There are two areas where God designed the Sabbath for us personally.
How many days did God spend creating everything? Most say seven. Take a look:
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested (Genesis 2:1-2, ESV—emphasis mine).
God had finished on the sixth day, but His task wasn’t complete until He rested on the seventh. The work wasn’t done until He’d rested.
Kids grow when they sleep. Plants grow mostly at night. Athletes grow on rest days. You won’t grow if you’re always on the go.
What did you do this weekend? You’re not likely going to admit making it through two full seasons on Netflix. You’re more likely to share something so as to appear you were “busy”. Busyness is a virtue in our culture.
204 million emails are sent per minute in this country. Most are answered within five minutes. We multitask in our relationships through virtual cords and ropes connecting us to others lamenting the same.
Busyness is an idol and it’s killing us. Busyness leads to:
- isolation, as we find our identity in what we do rather than who we are.
- a false sense of satisfaction, as we check a box while our hearts are unchecked.
- stuff done, while we’re undone.
God holds all the waters of the earth in the hollow of His hand and measures the stars with His fingers (Isaiah 40:12). He didn’t need a nap; yet, He rested. Even if you don’t think you need it, you do. God says and shows you, you do.
Don’t panic or misunderstand. Sabbath isn’t intended to make you lazy. Sabbath is supposed to make you fruitful. God is an expert at doing more with less:
- 300 men with Gideon
- 5 loaves and 2 fish
- 1 mustard seed
- 1 cross
The Sabbath isn’t a day of waste. It’s a day of growth.
Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ (Colossians 2:16-18, ESV).
Sabbath isn’t just physical. It’s spiritual too.
Sabbath helps take care of your body today, your soul tomorrow. It reveals the real substance—Christ. Paul says the physical aspects of the Sabbath are a shadow. You’ll glean much physically when you honor Sabbath, but the real gain is spiritual.
Ever wonder why we don’t hear from the Lord when our schedules are full of noise? Is it any surprise that God doesn’t meet our timeline in prayer when we haven’t prioritized Him on our calendars? When games, meetings, work, the tyranny of more, crowd out the one thing that matters, we’ll find ourselves claiming God has abandoned us. In reality we’ve just grown busy.
In a nutshell—Sabbath: a proper noun; a thing, a time, perhaps a place, where God wants you to carve out a slice, to make room for pure delight.
“If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; then you shall take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father” (Isaiah 58:13-14, ESV).
In the Ten Commandments God uses four words to tell us “Thou shall not murder”, and four words to tell us “Thou shall not steal”. When He gave us the commandment about the Sabbath, He used 101 words.
Sabbath isn’t a suggestion. It is a biblical command through which God wants to bless you physically and spiritually. When was the last time you experienced Sabbath?