By Jamie Tisler
I have not written an “Influence” blog since June 2016. Several circumstances in July and August contributed to this, but in September I heard a small quiet voice saying, “You need to take a sabbatical from writing for a while, and just rest.” I thought this cannot be true or good. I even said to myself, “What will my readers think?” It was a humbling experience when I realized my readers must have thought nothing because no one asked me what was going on. Last month, a fellow member of a writer’s guild sent me an email asking whether or not I planned to continue contributing to the guild’s website blog. I sought the Lord’s guidance and a small quiet voice said, “It is time to write again.” It also reminded me that the Lord has given me the gift of writing for the benefit of others and for His glory.
Moses, the writer of Leviticus, was given a sabbatical from God for the Israelites to observe.
“For six years you shall sow your field, and for six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its fruits, but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the Lord. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard. You shall not reap what grows of itself in your harvest, or gather the grapes of your undressed vine. It shall be a year of solemn rest for the land” (Leviticus 25:3-5).
Rest for the land from the agriculture process was the purpose, and it was to happen every seven years. I realize now that I needed a rest from writing, for I had been consistent for the last ten years, unless circumstances arose that prevented me from writing.
God first ordained a sabbatical after creating the world in six days. On the seventh day, He rested, blessed the day, and made it holy (Genesis 2:1-3). Then He issued it as the fourth of the Ten Commandments. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8). This commandment came with instructions and a reason ( see Exodus 20:9-11).
Years ago, I committed to obey the fourth commandment and I have:
- Experienced beneficial rest and refreshment on Sundays.
- Kept a concentrated focus on Him, which I believe is what it means to keep it Holy.
- Expressed my love to Him by obeying this commandment regarding the Sabbath.
Also during those months I did not write, I did not experience guilt which confirmed to me that God ordained it for my life. Today my spirit was refreshed and ready to write. And, my commitment is to stay focused on the Lord, His word, and what He would have me to write.
Lord, thank you for the sabbaticals you ordain for me for they are beneficial. For You are good and act in my best interest. In Jesus’ name, Amen.