Obeying the Sabbath: God’s Built-In Self-Care

rest sabbath rest self care Oct 30, 2018



“Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you.” Deuteronomy 5:12-14

”For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work; it is a sabbath to the Lord in all your dwellings.” (Leviticus 23:3)

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (Exodus 20: 8-11)

”It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.” (Exodus 31:17).

The message surrounding Sabbath rest is clear, isn't it? It says over and over again to take one day each week and rest.

Sounds so easy doesn’t it? I mean, it even sounds inviting? So, why is it so hard to do?

I suppose it has a lot to do with our overflowing lives where it takes all seven days to get all of our work done.

I also suspect it has to do with societies standards that we unconsciously surcome to.

Ater all, we live in a world where stores are now open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, including holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. And we work for bosses and corporations who expect a 55+ work week.

I often wonder if these corporations care about their employees wellbeing. Do they ever consider how this non-stop striving for financial gain negatively affects an employees physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing? Sadly, I do believe many corporations today are more interested in making a buck than caring for their employees wellbeing.

Whether the reasons for not obeying the Sabbath rest come down to others expectations or our own full plate,  the choice comes down to us.

Do you follow God or do we follow the world? 

Let’s decide today that obeying the Sabbath rest is more important than following this broken world.

But, what does this look like?

Obeying the Sabbath

This dear friends, I don’t have all the answers for you when it comes to abiding in the Sabbath. I am, after all, still learning myself.

But I do know that it is important and therefore, worth trying.

A few ways I have found success in taking a full day of rest is by:

1) Making a mental decision that regardless of what needs to be done on (x) day, I will simply rest. Laundry, you can wait. Work project, you can also wait. Cleaning that toilet - you definitely can wait! Making up my mind to abide in the Sabbath has helped me make it a priority.

2) Leave the house and do something fun! I know this might not the be solution for everyone, but it just might be the catalyst to get your head and mind around what a refreshed soul feels like. By leaving your house, you leave the duties of being an employee, wife, and mama behind and add in a day of fun. Who doesn’t want to take a break from life to do something fun?! Most of us do, but few of us actually follow through on this.

3) Start your day reading Scripture around Sabbath rest to remind yourself why it’s important. Journal around the anxieties and worries that plague you if these tasks are left untouched for an entire day. As you journal, surrender these anxieties over to God, asking him to give you a calm and peace-filled heart.

4) Finally, take one faithful step. Obeying the Sabbath is not unlike any other habit change. If you focus on an all-or-nothing approach, you surely will fail. If you focus on making one faithful step at a time, you most definitely will succeed. You see, obeying the Sabbath is not about perfectionism. It’s about trusting God - one step at a time -  that all your needs will be met.

Dear friend, each moment of the day is a choice. I pray that you will join me in choosing God over the world.

Decide right now what day this week you will obey the Sabbath rest. When that day comes, make one faithful step after another to be restful. At the end of the day, take note on what your soul is telling you.

Praying you through,


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