How To Experience Sabbath Rest In A Restless World

On the seventh day God rested from all His work.

Why did He do this?
Did God need to rest?
Was He tired, exhausted or burned out?

The Sabbath is something designed for every human being. Here are the R & R & R & R’s of the Sabbath!

1. Rest

God calls us to “abound” in work that is true. (Ephesians 2:10)
But God also calls us to “abide” in Him. (John 15)

If you just “abound, abound, abound” and do not take time to “abide” you will fizzle and fade.

Sabbaths don’t just happen in our culture today. You must prepare in advance for Sabbath rest.  A day of rest requires work!

Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a
Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work.

~ Exodus 20:9-10

My Sabbath day off is only a day of rest if I have disciplined myself during the week to prepare for it!

2. Recreation

Todd, are you saying that I can actually get out and “do” things on the Sabbath? Yes, I believe you can. What qualifies as recreation on the Sabbath?

Authentic recreation should “re-create” you!

What re-creates you? Possibly …

  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Reading a book
  • Watching a movie with your family
  • BBQ with friends
  • Boating
  • Mowing the yard
  • Cleaning the pool
  • Washing the car

It could be any number of activities. But the key is that it “re-creates” you and adds energy to your day and honors Gods presence in your life.

3. Remember

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. ~ Ex. 20:8

The Sabbath day is certainly designed to be a important discipline that is woven into the fabric of our lives. But don’t wait for the Sabbath “day” to arrive to practice the principles of the Sabbath. You may actually experience Sabbath moments each day.

When I get home on a typical evening, before I go into the house I just sit in the car for a little bit. I reflect and speak to God about …

  • My position at my church
  • My home
  • My incredible wife
  • My friendships
  • That I get to be a dad

My mini-Sabbath time of reflection in my car sets me up to
succeed when I walk into our house.

You can do that, too. When your day is coming to a close, you can do the same thing God did in the first chapter of Genesis … reflect and remember the goodness of the day!

“Re-member” is to literally put back together broken pieces of time, events, conversations that happened during the day.

To “RE” member things means that life has been
“DIS” membered and you “RE” member it!

What I have discovered is that I live so much of my life at such a warp speed that it often becomes very difficult for me to make sense of things in “real time.” It is only by going back and “re” membering that a whole and meaningful picture can be created out the fragments of time.

SO … I sit around a lot on my “Sabbath Day,” and I think back. I “re” construct and “re” member things.

There is a great ancient liturgy called a “Prayer of Examen.” And it asks the questions …

  • When did I feel most alive / refreshed in the past week?
  • When did I feel most dead / depleted in the past week?

This prayer has been valuable to me as I RE-member my day.

4. Recalibrate

I have no problem admitting to you today that though I have been a Christian for over 20 years, I still tend to wander. I am amazed at how easily I can lose my Christian calibration.

When we spend time together on the Sabbath with God’s people and God’s Word it recalibrates us.

It reminds us of …

  • What’s true.
  • What’s right.
  • What matters.

There is no way I could live week after week after week
without a time of Sabbath recalibration. 

A picture of Sabbath recalibration might be seen in a family that is traveling on a plane during the Holiday season. They have a child who is sitting at the window enjoying her very first flight. As the plane takes off and soars over the ground the child becomes glued to the window. Gazing out the window the child soon exclaims, “Look mommy and daddy…

  • Widdle people
  • Widdle houses
  • Widdle cars

You see for the child soaring in the plane everything on the ground looks “widdle!” We know as adults that everything on the ground is still the same size. The only thing that has changed is her perspective.

Do you know what happens when we honor God and celebrate the Sabbath?

Our perspective changes!

By the time the Sabbath celebration is over we often have been recalibrated to God, and we find ourselves saying …

  • Widdle worries
  • Widdle fears
  • Widdle problems

The closer we get to a BIG God, the smaller our BIG problems appear.

Curious friends, may you decide today to submit yourself to the Sabbath and experience the rest and refreshment it brings.

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