Over the summer, I had a fair amount of time that I got to spend with God. I was blessed to be able to grow so much closer to our Creator with long quiet times, almost every single day. I knew that I would not have as much time to spend with God once the school year started, and I was worried that I would stop growing deeper in faith once my life became super busy again. Thankfully, God was already working in my heart and had a solution to my problem.
I want to share with you today what God laid on my heart so strongly a few weeks ago… It’s called Sabbath. You most likely know all about Sabbath. After creating the world, God set apart the seventh day as a day of rest and declared it holy. Then, when he gave Moses the Ten Commandments, one of them said, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” (Exodus 20:8) But it doesn’t end there. Most of the commandments are just a one sentence command, but God emphasized this one. It continues,
“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, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” – Exodus 20:9-11
So that is exactly what he has called me, and hopefully you, to do. We get so upset when we see people cheating, stealing, lying, or basically any other sin we can think of, but do we even stop to think about resting on the Sabbath? I mean, it’s one of the ten commandments!!!
This convicted me so much. I know that I am not the only one who is guilty of not taking time (especially an entire day) to rest and be with the Lord each week. I always want more time with God, but life gets in the way WAY TOO OFTEN. Almost every weekend last year, I did homework all weekend, some on Saturday and some on Sunday. I hated not getting any time to rest and relax before the week started all over again on Monday. I felt drained and empty at the beginning of the week, when I was supposed to feel refreshed. I refuse to feel that way again this whole year.
So, what God laid on my heart a few weeks ago is to have a Sabbath day every weekend. Last week, it was Saturday, this weekend, Sunday is my day of rest. It depends on what plans I have for the weekend. But I have decided, whatever day it is, it will happen and it will be glorious.
Unfortunately, to get this amazing time of rest sometimes requires extra work on our part. Sometimes that means not going out some week night to get that project done before the weekend. For me, it means knocking out my homework on Friday or Saturday so that I don’t have to touch it on Sunday. Last night, I literally did homework all day and stayed up until midnight because I was determined to not do it today. So, it might not be easy, but God has called us to honor the Sabbath. I’m not going to beat myself up about it if I just can’t get everything done and I have to do some on Sunday, but I’m just going to try to set it apart as an intentional day of rest as often as I can.
How I spend my Sabbath day: I don’t believe that Sabbath should be a day where you literally do nothing, but a day of family, friends, fellowship, and our Father. It’s a day of letting go of all of your worries, homework, projects, and work and just being present. I just started being intentional about my Sabbath day a month ago and some fun things I’ve already gotten to do are: going hiking with some of my favorite people (2 times), getting coffee with a friend, spending extra time reading my Bible, napping in my hammock, and just hanging out around the house with my family. It’s not so much about being inactive as it is about being connected.
I choose Sabbath and I hope you do too. I challenge you to try it… just once at least. It doesn’t have to be Sunday. It doesn’t even have to be on the weekend if you don’t work some day during the week. It could even just be half a day. But, if you do choose Sabbath, just know that it will feel so good. Even if it takes extra work some other day of the week, it is SO worth it. You will be refreshed and ready to live for God when Monday morning comes. God will bless you abundantly when you spend extra time in his presence.
“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” – Isaiah 58:13-14
Will you pray with me?
Lord, thank you so much for today. Please help us to choose Sabbath. We want intentional time with you, and it’s so hard when life gets busy. Help us prioritize our time so we can have more time to rest. This might mean helping us to let go of things that are weighing us down so that we have time for you to refresh us and lift us up. Help us to live in your presence every moment of our lives. In Jesus name, Amen.
If you want to read some more about what Sabbath looks like with a busy life, check out this blog post by Kaitlyn Bouchillon: 5 Ways to Choose Sabbath. I read this last Winter and pushed it out of my mind because “I just didn’t have time for that,” but God altered my heart and I pray that he does the same to yours.