There are times in my life where I’d love to take a time out. I’d love to hold my hands in a T gesture and yell TIME! So then the referee of my life would blow his whistle and stop the game, and give me a few minutes to sort out what in the world I am doing.
Jesus loved the time out option. His life was extremely busy and yet He always knew when He needed a break. The Gospel of Luke actually records his philosophy on the time out option in chapter 5…
15 Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
Did you know that the time out option is God designed? Not only is it God designed, it is actually commanded? God demands that we take a time out. We can read this in a few places in the Bible, but I especially like how Moses records it in Deuteronomy chapter 5…
12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.”
Many people today reject this idea of Sabbath/rest or time out. But I love the fact that the creator God, created a way for me to take a step back and stop what I’m doing so I can rest in Him. Our world has completely warped this concept. The world laughs this concept, much like it laughs at the Christ. You will either hear, “You shouldn’t be resting! You should be working ALL the time. Resting is LAZY!” or your will hear, “I rest all the time, you should rest all the time too.”
Both worldly concepts on this are sinful. And sin separates us from God.
Time out taken weekly is designed for every Christian person. Sabbath rest is good. No wonder I long for it! No wonder my mind, body, emotions, and spirit cry out for it! It’s part of the Master’s plan.
Now I know some who read this are thinking… “But what about the ox in the ditch Mike? Jesus said to pull them out!” You are correct. When enjoying our time out, there are times when we do have to work instead. Jesus Himself instructed us so.
But friends this is the exception, not the rule.
This time of year is especially crazy. Year after year, we add more things to our calendars; and year after year we regret that instead of being with Christ, we just did stuff. So much stuff that we couldn’t even really enjoy it.
Well we have Good News! God has given us an out. A time out. So go ahead, ask the referee to blow the whistle! Take a breather. Sit back and enjoy Christ. Abide with Him, so that you are more able to win this game we call life.
Here’s what I know and believe: Jesus Christ has a plan for you and me. It is one that is God designed. And we can do it! With the help of the Holy Spirit, and by obeying the scripture on rest.
I’m in this for the long haul, and I want to finish well. Are you with me?
Grace and peace to you,