Thursday, May 26, 2011

Remember The Sabbath

One of the scriptures that served as a means for me to be bothered was, "be ye holy for I am holy (1 Peter 1;16 KJV)." How can we be? God is God and forever more. He is always good. Would that be true for any of us? Even Jesus said, "why callest thou me good (Matthew 19:17 KJV)?" Let someone do something unseemingly and wouldn't that person, if nothing else, get the nastiest look you could conjure up  from your face using every single muscle you can. It could be worse, but you were only thinking it (Proverbs 23:7 KJV). Well the Word says that your heart is evil then (Luke 6:45 KJV). The mere thought of doing someone harm and not just going over and giving them a big hug or a huge financial blessing is not being the righteousness of God. Isn't it? Which of us is willing to do that especially after they have either attacked your child, or keyed your car, or caused you to lose your job? How holy are you feeling to do what you know to do is right (James 4:17 KJV)?

There are some things I have seen in the body of Christ that I wish I never saw. Yet, it served a purpose for me to pray and never to do the same thing lest I fall into the same pit. Still, for the sake of this blog, I have mentioned major acts of unrighteousness (afore mentioned) that we ought to know to change in our lives. We know to walk in love in all that we do no matter what the flesh feels like doing. Its those tiny things that we overlook and happen to grow into some major stuff that we have no idea where the fruit of the matter comes from. It is because of those tiny things that have grown, I write this entry.

I can write from personal experience my own mistakes that I had to change and never thought I was doing wrong until I received the punishment of the act. It was said over the pulpit that there was a need for volunteers for this program and for that. We know that there is a select few in ministry that just seem to do everything. You know from which I write: you see them all of the time every where in the church doing one thing or another. You think, "wow she is really a faithful and loyal member." Or, "I wish I had the time to do more then what I am doing." Or, "isn't such-and-such here anymore, why doesn't he do it?" Personally, I started feeling guilty as if I was doing enough and it just seemed like everyone else was getting more blessed then I was, so I started volunteering in doing all sorts of stuff. I wasn't competing with anyone just working more then I ever thought I needed to. I didn't realize how many things I volunteered for until I had to take some time off for my physical health.

In taking that time off, I still couldn't rest because I had in my mind that they needed me and no one else could do the kind of work that I do. I know that because I couldn't let it go. As a result, different things began to happen to me financially and physically. First, my upper thigh started to get numb. I didn't know what it was. I went to the doctor, and he had no clue. I prayed and went about my business. I then was entangled in some mess at work, where I was terminated from my job. Even the CEO didn't believe I should have lost my position but acted as if she couldn't do anything about it. Still, I remained faithful in church and volunteering in all of those positions I signed up for. I wouldn't lose hope and remained happy that at least I woke up this morning and could do my very best for the Lord. My car was totaled in an accident and now I couldn't get around to do what I was doing before. Nope, I girded myself up and took public transportation still completing the tasks I signed up for. My son was able to replace my car and I continued on. In assisting someone else, I got out of the car I just received and shooting pain rode up the side of my hip and settled in the small of my back. Every time I took a step, there it was again. It was a night or two and laying in the bed with a heating pad, vibrating pad, one of those massaging wooden ball things - but nothing was helping. It took another three days before I could stand and walk without pain. I prayed and kept asking God, "what is going on?"  He answered me, but I couldn't hear Him - I had too many things to do. And then the car my son gave to me was hit in the back and a few weeks later, stolen.

You see, right here, even as I am writing this, I have the tiniest desire to write profanity... right here, right now. It has been almost 4 years when this happened and it is still as fresh as if it happened yesterday. Unemployed, no car, using the last of my savings, couldn't pay my bills and had to move in with family members - it was all so humiliating! I gave up the positions I volunteered for. I barely had enough money to get around on public transportation. Things had changed in the church I was attending and couldn't even get a ride to attend Sunday services much less in the middle of the week. I didn't call anyone to ask for advise because to me it would have been some mundane panacea Christian drivel. You know the kind of words someone says to capsulize everything. No matter what you say it is as if you were allowed to vent and the end result of the solution given back to you is: "well, God doesn't give you more then you can handle." Or, "your faith is being tested right now." Or, "stand strong, your blessing is right around the corner." None of those words help the situation. That isn't counseling and if you (counselor, pastor, preacher, evangelist, teacher, prophet) don't have a Word from the Lord in the matter, don't say anything!

On television, I was watching this pastor this morning teach a lesson on a matter that people really need help with. In the lesson, he listed a number of scriptures for the listener to repeat over and over for the situation to change in their lives. Well, I was at the ready to jot down the bible verses only he interjected  the subject matter in the bible verse. I had to stop, remembering in my own studying, that we are not to change one word, not even a tiddle of what the scripture says (Revelation 22:18 AMP). Just adding in something having the hope that this will help, isn't good enough. I don't care where his heart is. I know that saying something that man thinks will make the world of difference in someone's life without taking the matter before the Lord is a means for error to come about. I have been there and am glad to be delivered. Having good intentions without God isn't good at all (Hebrews 3:7-19 KJV).

So while I am here in this residence being willed to rest instead of finding some other position to volunteer for, I had to take in account what I was doing when I should have been resting on the Sabbath as well. For as long as I could remember when growing up, my mother had my siblings and I do the major house cleaning on Saturday and then on Sunday we went to church. Coming back from church, we were allowed to read the Sunday comics and our own books but we couldn't go outside and play... not on Sunday. It was the Lord's day. I don't know when I got out of doing this habit, even with my own children. I suppose because my husband, their father, wasn't raised the same way. And though he professed Christianity, what was paramount  to him to honor God was not at all the same with me. When we divorced, I started teaching my children the importance of helping in the church and quite honestly, I took the volunteering as a means of worship and honoring God, even on the Sabbath.

Residing in the Jewish community, there are some things that they do that is too ritualistic for my taste and a means of bondage; however, when it comes to honoring God on the Sabbath day, I must write, I am impressed. They will make preparation on Friday to have things in order for the Sabbath Day. Their day of rest begins at sun down on Friday night to sun down on Saturday night. They have made food before hand so not to work on that day or they decide to fast. They have torn toilet paper squares so not to make any more effort then they have to for their own convenience in honoring God. Most of the time after temple, they stay indoors. If for whatever reason they have to go do something outside of their home, they walk and try to avoid anything electronic (like department store doors or lights) that come on automatically because of their presence. I recall a family standing at the door and waiting for someone to open the door for them without them asking for it to be done - just to honor God. At first I thought it was ridiculous to go through such extreme, but what else can we do for Him? Its like wanting to purchase someone a gift who has more money then they know what to do with.What do buy for that person? You have to be really creative to surprise him/her and every year it becomes increasingly more difficult to do. What can you do for God? As I watch these people go and do all of these things in remembering the Sabbath and teaching their children to do the same, I look and these people live long lives and want for nothing.

When God tells us to choose life, do we do all we can to get the benefit of having such a gift? Do we give Him all of the honor for being the Almighty that He is (1 Corinthians 6:9-12 MSG)?

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