Remember that time when we lived through a global pandemic and the whole world shut down?
The world as we know it came to an abrupt halt and we were forced to just stay home. Since it was a forced slow-down, a lot of people found themselves re-evaluating their priorities, relationships, and for some, even their purpose. It was kind of a global waiting room, and a lot of things were revealed in that season. It became clear that it’s possible to be still, physically, while chaos is raging on the inside. Just because work was shut down, it did not automatically equate to people taking time to rest. In many cases, the absence of busyness led to anxiety. Can you relate to that? Are you compelled to be DOING something all the time?
Sabbath is a beautiful expression of a rhythmic time to wait on God. And just like many struggled with the forced slow-down of the pandemic, for some of you, your current understanding of Sabbath makes it seem unrealistic, unnecessary, and being unproductive is downright unpleasant. The enemy has done a brilliant job of tricking us out of one of God’s incredible gifts. Like the amazing Corrie Ten Boom said…
“If the devil cannot make us bad, he will make us busy.”
Sabbath is originally given in Exodus 20. It is number 4 in the list of the Ten Commandments. We’re pretty clear on the other nine! We don’t typically argue with the damage that lying or stealing or adultery or murder can do. Yet for some reason, we look at number 4 as optional for us as believers. What happened there? Sabbath was created to be one day each week that we choose to lay down our productivity – our doing – and practice our human BEing. God asks us to trust Him with one day and He will bless the other six to accomplish what He has called us to do. A weekly visit to the waiting room.
Hi, I’m Tori, the Jackson County Kids Pastor. Imagine yourself in your favorite place… For me, it would be sitting with you in my barn with a warm cup of coffee, ready to dive into a hard conversation. I have two old rocking chairs in the front, waiting right now to make this happen. For me, hard conversations are like God’s way of digging a plant out of the original pot and putting it in a bigger pot so it can grow taller and stronger.
Do you Sabbath? Let me rephrase, do you think the Sabbath is necessary? I know what you may say.
“I go to church and that’s my Sabbath.”
“I’m not really that tired so I don’t think that’s necessary for me.”
“I don’t have time for that. It’s not practical.”
“My family needs ………”
Here’s what I pray you can hear and also think about from this week’s content… If you’re skipping the Sabbath, you are missing out on one of the most impactful practices of your Christian walk. Did you notice Sabbath is the only spiritual practice listed in the Ten Commandments? Somehow the enemy has convinced us that it’s just a churchy to do item to check off when you can. But Sabbath was created to be part of your regular rhythms in life. Oddly enough, most people have never really learned much about it!
Here’s what the Sabbath is NOT. It is not you sitting all alone in a dark room all day. It is not always quiet. It is not always full of life-altering God moments. It is not only for the “super” Christians. It is not always possible to have a full 24-hour uninterrupted Sabbath every week. It is not an ancient, irrelevant practice. It is not something you only do on vacation. It is not convenient. It is not easy.
Here are highlights of what Sabbath IS. It is counter-cultural. Sabbath is a planned rest from DOing to focus on BEing. It is a waiting space where we can be still enough to remember we need God and rest is holy. Soul-level rest – not only physical. Sabbath reminds me that I have limits but God does not. It is practice for eternity with Jesus! Sabbath is practicing community with God, person to Person. It is mysterious. Somehow slowing down leads to more instead of less. Sabbath is obedience. Submission. Weekly release of control. And SO much more.
I am a wife of a firefighter, a mom of two young kids, I live on a farm of misfit animals, and I’m a Kids Pastor. Do you think my Sabbath is all solitude, worship and peace? My Sabbath usually involves devotion, time with family, doing things on the farm that bring me joy, and worship music. But it may also include kids hollering, dogs barking, goats bleating and worship music blasting. That’s life sometimes. God is not surprised! He will be there with me as I rock in my chair looking out over our field. In Sabbath, even the chaos turns into a beautiful reminder that my house is full and I am blessed. In the noise, I still have His voice in my ear. Sabbath does not have to be perfect to be holy.
God Himself took a day off to rest and model this practice for us. He didn’t need it. He was making a very specific point and we should pay attention. Get curious. I hope you choose to try observing the Sabbath. I pray you seek rest in His Spirit and make a rhythm in your home. It’s a choice with holy consequences and spiritual benefits. When you consecrate one day to rest in His presence, you become deeply rooted in His Spirit and in His strength instead of your own. Yall, it’s so worth it.