Work and the Sabbath Rest
July 3, 2016
This is the continuation of a series of Podcasts started in Episode #499.
(Carole) What I really believe He’s doing in all of us here is He is setting parameters around us. The Word says, “Set a watch…” It’s a prayer. “Set a watch over my mouth, Lord, that I may not sin against you.” It’s doesn’t say, “Guard your mouth.” It says, “Set a watch.” The Holy Spirit is setting a watch around us. He is setting a watch around us so that we will not veer off into this place of worshipping work and doing out of work rather than doing out of love for Him, from Him. And He is keeping us. He is keeping us. He is creating the fence around us to keep us. And I think I said, “I can choose to behold Him and look at Him. I believe beholding Him is surrender. I can’t even behold Him unless I surrender.” And I was thinking even this, even this wonderful revelation I can make a work out of rather than just to let Him and believe Him to do what He’s promised to do.
(Martha) Well, this is something we’ve been on for several days, the issue of work, because I’m rendered rather weak, and I can’t work. If I could, I would. And I say to the Lord, “If You give me any strength, I’ll go run with it and spend it all,” because I want to get back to my life and my garden, and that parameter on me is pretty severe. But I realize… I’m about to write something about the magic of surrender, because when I surrender to where I am, to those boundaries of my physical ability, when I surrender to Him and just accept it, then the Spirit moves through me and has done some really mighty things lately that I haven’t even told you all about. And I can write, and it’s coming from His love. You so emphasized that it must come out of His love. The work must come from Love. The minute it’s not love, it’s probably sin. It’s not the Sabbath anymore. And John’s written this awesome post about the Sabbath. What?
(Carole) It is sin, because it’s unbelief when it comes from any place other that from His love, it is unbelief.
(Martha) Swoon… John’s written something about the Sabbath, and it’s just wonderful. When is it coming out, do you know?
(J) I’ll make sure it comes out right around the time that this does, because I’ve got a couple written out. Then I could just let it fall right at the right time. But I’ve been hit by the Sabbath, and I’ve been hit by work, and I talk about it in the post. I talk about the stick bundler, who during the wilderness time, he was caught bundling sticks on the Sabbath. And they got him and they said, “What are you doing? It’s the Sabbath.” And he was like, “AhhhhUmmmm, well, I’m bundling sticks.” And they took him before Moses, and Moses went before God, and God said, “Kill him. Stone him.” The entire assembly had to stone him. And, you know, I just have to be honest to say that I am a stick bundler, and I have bundled sticks for years, and I would be dead if I was in the wilderness, because I have found myself working rather than being in the Sabbath rest. And I really go into what that is, and what it is to live in the Sabbath rest.
(Martha) And in it you say, “Jesus is the Sabbath. Jesus is the seventh day. He’s the resurrection day, the day of rest. He, Himself is.” But He’s been taking me to Isaiah 58 and also in Jeremiah about the Sabbath. And it’s not the law. It’s not the law of the Sabbath, of Saturday, from sundown to sundown. It’s not the law. He’s calling us to the rest that He has finished the work. He finished on the sixth day, and He rested on the seventh day. And Jesus finished the work, and we are given the rest. But this says there’s severe consequences to not living in the rest, meaning not letting Christ’s life be the origin of your work. And once the Lord isn’t working, you have to stop. I learned it very early on, and I’ve kind of gotten away from it, but I learned that when I was praying with someone or counseling with someone, the minute the Lord says, “That’s enough,” I stopped. And you wear yourself out if you go beyond what God gives you the grace to do.
(J) Well, that’s in… What’s that in? In Hebrews 4:1, it says, “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to come short of it.” And that’s, I mean, fear. You’re not allowed to fear anything, but here He commands you to fear lest you not enter that rest. And that’s exactly what you’re saying, you know? If you’re doing the work, and you’re all of a sudden you realize, “Oh, my gosh, I’m going in my own strength here. I’m no longer riding on the train of the Spirit, and God isn’t carrying me. I’m literally laboring.” At that point you’re supposed to fear, lest you… because the same, the very same thing that happens. You will be left in the wilderness if you don’t enter the rest, you will be left in the wilderness.
(Martha) Isaiah 58 gives you all this fast. What is the fast? You might be familiar with that. And then at the end of that chapter He goes to the rest, to the Sabbath. “If you turn away your foot from traveling and doing on the Sabbath, from doing your own pleasure on My holy day and call the Sabbath a spiritual delight, a holy day of the Lord, honorable and honor Him in it, not going your own way or seeking or finding your own pleasure or speaking with your own idle words, then will you delight yourself in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the high places of the earth, and I will feed you with the heritage promised you of Jacob, your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.” So see, He’s teaching me that unless He does the work, I’m to not work. If I pick it up and do it just because I think it needs to be done, I’m violating the rest that He’s calling me to be into. He’s laid me “down in green pastures to restore my soul,” and I just am having such a hard time doing it. What are you laughing at, John?
(J) I just got a visual of He’s trying to lay you down in green pastures and you’re out trying to mow the lawn.
(Martha) That’s a very vivid picture. But I think you should cut that out when you edit the tape. But it’s just a little bit too real, thank you very much.
(J) I do want to quickly say that the only reason why I know you were mowing the lawn when you’re laying down to rest, is because I am a lawn mower rider, and I ride that lawn mower.
(Martha) And I’ve known this for many years, many years about the Sabbath. He revealed it to me a long time ago. It’s just you have to learn this at every stage of life is a brand new application of what, how to live. And Carole’s poignant seeing that we have… Love has to originate work, not work to get love. If you work to get love, and you claim it’s from love, it will be death. We’ve had that happen to us here, is that work is not the value. What’s the value is, “Why do you work and what’s behind it.” And if you work to get love, you leave death in the wake on everybody, because you’re trying to buy something. It’s so heinous to God to try to earn love by work, because it insults and denies and is unbelief as you would say, Carole, in what Christ did out of love. So, we are to move out of fullness and not out of emptiness to be full. That’s so wonderful, so vivid that Love is to be the motivation and the power of the work. His love. He loved to work. I know Him well enough to know He loved to work, but it wasn’t His first priority. His first priority was living the life of God, and so that’s what He did.