Let’s think about our heart as a storage area in our house. It may be your basement, attic, garage, spare bedroom, what ever works for you. Each day, all year long, year after year, we accumulate things. We accumulate debts, not just the monetary debts, but other obligations and guilts. We accumulate work and tasks, long to-do lists that never get done. We accumulate all kinds of stuff, as well as the excess luggage to lug our stuff around.
What if every so often, let’s say every 7 years, you stopped accumulating and cleared things out instead? What if you got out of debt? What if you forgave yourself of the guilt and burdens you carried around? What if you gave yourself permission to re-evaluate, re-assess and, basically, clean house?
What would God be able to put in all that space in your heart that all of a sudden was free? What if you retreated and asked and allowed God to take the lead in your life and in your heart?
In our modern culture to retreat is synonymous with failure. We must drive forward. We can’t pull back. There is so much to do. But that isn’t what the bible says.
Retreating doesn’t mean forfeiting, it means pulling back into a better position of strength. In our day to day service to God, even with the best intentions to do good kingdom work, we can get ourselves out in front of where God wants us to be.
We look at the poor and we look at the land or resources we have and think, we’ve got to keep planting. We think, it is up to us to feed the poor, to provide for others, they need me, God needs me. But what they really need is God and we need to trust in His provision for ourselves and for others. It is in the years of retreat, the years of peace, the years of rest, that God’s abundance shines. The poor didn’t go away during the Sabbath year in the promised land, but they also did not go hungry. Not only did they receive physical food, but they also witnessed the power of the Lord, not other men.
Who could you bless by allowing them to see your life at peace and rest and trust in God rather than a life scared by the same striving and busyness that looks just like everyone else? Maybe it is time to go on a retreat, to clean out your heart and your life and ask and allow God to fill it with peace and rest and joy that overflows as a tremendous bounty.
When they entered the promised land
sow and prune for 6 years and harvest, but in 7th year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, do not harvest, do not tend, but all can eat directly from the fields
At this time they were being provided for daily (manna), so it was not unreasonable that God could provide. They were probably also looking forward to owning their own land and amazed at the bounty it would provide
It is a year of freedom – freedom from debt, from servitude. Leading up to it should be years of generosity. There will be no poor because the Lord will provide abundance. Abundance not scarcity.
Trusting in God’s abundance, not worrying about scarcity. The ability to start over – clean slate. All debts are forgiven, just as God forgives our debts
Opening house to be a place of joy and gathering for family, friends, visitors to church, missionaries