Do you feel like you can’t seem to think straight? Your mental agility is not where you know it can be.
You struggle to make simple decisions. Decisions that you’ve been able to make easily in the past.
Maybe you feel depressed, anxious, and don’t know why. You are overwhelmed with a feeling of “I don’t care”.
Physically you are drained. You are dragging from point A to point B. And once you are ready to start on the task you can’t seem to find the energy to get it done.
- Productivity is down
- Happiness is down
- Energy is down
- Mental ability is down
- Your devotional life is puny
- God seems to feel absent
All of this might be the result of lack of a Sabbath.
Why do we need a Sabbath?
8-11 Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Work six days and do everything you need to do.
But the seventh day is a Sabbath to God, your God.
Don’t do any work—not you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your servant, nor your maid, nor your animals, not even the foreign guest visiting in your town. For in six days God made Heaven, Earth, and sea, and everything in them; he rested on the seventh day. Therefore God blessed the Sabbath day; he set it apart as a holy day.
Question: Does God need rest?
My best answer…no.
So why did He?
To institute a principle – Work was made for man, not man for work. Instead, man was made for God.
Verse 9 explains that the Sabbath is for God.
Picture the week as a circle. It ends and begins with the Sabbath.
In other words, you are giving a visible testimony that your life begins and ends with God.
You can stop all work because you trust that God is in control and you don’t have to be “on” 24/7 in order for your world to keep functioning.
You may not have thought about it this way, but when you feel like you have to be on 24/7 you’re saying that if you’re not up and you’re not doing the work it won’t get done.
In other words, you are playing God.
God is the only one who is in control 24/7.
Taking a Sabbath shows that:
- You don’t worship work. You worship the Lord your God.
- Your source of life is found in God.
- Work doesn’t define you, God does.
- You are choosing to honor God’s command to take a Sabbath.
- You are not God and you need to rest in Him
You will just have to do it
Satan would rather see you depleted of all energy and just barely getting by and so he will try everything he can do keep you from doing this.
- Everything will go wrong and all kinds of to-do’s and crisis will pop-up out of nowhere.
- We also live in a “productive-all-the-time/ on-all-the-time” culture that doesn’t value times of “non-productivity”.
- You also have all sorts of people and companies doing everything they can to get you to watch, play, buy, message or browse just a little more.
It will feel like a battle.
At some point, you will just have to do it.
You will have to quit making or listening to all the possible excuses in your mind or outside your mind.
You will have to make up your mind that, no matter what, you will honor God through rest.
So what does it look like to take a Sabbath?
This practice can definitely get out of control if your heart is not in the right place. For an example see Mark 2.
I think it’s better to look at the Sabbath through principles found in Exodus 20.
- It’s a day to seek God.
- This day is Blessed by God so that you can bless God through giving, Bible reading, praying, singing and coming before Him with your family.
- The day is not about the “Sabbath” it’s about the Lord who made the Sabbath. It’s about seeking after God.
- It’s not about keeping strict rules. But about re-calibrating our souls with the source of life (which should be done more regularly than just one day a week).
- You can easily get to a place where you think it all depends on you, but this day reminds you that “God made Heaven, Earth, and sea, and everything in them”, not you.
- Don’t forget that’s it’s a blessed day and God made it for you (Mark 2:27).
When should you do this
So after reading through the list, you may have thought this is something that can and should be done every day.
And you are correct.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you quit your job and devote your time to taking a “Sabbath”.
God instructs us to take one day of Sabbath a week.
But, I believe that we need and God is honored when we set apart time every day to have a mini-sabbath.
For me, I have had to set apart my early morning.
It’s a time where:
- I seek God.
- I give Him all the things that are weighing me down.
- I want my whole being to understand that I can rest in God.
- I praise His name.
- I talk to Him and wait to hear back from Him.
- It’s a pivotal time that dictates the direction of my soul compass for the rest of the day.
Rest For The Glory Of God
So take the time to rest for the glory of God.
- Go ahead and get your phone and set an alarm so that it reminds you of your commitment.
- Write it down on your calendar.
- Ask someone to help you keep this commitment.
You need rest and it honors God.
Are you trying to play God by being in control 24/7?
What action do you need to take to start taking a consistent Sabbath?
Who can you ask to help you stay consistent with your Sabbath?