This January, we've been learning that life is better with limits. Do you feel like there are never enough hours in a day? That your work is never done? If you're chronically stressed... then it's time to take this radical, Biblical advice: Take the day off!
In Exodus 20, God gave his people the spiritual practice of Sabbath as a gift after delivering the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Sabbath rest actually goes back to the very beginning of Creation in Genesis 1, when God created the Heavens and Earth in 6 days and rested on the 7th day. Talk about a week's work! See, a true, Bibical Sabbath is a 24-hour block of time during which Christians do 4 things:
1) Stop: During a Sabbath day of rest, we stop all our work - both paid and unpaid. We follow the example of our Creator and stop working. We let go of the illusion that we are indespensible to running the world. Next, we rest.
2) Rest: Rest for our whole person is critical on the Sabbath. Physically, take a nap if you need to! Mentally and emotionally, we calm down, relax, and process the week. Spiritually, we cease our striving and rest in God's love for us by simply abiding in Him.
3) Delight: In addition to stopping and resting, on the Sabbath we get to delight our souls with activities that spark joy, wonder, gratitude, happiness. Take a walk in nature, eat good food, spend time with family - do things you delight to do! Last, but certainly not least, the Sabbath is a day of worship.
4) Worship: In Exodus, it says the 7th day is meant to be a Sabbath to the Lord your God. This is a time for us to slow down and position our hearts toward praise and gratitude to God. We get to connect with our Creator and worship Jesus, the Savior of our souls.
Now, when God introduced the Sabbath it was a radical concept... and it still is one today! Here in the Northeast, it is very difficult to slow down and rest because we tend to worship a cultural idol of drivenness. So, to truly take a Biblical Sabbath, we have to fight off enemies of workaholism, legalism and even mistaken identity tied to our work.
Guys, I encourage you: Stop striving and bask in God's affection, apart from any performance. Today, I believe God is reaching out and calling some of you out of fear...out of workaholism... out of an inability to rest... so that you can live free! In Jesus' name, I pray that you'll take the day off and start to incorporate a Sabbath rhythm into your life. See how it transforms you from week to week!