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’re just as important today as ever. We hope you’re challenged to think of rest in a fresh new way. Would you like to read the post that preceded this one? Click here.
5 thoughts on “What Does Sabbath Rest Look Like?”
Today my quiet time was at 3:30am and again at 7:00am. I awakened and before going back to sleep, I was able to spend a few minutes just loving on Jesus. Acknowledging Him and His Presence with me. At 7:00, I allowed the animals to scream and just told Jesus I was His and He was mine. I just laid still, making myself not get up and tend to the days demands, but just stilling my soul as I was aware of God. I didn’t do my “prayers” or my consecration or submission or those important things. I just loved on Jesus and let Him love on me. It has helped. The rest came later….and is still coming.
Home from the funeral in Bowen, IL. Thank you for your prayers. I have a sister who is a widow and now my brother.
Have been celebrating the “Sabbath” for quite a few years. We do no shopping on Sunday and no work – except gardening in my flower beds – which I love.
Since our 50th wedding anniversary we have ” HAUSER FUN SUNDAY”. After church and lunch, whichever daughter and family who is able come to swim, fish, etc. we have pizza for supper on paper plates and everyone goes home. No fuss – no mess. We did it the whole year of our anniversary and my youngest grandson said why was it only for this year – hence a new tradition was born ! This is our 3rd year.
LOVE that tradition.
Praise the Lord!
This may be a re-run message but it sounds just as fresh the second time around. It’s a Invitation from our maker to stay connected. I feel calmer just reading it. Thank you, Brenda. Your writing draws me in.
Thanks for your encouraging words.