The Art of Keeping the Sabbath

Genesis 2:1-3
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.
     We are currently bombarded with distractions and information every single day at a rate that has never been seen before in the past. As much as I personally enjoy the advancements of technology, I recognize that it has increased the speed at which life seems to go. People were busy in the past, but now, thanks for smartphones and the internet, it seems that people are always connected in a state of some kind of work and busyness. Humans were not made to be “on” all the time, which is why God gave us the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a spiritual discipline that nurtures a person’s relationship with God and promotes a healthier way to live.

     As God exampled for humanity in Genesis, the Sabbath is a time for people to pause from their labor in order to reflect and rest in the work that the Lord had completed. The Sabbath goes beyond physical rest, as it is a time of worship and reflection of God’s goodness. It is the time to surrender our burdens of self-sufficiency and remember that God is fully in control of our lives. The Sabbath can provide a moment of quiet reflection in our noisy world, where we can reconnect with our Creator and refuel in His love for us.

     Satan wants you to focus on how much work you need to accomplish in order to bring meaning and purpose to your life. He does this by increasing the levels of noise, hurry, and distractions in your week. The observance of the Sabbath is the antidote to this, as it is a time to pause and slow down in order to be present and rest in the sovereignty of God.
So, how can we keep the Sabbath in a world that seems to be noisy, in a hurry, and full of distractions? Here are a few practical steps:
  • Schedule – The Sabbath is not meant to be taken legalistically, but rather relationally. Its more about who you are meeting, rather than when you are meeting. We need to schedule a definite time and space to keep the Sabbath not because God cares about use following a rule, but because God wants to have a regular meeting with us.
  • Disconnect – In a world that is so interconnected, it is important to take time to disconnect from screens in order to reconnect with God and His creation. The screens we use keep us connected to the world, whereas Sabbath keeps us connected to God.
  • Rest – Sabbath is meant to be a time to rest physically. Our physical bodies need time to rest and recover from the work that we engaged in. Resting can take many forms, but they are activities that refresh and restore us – like taking a walk, reading a good book, or spending time with loved one.
  • Worship – The whole point of the Sabbath is to reflect on God’s love and mercy. When we reflect on all that God has done, our response is that of thankfulness and worship. Sabbath is all about singing and declaring how good God is.
  • Serve – The Sabbath is a time to do good works as we learn from Jesus’ explanation of the Sabbath. The Sabbath was never meant to be a day of selfishness, but a day that about the love of God. Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath in front of the Pharisees specifically to show them that good works do not break the law of the Sabbath, but rather it fulfills the Sabbath.

     The Sabbath is a gift from God that is meant to have us rest and reflect on what He has done for us. It is not meant to be a burden, but it is meant to be a blessing in order to restore, rejuvenate, and reconnect us to Him and His works.

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