Well, aside from the fact that it is a commandment, when we do not take a Sabbath we are being prideful. Let me explain. I know for me there are usually three reasons I do not Sabbath. One, I have too much to do and if I take a day of rest, it will not get done. Two, I do not think I need it. And three, I do not proactively plan for it and protect it, so I may have all intentions of resting, but I cannot. All three of these reveal sin in our heart on some part.
Let's start with the first reason. If we think we do not have time to Sabbath, we are guilty of being a part of more than we are supposed to and need to step down from some commitments or we think God needs us to get something done. Both are rooted in pride. Somewhere along the way we bought into the lie that I am needed for something to take place or happen. That if I don’t answer that call or email or have that meeting that it will not get done. We do not work for God, He does not need us to accomplish his work. By continuing to work, we are essentially saying, that we do not think God is control. That by commanding us to Sabbath, he does not know how much we have to get done.
Secondly, if we do not think we need it, we are essentially telling “God thanks for the offer, but I think I know what I need and rest with you is not it. These other things are more filling.” Often we do this without realizing it. We think something else is what we need. If had this one thing or could do this one thing, it would bring me so much joy and rest. But Paul puts it best in Romans 1.
21For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. … they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. Romans 1:21-25Lastly, we often fully intend to have a Sabbath, but something else always interrupts. This used to happen to me all the time. It was so frustrating. In theory, I really wanted to Sabbath, but something always came up. Be it work or something fun. I could not make it happen. Then I had a wise woman tell me that I had to be proactive and protect my Sabbath. Say no to things. Do not check your email. Screen your calls. Don’t schedule anything for that day. Don’t make plans. Do whatever you have to do. It took my awhile to get where I could do this. What I found was happening was that I knew I should Sabbath, but in my heart, the two other reasons I mentioned previously were still in full force, just hidden a little better.
One more thing, I think if we were to take a step back and look at what we look like when do not Sabbath vs. what we look like when we Sabbath, we would be amazed. When we are well rested in the Lord (not just physically) our whole perspective and response to life is different. When we are not Sabbathing, we get tired, worn down, start to think we are entitled to feel better and then get irritated with anyone who steals our precious time. It is much harder to reflect Christ when we are not being sustained by him and spending time with him. Our burdens are much heavier when He is not carrying them.
Stay tuned for one more blog on what sabbathing looks like.