What Does Sabbath Rest Look Like?

By Brenda Jank

What does Sabbath rest look like in the 21st century?

It has a lot to do with honor. Four things come to mind. Two today. Two next week.

#1 Honor the Sabbath

If God says I can accomplish my work in six days, who am I to say I can’t?

  • Learn to honor the work that gets done each week and trust God with all that didn’t. We rest because he “says so,” not because our work is complete.
  • The Sabbath is designed to be anticipated. The day before our Sabbath is an important day. It takes forethought. It demands discernment between tasks that are a must do and tasks that are a like to do. When our Sabbath rest is upon us, we have an opportunity to lay down what did not get done and lift up (as a gift of thanksgiving) what did. This moment of surrender unlocks the door for me to be refreshed by the rest God has waiting for me to enjoy.
  • As we begin to explore Sabbath keeping through a biblical world view, 24 hours may feel unrealistic. Some of us are familiar with rest. Some of us have forgotten what it’s like. If you are new to rest, go easy on yourself. Committing to “shorter blocks” of time may allow you to keep the momentum going without becoming discouraged and throwing in the towel. I don’t know what God would say about this, but “shorter blocks” was a plan that worked for me. I took baby steps before being able to fully embrace the gift full-tilt.

Rest is not an all-or-nothing deal. Rest is blessed, no matter the amount.

This week, when will your Sabbath rest take place? Can you set aside 24 hours, 8 hours, 2 hours?

However you begin, begin. That’s the key. Then savor it–guilt-free.

#2 Honor its Maker

Recognize that the Sabbath is a day made by God, for God and given to us as a means to remember who he is and who we are. It is a day with a singular purpose–to rest well in the company of God so that we are recharged, refreshed, and refueled for the week ahead (Exodus 23:12).

Leviticus 23:1-3 reminds us that group worship is a part of Sabbath keeping, but it’s not the only ingredient God uses to refresh our souls.

How are you best refreshed by God?

Do you know?

Feel free to think inside the box.

Is it personal quiet time? Large group worship? Quiet walks? In-depth Bible study? Music? Praying with a friend?

Feel free to think outside the box.

What might that be?

Dancing? Rock climbing? Singing? Canoeing? Drawing? Fishing? Kite flying? An extended time of prayer?

The sky is the limit.

And so are the blessings of meeting with God on our day set apart for him.

Note: This post is part of our original series on rest. We are re-posting some of our favorite articles because we believe they are just as important today as ever. We hope to encourage and inspire you and those you love and lead to REST WELL through this time of COVID-19 crisis, comeback, and recovery. Onward!

  • Would you like to start at the beginning and read this whole series? Click here.
  • Would you like to read the post that preceded this one? Click here.
  • Would you like to read the next post in this series? Click here.
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