I posted this here, and already I can tell practicing a Sabbath rest will take some adapting and even some tweaking. Taking times to pull away regularly from social media and the internet will take discipline and practice. But I know it is a way for me to make sure that I do not get depleted without taking time to refill. It’s about taking time to refocus and keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, the One who calls. I originally posted every 7th week I would unplug. That will continue to be a guideline I will go by as the Lord leads along the way. I am looking forward to hearing quiet and listening to God speak clear, as I take time to renew. I will be hosting a guest blogger during this time. Thank you for grace. You are a beautiful gift to me.
I do not know much about Sabbath rest, I must admit. But as I have been reading through the Bible in 90 Days, it has come up quite frequently. I do know I need rest, but I wonder what kind of rest does the Lord mean here?
“It is a Sabbath day of complete rest for you, and you must deny yourselves…”
The “deny yourselves” part captured my attention and my heart. I work everyday, as a wife, homeschooling mama, and now I blog, too. But, how much work do I do, selfishly, that I would have to deny myself?
That’s the question that quickly came. Although I know the implications here in this verse are a bit different for me than for the God’s people living in Old Testament times, it still is God’s Word. Somehow, it is applicable for me. It’s the “somehow” I have seeking an answer to. How is this relevant today?
Keep the Sabbath day holy.
Don’t pursue your own interests on that day,
but enjoy the Sabbath
and speak of it with delight as the Lord’s holy day.
Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day,
and don’t follow your own desires.
There it is.
Don’t pursue your own interests. Don’t follow your own desires. Deny yourselves.
These directives are foundational for us as a followers of Christ. How is it different specifically for the Sabbath? These thoughts and questions I am still pondering, saying to God, “I want to know what You mean here. I want You to find me obedient. Help me understand. I do seek its depth.”
God has been leading me here, to learn how to take a Sabbath rest. I am sure I do not have the complete answer, but this is what I have found it means to me.
I do need rest. I pour out and I give. I give when I feel I have nothing left. What good am I to anyone in my family or even God, if I am running on empty? None will have the best part of me. I need time to reconnect to the Vine if I’ve gotten disconnected trying to connect with everyone else. I need to take time to clear the clutter and the noise in my head. When God is trying to speak and I need to find quiet to hear. I need to pull away to draw in close.
I do need to deny myself. Sometimes I find satisfaction in my work — accomplishments all my own — feeling quite proud. Sometimes I don’t work as unto the Lord. I work as unto me — putting it all before Him. How, then, could my work be a true offering to Him? The Sabbath will be a time of surrender.
As a homeschooling mama, it will mean I will have to prepare for it. Have the clothes already washed, and meals easy to prepare. My week ahead, already planned. I will have to let things go on that day, in order to rest in God, with all the family together.
I do believe it is NOT by accident that in verse 12, these words,
“…a restorer of homes.”
come directly before,
“Keep the Sabbath day holy.”
I long for God’s Abiding Presence to be in our home. I am believing there will be a change in the spiritual climate of our family. Our hearts and conversations turned more to God, and less to tasks or TV. More peace and less bickering. More joy and less complaining. More unity as love increased, strengthens our bond. Perhaps even an increase in our efficiency and productivity. More done in less time because we honor God with our time.
Yes, these things I will believe for.
As a blogger, it will mean becoming unplugged. Not indefinitely, but set aside specific times for it. I will pull away from all things internet — all things World Wide Web.
1. Every Sunday
2. Every 7th week, for 1 week. (6 weeks online – 7th week offline)
Anyone who is purposefully building a ministry, and that’s what this space is to me, knows rest from it, could be lack of progress. So it’s going to take some faith to pull away. But in pulling away and in the seeking, I know that I will find the One who will do the refilling and the One who will do the building.
As I lean in and press in close, as I turn my eyes to Him and surrender all I am, over and over again, I know that nothing I offer to God is ever lost. Even a small gift offered and placed His hands, He can multiply into something abundantly beyond my fullest expectations. God will honor and satisfy.
Here it is found in the rest of the passage — His promise.
Then the Lord will be your delight.
“I will give you great honor
and satisfy you with the inhertitance
I promised to your ancestor Jacob.
I, the Lord, have spoken!”
And in the Message, spoken plain,
If you watch your step on the Sabbath
and don’t use my holy day for personal advantage,
If you treat the Sabbath as a day of joy,
God’s holy day as a celebration,
If you honor it by refusing ‘business as usual,’
making money, running here and there—
Then you’ll be free to enjoy God!
Oh, I’ll make you ride high and soar above it all.
I’ll make you feast on the inheritance of your ancestor Jacob.”
Yes! God says so!
Free to enjoy God! Ride high and soar above it all! Yes, in this promise, I will rest.
I would love to know what your thoughts and convictions are
for the Sabbath Rest.
I am still learning. Will you share in comments?