Our willingness to stop and participate in Sabbath, is a choice. It doesn’t depend on how much of my check-list I have accomplished by Thursday or Friday afternoon. The choice of celebrating Sabbath, is the same choice we make on Christmas – when we anxiously await the opportunity to open the gifts given to us by those we love.
Whether we acknowledge it or not, Sabbath is an absolute gift from our God and Creator. One to be adored by all creation.
I don’t think we can fully understand the gift rest is. We have been given by God the opportunity to take one day of the week, and simply rest in our Creator.
Through opening the gift of Sabbath, we can
- enjoy intimacy with our Creator
- take time to spend with those we love
- experience renewal on a physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental level
We don’t fight the benefits that accompany rest. We fight the compulsion to see how stretched thin we can become, as we live as though we have no limits.
Sabbath is the time to remember our Creator has no limitations, and He alone has provided all we need.
Sabbath is the gift to simply rest, and enjoy His Presence – knowing He will provide. We don’t have to fret that we are “running out of time” to get things done, because He is the Author of time.
As we take these moments to celebrate all God is and seek Him on an intimate level, we can rest assured He will provide.
You and your family are to remember the Sabbath Day; set it apart, and keep it holy. You have six days to do all your work, but the seventh day is to be different; it is the Sabbath of the Eternal your God. Keep it holy by not doing any work—not you, your sons, your daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, or any outsiders living among you. – Exodus 20:8-10, VOICE
We are called by God to remember Sabbath, because of its rich blessings given to us. God knows us far better than we could ever know ourselves. We need to rest. We cannot function without adequate rest. By not resting, we hurt only ourselves (and those we love).
God has this wonderful gift to give us – the gift of rest. What is stopping us from enjoying His rest? Is what we have on a comparable scale to what God has in His hand to offer us, through Sabbath?
There are a few benefits of keeping Sabbath.
It is personal. We have to make the decision to keep Sabbath. Otherwise, all the benefits slip through the cracks… and we won’t experience any of it. It is an earnest heartfelt decision.
We can experience God’s Presence. His holiness. His goodness. We want more in our lives. In order to “get more,” we need to take this time to be with One who is all we need!
Let it be set apart. Get out of your routine, and just be with your Savior Jesus! That’s all we have to do. He is beckoning us to “come away with Me.” There is no expectation. All we have to do is, being willing to come. God is more than willing to spend all of your Sabbath weekend to just be with you. One-on-one. You are all He seeks.
God wants to give us the vacation we deeply seek. We just keep refusing it… Our weeks turns into months, where we have decided… I am just too busy to rest. I have X, Y, and Z still on my to-do list. Do yourself a favor. Enter God’s rest. Let yourself rest in His Presence, because God has said “It is good. It is more than okay!”
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28, NIV).
Then he said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27).’
There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His (Hebrews 4:9-10, NKJV).
Through the gift of Sabbath, let’s bask in His Presence and Sacrifice through the death, resurrection, and eternal life found in His Son Jesus Christ. That is our starting place for Sabbath. He is why we can rest. Joyfully, putting away our incomplete lists of tasks to be done.
How can we enter a deeper communion (intimacy) with our Savior this Sabbath?
Set aside one day to choose and worship God, while resting. It doesn’t have to be planned out. It is YOU choosing to meet with your Creator. In Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, they offer some helpful ideas for carrying out your day of Sabbath. I want to highlight a few…
- Have a Sabbath box of distracting items that don’t add to your Sabbath (cell phones, etc).
- Begin the night before, to recognize the day as a spiritual act of worship.
- Experience thanksgiving for the opportunity to rest your whole being, in Christ.