Do you know the rhythm of Jesus? Do you know the rhythm he followed that will help you Live LIGHT? In this next section of the Live LIGHT Manifesto we look at some important ones and how we can practically live them out.
I follow His rhythms of abiding, margin, pause and rest
But despite Jesus’ instructions, the report of his power spread even faster, and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases. But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer. One day while Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and teachers of religious law were sitting nearby. (It seemed that these men showed up from every village in all Galilee and Judea, as well as from Jerusalem.) And the Lord’s healing power was strongly with Jesus. Luke 5:15-17
and Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, where your followers can see your miracles! You can’t become famous if you hide like this! If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world!” For even his brothers didn’t believe in him. Jesus replied, “Now is not the right time for me to go, but you can go anytime. John 7:3-6
As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!” Mark 4:35-41
“Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!”” Mark 2:27-28
Rhythm of abiding
Jesus had a rhythm of being alone with God and then bringing more of God to the people.
- He was alone with God then brought great teaching Luke 4:1-15
- He was alone with God then healed people Luke 5:15-17
- He was alone with God then drove out demons Mark 1:35-39
- He was alone with God then did all three and choose his apostles Luke 6:12-19
Nine times Mark gives examples of Jesus going on spiritual retreat either alone with the Father or joined by his disciples. (Mark 1:9-13, 1:35, 1:45, 3:13, 6:30-32, 6:45-46, 9:2-13, 14:12-31, 14:32-42)
It’s the rhythm of abiding. It was a rhythm of with and a rhythm of out, listen and do, hear and obey, With the father, do the Father’s will. Be in His presence, flow in His power. Time alone and time with others. Time in prayer and time with presence.
Jesus used disciplines of self-denial like solitude and silence, fasting, Sabbath, and submission. And he used disciplines for connecting like meditation on Scripture, fellowship, worship, praying the Psalms, and service.
It starts with our connection with God and flows into everything else we do. We’re not meant to do it the other way around. Yes, it’s a constant ebb and flow but I find most of us in the Christian world get focussed on the doing and we forget we’re human beings.
You have a rhythm of abiding.
We need to be with the Father to calibrate to His heart and get directions. Being sent out from the Father to heal and liberate the world.
It’s the rhythm of abiding.
Being with, being sent out was Jesus’ own rhythm of abiding.
I’m not setting up a false dichotomy. Recognize that God is alway with us. It’s a matter of “when are we with Him?” When are we aware of His presence? How do we best connect with the divine?
He taught his disciples to do it (Luke 9:1-10) and told them to teach others everything he taught them.
The rhythm of abiding is for all of us.
How do you practice it?
Do you meet together with others regularly?
Do you have alone time with God?
How has it looked like in different seasons in your life?
Tell us in comments.
If you need help to practice the rhythm of abiding, check out what I offer for coaching https://revtrev.com/coaching
The Rhythm of Margin
Can I ask you to consider Jesus?
Jesus had enough minutes every day. He wasn’t rushed (John 11:6) or influenced by other people’s schedules (John 7:3-6). He was never in a hurry and showed compassion with people’s intrusions (Mark 10:49). He took time with the Father (Mark 1:35) and time to recreate (John 2:2). He took time for meals, even after He died and rose again (John 21:13). He accomplished the work He was given to do (John 17:4).
Let’s talk about how we can live like that. It’s found in the practice the rhythm of margin.
There is a tool for the benedictine order of monks called Statio.
“If I am present to this child before I dress her, then the dressing becomes an act of creation. If I am present to my spouse in the living room, then marriage becomes an act of divine communion. If I am present to the flower before I cut it, then life becomes precious. If I am present to the time of prayer before I pray, then prayer becomes the juncture of the human with the Divine. We have learned well in our time to go through life nonstop. Now it is time to learn to collect ourselves from time to time so that God can touch us in the most hectic of moments. The practice of statio is meant to center us and make us conscious of what we’re about to do and make us present to God who is present to us. Statio is the desire to do consciously what I might otherwise do mechanically. Statio is the virtue of presence.” Chittister, Joan. 1990. Wisdom Distilled from the Daily: Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 176-178.
Statio is a working out of Brother Lawrence’s “The Practice of the Presence of God”.
Satio is often meant to denote the moment between moments, or the pause between those times when you are doing things. You can think of it as a mini-transition. You already experience this several times a day, for example, when you are figuring out what to do next or when you take a momentary break to regroup. With statio you make the pause intentional. Rest in the now moment. Take a single mindful, desire-free breath and recognize that God is present HERE NOW.
The point of Statio and margin is to ruthlessly eliminate hurry and busyness from our lives.
How can we practice the rhythm of Statio?
Start each day with a prayer that helps you to be open to God’s blessings and purposes in your life.
In your home, as you enter shared space, pause to take a breath and be aware of how precious this space and the people are (or have been) to you and the gratitude you have for them.
Intentionally show up early to meeting and pick up times. Rest in the presence of God that is always with you.
With statio you make the pause intentional. Rest in the now moment. Take a single mindful, desire-free breath and recognize that now God is present.
When entering the different spaces in your day (workplace, a colleague’s office, a restaurant or place of business, school or places where people meet) pause and take a deliberate breath.
When returning home pause to take a breath. If you share your home with others, be a loving presence.
How will you start practicing statio this week?
Will you live with the rhythm of margin?
Tell us in the comments or if you need help with implementing this in your life, check out what I offer in coaching https://revtrev.com/coaching
The Rhythm of Pause
I could have called this section “How to be interrupted without losing your sanity.”
I don’t want to. It’s a higher priority for me to be present with the person I’m with than to be known as someone who always pick up the phone.
But I do want to live more like Jesus. Have you ever read a Gospel and noticed that Jesus seemed to always be interrupted?
Miracles happen in the moments.
Never is Jesus ‘thrown’. He doesn't even lose His temper. But He uses each occasion as a golden opportunity for some priceless teaching or wonderful miracle.
How do we live the rhythm of pause?
This is beautiful. I’m not going to add anything more to you, but challenge you to make this part of the day-to-day of your everyday. I see three steps in the rhythm of pause. When you’re doing these three things interruptions won’t challenge your sanity.
It’s recognizing the rhythm of time spent and time sent.
It’s repenting from the thought of God’s time and my time.
When you’re being interrupted on God’s time, you’re not losing anything. It’s easy to partner with Him.
It is recognizing God is everywhere present.
It’s repenting from the feeling of busyness as a lifestyle.
The best advice I’ve gotten as a pastor is to “walk slow”. Walking slow is a rhythm we should all embrace.
71 times in the Psalms and 3 times in Habakkuk the word Selah occurs. We’re not quite sure what it means, but it probably means, “Pause to reflect and pray.”
Selah is different from Statio. Statio we recognize God is present. Selah we respond to His presence.
“Father how do you want to be glorified?”
Prophecy is finding the gold in others.
Will you live the rhythm of pause?
Will you invite interruption as opportunity from God?
You need the rhythm of abiding, you need the rhythm of margin. You can’t give what you don’t have.
If you don’t create margin, you won’t be free to be interrupted.
The Rhythm of Rest
So which of the 10 commandments do you think most followers of Christ don’t apply to their lives?
I think it’s the Sabbath.
Will you respond to the fear of the Lord with a rhythm of rest?
Will you hide behind excuses?
Why do we think the Sabbath is not for us today?
- We don’t know why we should celebrate the Sabbath
- We don’t really know who should celebrate the Sabbath
- We don’t really know what a Sabbath is
- We don’t know how we can practically celebrate the Sabbath
We don’t know why we should celebrate the Sabbath
Did you notice Moses included the reason for the Sabbath in the command? -Exodus 20:8-11
It’s tied to creation. When something is tied to creation it’s important. When we see it in the law, history, wisdom literature, prophets, gospels and letters, and we see it live out in the early church, it is core theology. It’s something we should be willing to die for. If I had time I could trace Sabbath and rest through every part of Scripture and the early church.
Why don’t we think it’s for us today? Why do we think it’s a suggestion not a commandment? I see three main reasons.
1. Jesus seems to have done a lot on the Sabbath. It was if he loved to heal on the Sabbath just to be controversial. Jesus even said…
“Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!”” Mark 2:27-28 NLT
We can take that to mean we’re free from the Sabbath. But that wasn’t what Jesus was saying. Jesus was talking about rules created by man to obey the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a gift
“They must realize that the Sabbath is the Lord’s gift to you.” Exodus 16:29 NLT
So Jesus wasn’t saying we’re free from rest, rather we’re free from the rules of man around rest.
The second reason I think we think the Sabbath is not for today is from what Paul said.
2. Paul said – some treat one day as special, some treat all days the same.
One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Romans 14:5 (NIV)
“Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” Colossians 2:16-17
We can think we’re free to not have a day of rest. What if Paul meant some people treat every day as holy and not just one? That makes better sense since we can’t see every day as secular.
These Scriptures make it clear that, for the Christian, Sabbath-keeping is a matter of spiritual freedom, not a command from God. Sabbath-keeping is an issue on which God’s Word instructs us not to judge each other. Sabbath-keeping is a matter about which each Christian needs to be fully convinced in his/her own mind.
3. I think we don’t obey the command because most of us really don’t believe we reap what we sow.
Look at what happened in the land of Israel. They were told after every 6 years to give their land and animals a rest Exodus 23:10-12. There is no historical evidence it ever happened. In fact the only evidence we have is that the land never had a Sabbath rest.
As someone who had to at least a year to recover from a heart attack I’m telling you… take the sabbath before the sabbath takes you.
We don’t really know who should celebrate the Sabbath
It’s for all of us. If you want a good book to read on it check out Shelly Miller “Rhythms of Rest”.
This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it. Isaiah 30:15 (NIV)
Will you learn the rhythm of rest?
We don’t really know what a Sabbath is
What some of us think a Sabbath is: doing nothing, obeying rules, not doing anything fun. Others may think it is laziness or slacking off or leisure.
Mark Buchanan in his book The Rest of God writes:
One of the largest obstacles to true Sabbath-keeping is leisure…Leisure is what Sabbath becomes when we no longer know how to sanctify time. Leisure is Sabbath bereft of the sacred. It is a vacation – literally, a vacating, an evacuation. As Rybczynski sees it, leisure has become despotic in our age, enslaving us and exhausting us, demanding from us more than it gives. Mark Buchanan, The Rest of God p. 35
The Sabbath is not leisure.
What the Bible says the Sabbath is…
- Delighting ourself in God (Isaiah 58:14)
- Worship (Deuteronomy 5:12-14)
- Rest (Hebrews 4:9)
- Imitating God to remember we’re not God (Exodus 20:8-11)
Two orientations are needed for Sabbath-keeping – one is God focus. One is time focus
God focus requires gratitude. (Acts 16:16-30)
God focus requires trust. (Acts 4:23-31)
Time focus requires we are present. (Psalm 90:12)
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12 (NIV
Kairos. Real time. God time. That time which breaks through chronos with a shock of joy, that time we do not recognize while we are experiencing it, but only afterwards, because kairos has nothing to do with chronological time. In kairos, we are completely unselfconscious, and yet paradoxically far more real than we can ever be when we are constantly checking our watches for chronological time. Madeleine L’Engle Walking on Water p.98
Time focus requires we give ourselves to God. (2 Corinthians 8:5)
They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. 2 Corinthians 8:5 (NIV)
Sabbath is a time to transition from human doings to human beings. Dr. Matthew Sleeth author of 24/6
Time focus requires we are curious. (Proverbs 25:2-3)
“It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth, so the heart of kings is unsearchable.” Proverbs 25:2-3
If you keep the sabbath, you start to see creation not as somewhere to get away from your ordinary life, but a place to frame attentiveness to your life. Eugene Peterson, The Pastor
We don’t know how we can practically celebrate the Sabbath
To stop, rest, delight and contemplate God for a 24 hour period each week. Mark 2:27
Sabbath’s golden rule: Cease from what is necessary. Embrace that which gives life. Mark Buchanan, The Rest of God
Sabbath Attitude – rhythms of abiding, margin pause help in this
My rhythm –
An hour a day, to let God have His say.
A day each week, it's His voice that I seek.
Three days every quarter, to keep my steps in order.
Two weeks every year, to keep on drawing near.
This is my Sabbath rhythm. A Sabbath rest is to delight ourselves in God, it’s not for doing nothing. It’s different than our everyday rhythm and leaves space to connect with our Creator.
4 days out need to prepare.
Whatever day you choose to Sabbath, walk each of the four days beforehand toward a day of rest as the focal point so that preparing for Sabbath becomes the highest priority among a myriad of options. Shelley Miller Rhythms of Rest p.36
Spouses may need to celebrate on separate days.
Boundaries not rules.
What could your Sabbath look like?
Shelly Miller Rhythms of Rest, p. 150 “I tell them, whatever you do that doesn’t feel like work, that’s what you do on your Sabbath. It’s different for all of us.”
It means you’ll connect with God in the moments.
It means you’ll be present with your family and friends.
It means you’ll cease striving and be at peace.
It could be any day of the week that you can commit to it.
It may be in a gathered church, or fishing lake or golf course or deck chair, or mountain hike, or wherever you connect with your creator.
It will last for 24 hours. Jewish Sabbath begins in the evening, with sleep – a relinquishment, a self-abandonment: of control, of power, of consciousness, of identity. Yours can to if you want.
It will be something you come to look forward to.
Will you practice the Sabbath?
If you need help implementing this in your life, check out what I offer for coaching https://revtrev.com/coaching