Brief Thoughts on Relationship, Law, Sabbath
Relationship. This is what causes us to be in the kingdom of heaven. Paul said it best in Philippians 3:10, “I want to know Christ…”. God’s laws or commandments set forth the perimeters to receive the greatest blessings from the relationship (“knowing”) that He originally designed. Everything that is done within the context of our relationship with Jesus Christ reflects our gift of faith (trust) in Jesus. Our “works” reflect the same character that Christ exhibited while here on earth because the more intimate we are with Him the more like Him we become. Thus good deeds, love for others, and sacrifice, are all evidence of a relationship with Jesus.
We receive the greatest blessings as we operate within God’s designed plan for this sacred relationship. Disobedience does not disqualify us from eternity, rather our consistent disobedience and disrespect for the relationship will bring hardship, pain, and suffering. The believer that continues down this path ultimately may find the love of another and determine to step outside the sacred relationship thus choosing to be lost or separated from the God forever.
This is the believer’s prerogative. At any given point in the relationship he or she can choose to leave. It is not God’s desire for anyone to leave (2 Peter 3:9), he desires a deeper, life-altering, relationship with every believer. But in His love he always gives us the freedom to choose.
Sabbath is about relationship. It is the believer’s opportunity to honeymoon with God. It is a time for a Holy consummation of the union between God and man. It can be the height of spiritual celebration. As with the human marriage relationship there is to be time to enjoy the company of God and concentrate fully on Him. It is not only physical rest from our manual labor. It is spiritual rest in the finished, complete, atoning work of Jesus.
Our activity should be characterized by a favoritism toward the things of God. As Christ followers we are given freedom to live out Sabbath as our Spirit-influenced conscience dictates (Gal. 5:1). In other words, it isn’t up to the church or any institution to tell us what we can and cannot do when it comes to Sabbath living. The issue isn’t to force the relationship, the issue is flourishing in the relationship and experiencing the best God has to offer.