Taking the Sabbath approach to life
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. — Genesis 2:2–3.
“Work hard, play hard” is a common cliché, but it can sometimes prove to be detrimental to our mind, body and spirit. We live in a career- and ministry-driven society, with little balance between work and taking rest. Because of our desire is to succeed, to meet the ever-expanding expectations and deadlines of our lives, we do not rest. Seemingly, all we have become accustomed to is exhaustion and neglect.
We go to work exhausted, hate to see Monday come around, look forward to Hump Day Wednesday, spend Chore Day Saturday working around the house and dedicate Sanctified Sunday to getting our God fix. In all this, there is little balance and no consecrated, dedicated time with God.
So what does the word “Sabbath” mean? In Exodus 20:8, when God says to “remember the Sabbath day,” He is really saying, “Don’t forget to take a day of rest.” The word Sabbath relates to the Hebrew root word meaning “cease,” “discontinue” or “refrain from.”
God commanded his people to cease their labor so that they could rest, revitalize, and recharge. The Sabbath is a blessing from God, and a day to remind us that He is our creator, our redeemer, and our ever-present help. The question then arises: Do I believe this? Can I cease or refrain from working for 24 hours, knowing that God has given me this gift of rest so that I can honor Him?
For many of us, the answer would be a resounding “yes.” So, what’s stopping you? The Sabbath is an obligation, and it is an incomparable gift. We owe this time to ourselves and to God, as it is a time to reset, regain sanity and re-connect the broken links within our relationship with Him. Once we fully understand the importance of the Sabbath, we recognize and appreciate how life-changing and valuable it is.
If God himself is so serious about the Sabbath, then we — as his people — should do the same. There are many ways as to why we should reset and take the Sabbath approach:
- God commands it.
- If there is no day of rest, then there is no chance of success in your personal life, career, or ministry.
- More time to spend with family and friends
- Prevents burnout
- A closer relationship and trust with God
Here are some practical tips for getting the most from your Sabbath:
- Complete cease from work (e.g. no phones, emails, etc.) Take a complete 24 hours off.
- Intentionally enter God’s presence.
- Completely worship God and the beauty of the Holy Spirit.
- Listen to His voice during meditation.
- Sing songs of joy and peace to the Lord.
- Sleep to refuel.
- Remember your calling.
- Pray, listen and repeat!
This article was extracted from Issue 3 (Fall 2020) of the AVAIL Journal.