of the temptation to cling to an escape backward, thinking that if you retreat the devil will leave you alone. If any “options” persuade you to abandon ship, let them go. Sometimes God’s plan is simply to stay aboard, plugged into God, firmly rooted and grounded in Him. This is a time for you to become an intercessor to usher God’s glory into the lives of those around you in the storm.
For those who are at home and stepping back from public activity, take this time of national rest as a time to slow down, refocus, and realign. In a sense, much of our nation is on a forced Sabbath. As we pull back from the usual activity, there is fresh opportunity to draw closer to God. In the stillness, listen for His voice. Spend more time in reading His word. Get your notepad, ipad, or computer ready to write down the things God begins to show you. Take this time to get out of the box of your regular routine, upgrade your prayer time, and expand your focus to those around you. God is getting ready to do something amazing in the nations. Now is the time to get ready, refreshed, and positioned for this next move.
O Great Shepherd of the sheep, lead us on Your path. Show us the way to rest in You in the midst of any storm. We pray for restoration of our soul, and restoration of the soul of our nation. Lord, let your rod and staff direct us and turn us into your paths of righteousness and blessing. We thank you that even in the midst of our enemies, you prepare a banquet table before us, you anoint us with fresh oil. Pour out fresh oil on your Church. Pour out fresh oil on our leaders. Pour out fresh oil on our nation. Holy Spirit, we welcome you to pour out Your Spirit with miracles, signs, and wonders on our nation and on the nations. Pour out your Spirit on our loved ones who are dry and thirsty. Pour out Your healing balm on those who are suffering. Anoint the heads of all those working to find a cure for COVID-19.
We pray for everyone on the frontlines of this battle. Lord, give strength, refreshing, and endurance to the medical professionals, administrators, first responders, and others who are on high alert and increased pressure at this time. We lift up our President, Vice President, and administration. Give them wisdom, direction, and counsel from heaven. We thank you that our nation shall not want. We ask for provision and protection for our economy, for small businesses, and for every person who is struggling financially in this crisis. Let this crisis bring a great rebound to our economy in Jesus’ name.
We are confident and covering you and yours. Send your prayer requests to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Join us online for the Watch of the Lord, and see you ONLINE this Sunday at 10 a.m. We will continue on this journey with Apostle Paul here tomorrow!