Christian encouragement, christian journey, christian walk, Christianity, culture, day of rest, devotional, devotions, encouragement, relaxation, resting in God, sabbath, Ten Commandments, too busy, trust
Sabbath is something that God has been dealing with me about for six years now. Yes, six years. It was something that just kept (and keeps) popping up in my study time. For example, when I first started trying to figure out what Sabbath looks like in today’s world I went to a women’s conference where Priscilla Shirer spoke on Sabbath. This became her study called “Breathe”. I highly recommend it! Another example is when I had decided Sabbath wasn’t required of pastors’ families due to some verses in the Old Testament, I came across a few sentences in a book I was reading by Tozer that set me straight. Sabbath just wouldn’t budge from my thoughts and heart.
It’s not been easy trying to figure out what God has for me in regards to Sabbath. As stated before, I’ve gone from feeling like my family is exempt, to feeling like it’s impossible and I will forever be in disobedience, to knowing that God has called me to something deeper and being assured that “Faithful is He that calleth you who also will do it,” (I Thessalonians 5:24). I tried moving Sabbath to another day of the week. I tried to get my husband to tell me what to do. I tried to go extreme. I tired lots of things that simply didn’t work. So, I kept praying and studying and as the years have passed I am finally in the place to celebrate Sabbath as God is directing me in this season of my life with total peace and excitement.
You might be asking the question, “Are we really expected to have Sabbath today?” I believe we are. I believe that the Word of God is the same yesterday, today and forever and I believe our God does not change. So, His Word holds true even in the area of Sabbath. Sabbath is something we are missing in our culture and I believe we are paying the consequences. I think we forget that Sabbath is in the Ten Commandments. If we believe the Ten Commandments in one area, we must believe the Commandments in all areas and that includes Sabbath.
Isaiah 58:13 and 14 says, “If because of the Sabbath, you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, and shall honor it, desisting from your own ways, from seeking your own pleasure, and speaking your own word, Then you will take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
Jesus tells us in Mark 2:27 that Sabbath was made for man. It’s not something God needs. It’s something we need. Sabbath is mentioned in 21 books of the Bible! If it’s mentioned once, it deserves our consideration, but in 21 books? We for sure need to see what God says about it. I don’t want to beat you over the head with Scripture after Scripture regarding Sabbath because this needs to be your own journey, so please do your own study, pray and seek out what God wants for you. Like many areas of obedience in our Christian walk, Sabbath is an individual endeavor. In fact, my family and I don’t celebrate Sabbath together. It’s something I’m called to do on my own right now.
Even though I don’t want you to copy my Sabbath, I want to leave you with some encouragement, so I’m going to share with you what God has called me to do to honor Sabbath with Him. I pray this will help you to realize that it’s not as impossible to keep Sabbath as you might think.
As much as possible, my Sabbath starts at 8:00 PM on Saturday and goes through Sunday night. I do not clean during that time. I do not shop. I do not go on the computer (through the phone, or laptop). I do not check a business that I run from our home, or pursue that in any way. I cook as much as possible the day before so that there is not as much mess to stack in the sink, or work in the kitchen. I try to use the crockpot, or have my man grill. But, if my family decides to eat at a restaurant, I go. As I said before, my family does not celebrate Sabbath yet, so my goal is not to stand out as a “goody-two-shoes”, it’s to make sure my heart is where it should be. I don’t check my weight, exercise, or even wear my Fitbit, but my Sabbath is also not a food free for all. I stick to my regular eating because Sabbath is about focusing on God, not my flesh. The main thing though is my heart focus. How can I keep my day centered on my Lord? I don’t want Sabbath to be just another box to check. I want it to be pleasing to Him. Sabbath is about making sure God is the epicenter of everything I do. Its goal is to bring everything back in line for the week. So, if something pops up that is out of my control, no worries, God knows my heart.
I’ve been at this a while and let me tell you every Sabbath is not perfect, but progress is being made through the power of the Holy Spirit. I am still learning and discovering about this Day of Rest. I am realizing that Sabbath is about trust. Do I trust God to grow my business when I am at rest in Him? Am I okay with social media going on without me? Can my heart focus on the Lord and allow other concerns to slip away? Sabbath is becoming a place of restoration for my mind, body and spirit. Things might not be perfect, but I am thankful that He is still teaching me and willing to lead me step by step on this journey of Sabbath. I’m thankful that after six years I am in a place of peace. I feel like Baby Bear in the story of Goldilocks. I’ve tried things that were too hot for my baby steps in Sabbath and things that were too cold, but God has set his porridge before me to consume and it is just right. I love Him so and I am so thankful for Sabbath.