Troublesome Topic: Crave Time with God and Make it Happen


We need to crave time with God the way we crave water after a time of exertion, the way we crave air when you don’t have it. A former teacher of mine, and now a friend, told me of an experience he once had while scuba diving. While he was deep under water his scuba equipment stopped working. He did everything his training had taught him to do to get it to work again, but nothing worked. So, after several precious seconds had passed, he began slowly moving toward the surface while repeating his efforts to get it working. At this time his mind was focused on what he had learned in training, and on calculating how much time he had and how far he was from the surface. A few seconds later he was focused on not rising to the surface too quickly for fear of getting the bends. Then he began to wonder if he would have enough air or not. After a few more seconds he began wondering if he might die and started thinking about his family and friends. Finally, during the last several feet to the surface, all those things vanished from his mind; every cell in his body cried out in unison for one thing: AIR! Nothing else mattered. Nothing else was even in the margins of his mind. AIR dominated every aspect of his mind and body until he burst out of the water and gulped in that precious air several times.

This is what the psalmist described in several psalms:

As the deer pants for the streams of water,

so my soul pants for you, Oh God (Ps. 42:1).

Oh God, You are my God,

earnestly will I seek you;

My soul thirsts for you,

my whole body longs for you,

in a dry and parched land

where there is no water (Ps. 63:1).

Psalms 130:6


My soul for Adonai,

Go to footnote number

More than those who watch for the morning,

Go to footnote number

Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.


My soul watches for the Lord

more than the watchmen who watch for the arrival of dawn,

Yes, even more than the watchmen who watch for the arrival of daylight and the end of their shift.

 But the reality is that we are not all at that point, and we definitely don't start there. Start enjoying time with God because you know you must, later you will enjoy time with God because you want to. This is similar to learning to play a musical instrument. At first it is just hard work, then it is work mixed with a little bit of fun. The fun will grow, and then you will find yourself going to your instrument for “emotional therapy, or release.” That is when you know you have gotten over the hump.
 Sabbath is not a command that constrains us, but a principle that frees us!
 We use time for everything else. Are we unable, or just unwilling, to enjoy time with God? You say it is a priority; now show that it is your priority! Make it happen; do whatever it takes to enjoy an adequate amount of quality time with God.
 Jesus said,  

Matthew 5:29


And if your right eye causes you to be entrapped, take it out and throw it away; indeed it is better for you that one of your members be destroyed

Go to footnote number

and not all your body be cast

Go to footnote number

into hell.


And if your dominant eye causes you to be enticed into sin, tear it out and throw it far away from you; it is definitely better for you if only one of the parts of your body is destroyed and not all of your body is destroyed and thrown into hell.

In other words, do what it takes; make the sacrifices necessary; pay whatever price must be paid; make it happen somehow. 


We usually do not reject God in an outright manner, rather we tend to drift away from Him by not focusing on what is important to Him. When we focus on ourselves we drift away. Therefore, constantly strive for true rest, never be satisfied with how close you are to God. Do whatever it takes to get closer to God today!


I imagine there are questions about Sabbath observance that are not answered in this study. However, I trust that by now you can figure out the answers to your own questions by considering the principles discussed earlier. If you apply the principles we discussed, you will not likely go astray regarding Sabbath observances. The flexibility of principles allows them to be put into practice in a variety of ways, meaning that each person will rest in his own way. God allows us, in the context of our homes, to create our own traditions and habits. Outside the home, traditions often become more of a hindrance than a help because they are held in an inflexible way. In a home setting traditions can be flexible making them positive tools for teaching, for reminding, for celebrating and for connecting.

So ask those questions that are on your mind, then seek the biblical principles that are relevant and strive to apply them with the flexibility that God gives us.

And remember, God looks at the heart.


Revelation 3:2


Be watchful and strengthen the things that remain and are about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my GOD.


Be watchful and strengthen the

things that remain and are about to

die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of THE CREATOR AND OWNER OF ALL THINGS whom I represent.

Revelation 3:3


Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; keep it, and repent! However, if you are not watchful, I will come like a thief and it will be impossible for you to know the time I will come upon you

Go to footnote number


(the same as the translation- Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; keep it, and repent! However, if you are not watchful, I will come like a thief and it will be impossible for you to know the time I will come upon you)

We are guilty of running more than resting, 

of seeking His strength more than His closeness,

of having an agenda instead of just seeking Him.

Rest is at the heart of a healthy Christian life and we have missed it! Rest did not even show up on our radar screen!

We thought Sabbath was a set of outdated rules; we thought we were so modern and advanced that we did not need to pay attention to that old stuff.

May our prayer be: “God, have mercy on us, forgive us, teach us, and help us!”


My desire is for people to see the potential for closeness that God affords us on a daily and weekly basis. With that potential for closeness comes the potential for us to become whatever God wants us to be, which is “exceedingly above and beyond all we ask or imagine” (Eph. 3:20).

However, our eyes should not be fixed on doing great things for God, rather we should become addicted to enjoying time with Him because He wants to enjoy time with us. I trust you now see God’s call for time with Him as a privilege, not a duty, as an honor not a drudgery. I trust you now understand that enjoying time with God, resting, is the highest privilege in the universe.

The next lesson is You Make the Space and I will fill it



Something is missing. I chose to leave it blank to show you that something is missing. This is quite common in Hebrew. What should we insert in the blank space? Many want to insert something like “longs” or “yearns.” I think it is most natural to insert the same thing that appears in the latter parts of the verse. The writer was free to leave it blank because the same thing that would appear in the last two phrases also works in the first phrase.


The watchmen are supposed to be watching for enemies and other dangers, but as it comes closer to the end of that last shift (called a “watch”), all they are watching for is the first signs of morning.


Although the word “destroyed” is not used a second time in the verse it is implied. Just as the eye is destroyed, the whole body would have been destroyed if you had not taken drastic measures.

4: “throw or cast”

This word is indeed used twice. Just like the eye must be cast from you, your who body would be cast into hell if drastic measures were not taken.


The Greek says: “and no not shall you know at what hour . . .” The Greek uses a double negative here to provide emphasis (but double negatives are not permitted in English). By failing to be watchful, the believers at Sardis will be totally unprepared for the punishment Jesus Christ will mete out to them.