Sabbath as Spiritual Warfare, by Richard Beck, PhD

If shame is the fuel of capitalism then Sabbath is the fuel for the Kingdom of God

Sabbath resists the spirituality of the principalities and powers–the capitalistic and consumeristic rat race–to nurture the physical and psychological resources to fuel further resistance, making us increasingly available for both community and prophetic ministry.

by Richard Beck, Ph.D. • Abilene Christian University

fuelLet me offer some final reflections regarding my last two posts about the relationship between scarcity, shame and exhaustion: The Biggest Obstacle to Spiritual Formation and The Scarcity Trap.

As I’ve argued it, following Brene Brown, many of us are operating out of a mindset of scarcity. What Brene calls the “never enough” problem. Physically and psychologically we feel exhausted and depleted, which interferes with our ability to invest in authentic community and prophetic ministry.

What is causing this exhaustion?

Some of it is caused by what I’ve described as “the scarcity trap,” the way neurotic anxiety fuels basic anxiety. Facing what Brene calls “the shame-based fear of being ordinary” we push to be noticed, successful and significant. We work hard and over-commit because we want to matter. As I put it in yesterday’s post, shame produces exhaustion.

Now, the solution to exhaustion, many will tell you, is the practice of Sabbath. And I agree. But that observation is missing something very important.

Specifically, we all want Sabbath. What stressed out and exhausted person isn’t craving rest, margin and restoration?

So the issue isn’t convincing us that we need Sabbath. We all know that. The issue is this:Why is Sabbath keeping so difficult? 

Could it be because we fail to understand its role in spiritual warfare?

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