Song of Praise: God‘s not Dead by the Newsboys
Come Holy Spirit, fill me with Your fire so that I can be more like You; help me, I trust You. Father, open my eyes so that I may see you clearly, open my ears so that I may hear you soundly, open my mind so that I may understand you plainly, open my heart so that I may love You more, open my hands so that I may give generously and receive humbly, in Jesus‘ name, Amen.
Adam, Seth, Enosh; Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared; Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech; Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 1 Chronicles 1:1-4
Today‘s reading is a bit of a mish mash for us. We started with the end of Amos where God is pronouncing His judgement on Israel for their sin, and we end with an entire chapter that is a list of names! What???
I know, when viewed as a whole it doesn‘t make a whole lot of sense at first, but after a bit of time with my Abba Daddy I now see what He is showing us through today‘s reading. While our sins anger Him and possibly even make Him angry with us for the choices that we‘re making, He still remembers our name! Our sins don‘t make Him angry because they‘re against Him, but because our sins hurt US!
As a parent I can understand how He feels, there are choices that my children make that I know will hurt them in the end, yet they still continue to make them! I get upset, not just because they are choosing not to listen to me, but because I know that they are going to get hurt by the choices that they‘re making.
Every single one of those names in 1 Chronicles means something to God, each name is a life, an individual, a person that God loves no matter what choices they made while they were living. Yes, God hates sin because it hurts us (and by extension Him) but He loves us so much more than He hates our sin. Isn‘t that an amazing truth!?! God loves us more than He hates sin. That‘s powerful.
I have set aside Tuesdays to spend with my Daddy. I picked Tuesday because it is the one day of the week where I don‘t have a dance class to “Mommy Taxi“ the kids to, or a meeting to attend, church to go to, errands to run, nothing. Plus, it‘s the one day a week where there is a community dinner served at a local church so I don‘t even have to make dinner!!! I have set Tuesday aside as my “Sabbath“ day, the day of my week where I recoup from the rest of the week. I stay in my pajamas all day, until we go to dinner. I start the day resting on the couch while my daughter watches her morning cartoons, I snuggle with her and sleep if I‘m tired. I stay on the couch until I feel the Spirit moving me to do something else with my time. I wait on Him to lead me to whatever activity He wants to do with me today. I take the time to be still and know that He is God.
At first the thought of taking an entire day to potentially sit on the couch and do “nothing“ all day sounded absolutely insane to a busy mom like me. If I gave up an entire day to do my housework and my office work etc, how would I ever be able to get anything done? That first morning when I laid down on the couch after sending my son off to school on the bus, I felt so terribly guilty! I felt like a slob and a slacker… and yet… I knew deep in my soul that it was right. I knew that it was exactly what God wanted me to do. So even though the proverb
How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man (Proverb 6:9-11).
Floated through my head, I pushed the thought back out and refused to listen to the liar. I was doing what I knew in my soul what was His will. And it was at that point that
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done (Genesis 2:2-3).
Graced my brain and my spirit with it‘s balm. GOD rested, so should I. Guilt gone.
Since that first day I have struggled with, not guilt, but with busy hands. Although I have rid myself of the guilt of taking an entire day off from housework and homework, I have not rid myself of the temptation to actually STOP doing them! All I can say is there must be something super special about keeping the Sabath holy because the Enemy really tries hard to keep me ultra busy on Tuesdays! I do different things on that day, but generally I am still very active on those days. Today especially.
I started out very self focused and it just grew from there. While I was successful in being still, I wasn‘t remembering what this day is really supposed to be about. GOD! And spending time with HIM. While a Sabbath day IS about resting, it‘s more than just sleeping and taking it easy. A true Sabbath day is also focusing on God and our relationship with Him. It‘s about spending time in prayer, conversation with Him. It‘s reading His Word and sharing it with others. For me, it‘s going to my prayer spot and staying there until He tells me to get up. And it‘s writing, praying with my fingers on the keyboard. That‘s a Sabbath for me, that‘s what my Daddy Daughter Days are all about. It‘s a date day for me to spend with the One who loves me more than life itself.
Often times it is during these days of intimacy and closeness with Christ that I recharge my spiritual batteries and we often talk about what the coming week will look like. It is sometimes a time of planning and vision. More than anything, it‘s about me and Him and our relationship. Which often means that there is a bit of confession and forgiveness involved within the day. Hey! I‘m not perfect ya know! But that‘s the best part, it‘s through my openness with Him and allowing Him to see those dark places in my heart that I try to hide, not just from Him but from myself, that He comes in and shines His light into those places and makes the darkness flee! It is impossible for darkness to live where there is light, any light.
Song: Love Come to Life by Big Daddy Weave