Sometimes life just seems to run away from us and before you know it 10 years has gone past.
“Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places." Leviticus 23:3 ESV
Many times I neglect to stop and pay attention to what God is doing in my life, or to simply rest. Have you ever thought about the importance of the Sabbath? I know that many people see the Sabbath as being the same thing as going to church. But I don't know that it is. There are a lot of people who do work on the Sabbath to make a church service happen. Yes, we are glorifying God. Yes, we are praising God. Yes, we are listening for God's message to us. But is that always restful? Is that always quiet? Shouldn't we be doing that everyday?
I think that worshiping God is not the same as taking a sabbath. I think that we should exist in a continual state of worship and we gather on a frequent basis with others who also worship and follow Jesus to share our worship, share our stories, lift and support one another, and receive instruction and training for continuing to follow and worship Jesus.
The sabbath is a time of reflection. It is a time of physical restoration. It is a time to be quiet and hear God's voice. I think sometimes we are so busy and have so many things in our life that we simply never rest. Our sabbath days are simply days when we get to do what we want, but we still exert a ton of energy. I think that a part of the purpose of a sabbath day is to recharge our batteries. Perhaps mom and dad had it right with their Sunday afternoon naps. How do you rest?
I know that many now have to work on Sunday's and to make a blanket statement that the sabbath has to be on Sunday seems to only pour condemnation on those who are simply trying to provide for their families. I think the most important thing is that we take at least one day and rest. How should you rest? That really is up to you. Some people require sleep to rest; others would find a nice hike to be more restful, and yes some people find an afternoon of football to be very restful. I know that some of you may even be in a situation with two jobs, or family responsibilities that prevent taking even 1 day off to rest. I'm not about to tell you to just do it. I would however encourage you to be praying that God would provide solutions so that you can honor his commandments. I encourage you to find sabbath moments. If you can't take a day, find a way to schedule in an hour or a half hour where you simply get to just shut down. Set an alarm or something, and it should be more than just sleep, although that may be exactly what you need.
I also know the expectations that the church often places on people to read and pray everyday. I certainly am not going to tell you that it isn't beneficial, but sometimes it just isn't going to happen, at least not the way you imagine it. Please do your best to schedule in time to read and research your Bible. Take time to be quiet and take to God. But also be aware of how you can be in God's word and pray all day long. Take your moments and memorize a passage or reflect upon the passage from last weeks sermon. Whenever you have moments where you don't have to concentrate on something, allow yourself to focus on the passage. Ask what you think Jesus is wanting you to know. Ask what you think you should be doing according to the passage. Allow God to speak to you through the scripture. Pray all day long. Allow God to be a constant part of your life. In each moment include God and silently seek God's guidance and direction.
We do live extremely busy lives today. The importance of the sabbath is not dead. But you do have to determine that you need the time to recharge your batteries and to be in the presence of God.