The Sabbath is not just a day off.
Isaiah 58: 13-14 tell us this …
“If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, and a holy day of the Lord honorable, if you honor it, not going your own ways or seeking your own pleasure or talking idly, then you should take delight in the Lord and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
So often we get so busy that we don’t know how to slow down. Have you noticed that when your weekend comes, after a hectic work week of appointments, meetings, dinners or events, school functions, homework with kids or paperwork for the office (…or charts to catch up on for me!)….you are spent, exhausted and sometimes even cranky?! The weekend comes and you have laundry, yard work, obligations with more school or sports with kids….and oh yeah, so-in-so’s birthday party is Saturday night and you don’t have a gift yet! I have often deliberately slowed down on Sundays , on my dedicated Sabbath, I intentionally don’t schedule anything. Despite my intentionality, I still tend to get super busy doing small tasks around the house — cleaning, re-organizing closets, washing clothes ,watching TV, thinking about going shopping, running errands… you name it I can do it all in one day! I just cannot stop my mind from racing to the next thing that I can chop of the list of things to do, and I have a WHOLE DAY to get it done!
If I get caught up on “the list” then what have I really accomplished for the Lord?
The Sabbath needs to be marked as His day. This may be old news for all of us, but how many are really putting it into practice? And have you stopped to really understand what God is trying to accomplish in our Sabbath day for His purpose?
The Sabbath is for us, yes, but more importantly the Sabbath is for HIM.
Putting our own agenda first is a very easy thing to do when all the other days of our life that is the number one priority in our life. Maybe we should stop and think: The Sabbath could serve to train us for how we should be thinking and focusing our mind on God the other six days of the week. It should be a reset button for our life. It should remind us that our life is not about our agenda or our list of things to do or our own personal gains. It should be about putting him first every day of the week.
When we really focus on this ancient scripture in Isaiah, God is telling us that the Sabbath serves to do just that. It serves to get our mind straight and back on task for what God’s mission is. We can’t focus on what God has for us if we are too busy focusing on our list of items to do, our own agenda, our own personal gain. But when we are focused constantly on the Lord, his mission in our life and in this world comes first not just on the Sabbath but every day of the week.
Don’t let the Sabbath escape you.
Don’t think of it just as a day of nothing scheduled. It is far more than that. It is a day of allowing God to take precedence in your life again. We need this reset button every week. Truthfully we need Sabbath time every day of our life. Setting aside one day to truly meditate on God’s purpose in your life is not a luxury, it is a necessity and it is a command repeated in scripture. This verse in Isaiah clearly indicates that we are instructed to do this, not merely asked to do it.
The Sabbath is repeatedly emphasized in Scripture both in the old and New Testament (Leviticus 19:3, Luke 13:14, Jeremiah 17:27 to name a few). Don’t overlook this very basic and early command that the Lord gave us. He set the example and the precedence in Genesis on His seventh day.
Each week resetting your life for the Lord will change every other day of the week. Start your day in His truth and you will see clearly His mission in your life and in this world. He has blessed His children – all of us – with His written word, not as a burdensome thing to read every day, but as a thirst-quenching relief and understanding of His presence in our lives for all times.
The Sabbath is not just the one day a week you don’t schedule something, but instead is the template for prioritizing God every day of your life. Don’t find yourself trapped in the distractions that are pulling you away from Him. Allow yourself to be “reset” every week, and every morning drink from His word given to you in scripture. Truly this will change your life.
“I am the Lord your God; follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.”