As soon as our church’s pastor, Greg, introduced his new sermon series, I knew I was going to be convicted. Honoring the Sabbath is an area in life I have not taken seriously. I have chosen a career that does not have a working day on the weekend, but truly using the day as rest to glorify God is not how I spend my Sabbath. I want to challenge myself and you to reflect on Pastor Greg’s teaching and see how we can apply it to our lives.
In Scripture, the Sabbath is described in the very beginning of the Bible.
“Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in their vast array.
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing;
so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.
And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested
from all the work of creating that he had done.”
I’ve tried honoring the Sabbath by using Sunday going to church, relaxing and spending time with my loved ones, but I often end up finding myself doing dishes, laundry and taking care of bills. I have been extremely casual in how I use this day. I certainly don’t think of it as a day God made holy and commanded us to use to rest.
Rest is not just refraining from activity. Part of it is drawing myself to Christ--staying in His presence beyond the 90 minutes at church. Maybe that means reading a portion of the Bible and praying for God to reveal Himself to me. Listening to music and singing His praise. Hiking in nature and just enjoying His creation. I feel so connected to the Lord when I am walking in the woods admiring the flowers and the majestic trees He made.
If this is what Sabbath rest looks like, does this mean that I should try to get my laundry and cleaning done throughout the week? Do my budgeting on Saturday or another night so I have Sunday free to truly rest? And how can I glorify God by resting? I don’t think this means napping all day but how do I commit to a break in the week as Christ intended?
Why is it important to obey the Sabbath and to rest? We need time to stop. The Hebrew word means “to cease.” We are constantly going and need time to reflect on our lives to focus on God and look to Him. We are given the opportunity each week to start fresh and honor Christ with a new week.
What do you think this means for you? Are you too busy to rest? Is all of this a new concept? Just figure out your first step and ask God to reveal how He wants you to change your heart to use this day. Living this out is new for me and I pray God continues to give me ideas on how I can glorify Him by honoring the day the way He designed it.