Choosing “to Obey” and Embrace the Sabbath

anguillian
By anguillian November 6, 2017 10:50 Updated

 

 

 

I could sense the “shock and awe” which many displayed as they tried to come to grips with the truth that I had indeed transitioned from a Pentecostal pastor to an Adventist member. My experience on the night of Friday, March 10th 2017 marked a profound spiritual turning point in my life. As I sat under the evangelistic tent and listened to the sermon preached by renowned Seventh Day Adventist minister, Pastor Henry Peters, an unshakeable, irresistible sense of conviction gripped my heart.

The Holy Spirit nudged my spirit and beckoned me to embrace the teachings of God’s word in its entirety — “to obey” the supreme principles of the Old Testament’s commandments as well as the noble concepts of the New. Psalm 19: 8 declares: “the commandments of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.” Well, afterall, my eyes were opened and I was awakened to the light of the truth – that certainly our sovereign God is immutable, unwavering and unchanging. Age to age, He is still the same. He had never changed. Of course He never will, and the relevance and sacredness of His Ten Commandments endure forever.

With regard to God’s sacred Sabbath, therefore, which He had established at the end of His beautiful creation, and later instructed His people to observe, I came to realize that He still requires us to continue to remember it, to uphold it, and to keep it holy today, even as He had initially commanded in His holy oracles. I now recognize that the Sabbath is a day most precious to the Lord. It is a day of rest and repose at the end of the week’s work – a day of worship which the sovereign God Himself hallowed and sanctified. And if there is ever a day that Christians should set aside in obedience for rest, reflection and worship, it is the unchanged Sabbath of the unchanging Lord our God.

There in the service that noteworthy night, I recognized the fact that the Lord had instituted His sacred Ten Commandments for man’s good. They represent the signature of God’s love for mankind and His authority over mankind. He had crafted all ten (10) of these precepts by His own holy fingers and He considers them to be perfect and flawless – nothing to be added and nothing to be taken away. It was this indelible truth that formed the basis of my heartfelt conviction. Mine was a persuasion that I dare not overcome, knowing that I was summoned by His arresting Spirit simply “to obey” all ten, including the holy Sabbath.

I had been serving the Lord since I was a child, being converted at the age of 13, raised by godly parents and mentored by devout church folk for whom I give the Lord great gratitude. As members of the familiar Church of God of Prophecy, ours was a respected family of the community back in a day when the preaching of the gospel was rife and vibrant in our humble Anguillian society. Eventually, in 2007, the Lord called me to leave the familiar and to be the shepherd of a thriving flock.
The members of the church that I had led and fed, for ten years, displayed great loyalty, high regard and respect for me, and I demonstrated great loyalty, devotion and love for them. Notwithstanding, I realized upon that revolutionary night that the Lord was calling me, like He had done before, to once again make a departure from the familiar. If I was “to obey” the voice of God, and embrace His sacred word in its fullness, then I would have to suffer the painful sacrifice of breaking ties with my congregation. It was a sad realization, to say the least. I knew that while some would understand my conviction, others would be hesitant to accept it – while still there would be many who would be outright resistant.

One can imagine that, obviously, this was not to be an easy decision. It would turn out to be a solemn sacrifice on my part. But in order to please the Lord, it was an urgent and requisite resolution that had to be made. In contemplating the impact of that sacrificial decision, I came to realize that indeed “to obey” is better than sacrifice.

Today, I am satisfied with rewarding contentment, knowing that I have been willing and obedient to heed that still, small voice of the nudging Holy Spirit. I realize that though I have been a respectable icon of love and leadership among the people of my community, yet my life is not my own – and when God calls me and shifts me into a new realm within His kingdom, I have “to obey”. I must be His compliant son, for my life is not my own.

By this medium, I wish to publicly express my thanks first to the members of Kingdom Vision Apostolic Church whom I have faithfully pastored for a decade. Indeed, I have enjoyed their love and confidence over those years, and of course I still do. I have a high degree of respect for them. And as I have appreciated their faithfulness and loyalty, I am grateful to them for appreciating mine. Then, to the local public at large, I would wish to say thanks for the trust you placed in me – first as a Christian then as a devoted Pentecostal pastor. And though my station in life might have changed to some degree, my faithfulness and candor are still the same. I trust that by explaining my cause in this testimonial, I have been able to appease your curiosity and enlighten your understanding.

I am convinced that for the rest of the years that God has allotted me here, He will use me to productively advance the cause of developing His church for His honor and glory, and for the return of Christ, His son. Whatever my lot might be, it is my humble desire, above all else, just “to obey” Him.

In these end-times of uncertainty and dread, when we are perplexed by chaos and confusion on every hand, may we all seek to embrace God’s eternal, never-changing Word in its entirety and enfold it close to our hearts. He has set His Word above His name, and His precepts and holy Commandments have never changed. Therefore, as Christians we would do well to conform to the fullness of His flawless Word: “line upon line; precept upon precept”, even as He had initially commanded us so “to obey”. May God bless you, and may He bless all His people, everywhere, who seek to be obedient to His sacred Commandments.

anguillian
By anguillian November 6, 2017 10:50 Updated

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