How much rest time do you schedule into your week? How often do you unplug from your phone, social media, and other distractions? Are you intentionally finding quiet time to spend with God?
In this busy, modern world, your answers (like mine) are probably not much. We have busy lives. Days for Sabbath rest are not the cultural norm – yet they’re so crucial as we learn to trust God and follow where he leads.
What is Sabbath Rest and Why Is It Important?
Sabbath rest is time to spend with God, to rest and be restored in him. We spend so much of our time pouring out – working, serving others, and caring for our families. Our hearts and minds are bombarded by distractions and deceits from the world.
If we are to continue following where God leads, we also need to spend time renewing, repairing, and refilling our souls. We need to spend quality time in God’s presence so that we are strong enough to keep walking boldly and faithfully in this world, trusting in God’s plans for our lives.
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:9-11 NIV)
How to Find Sabbath Rest in a Modern Life
While traditional Sabbath rest is taking the entire day on Sunday to rest and enjoy God’s presence, maybe you need to start smaller. Maybe you can’t take a whole Sunday. Start by finding pockets of rest and work to increase those in your week. If Sunday doesn’t work for you, find another day.
The importance is to establish a cycle of rest and focus on God in your life. Sabbath rest is more than just taking a nap or watching TV for the afternoon. It’s intentional time to rest in God’s presence.
Let’s discuss some ways to find that Sabbath rest in your life.
If you want to hear God, you’ll need to disconnect from the distractions of this world. For a few hours – or a whole day – Put down your phone, get off social media. Spend focused time with your loved ones and God.
Find time each week to put away the devices and disconnect. For a few hours or a whole day, unplug from the craziness of this connected world and focus on your family and spending time with God. With so many distractions at our fingertips, it can be hard to focus on those right beside us. Give your undivided attention to your loved ones and to God.
- Do something fun with your family – play games, do a craft, work a puzzle, have a conversation.
- Spend time with God – read the Bible, go for a walk listening to the sounds of nature, pray.
- Enjoy the silence – read a book, sit on your porch and rest in the stillness.
2) Put Away Work
When God created the world, he worked for six days and then rested. He took delight in his work on the seventh day. He later commanded the Israelites to take the seventh day each week to rest from their work.
God didn’t create us to work non-stop or to put work above all else. He wants us to take time for rest.
You need to rest from work to recharge your body, but also as a reminder of your reliance on God. He will still provide for you as you rest. He will cover your needs as you renew your mind, body, and soul. Trust in him and rest from your work.
3) Enjoy God
Delight in God and spend time in his presence. Sabbath rest is not just taking a nap, but delighting in God and his creation.
- Sit in the silence with God, simply enjoying his presence.
- Praise and worship God.
- Spend time in prayer, going deeper than your normal prayer time.
- Go deeper in Scripture, taking time to read, study, or journal.
- Delight in God’s creation all around you.
“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
And from doing as you please on my holy day,
If you call the Sabbath a delight
And the Lord’s holy day honorable,
And if you honor it by not going your own way
And not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
Then you will find your joy in the Lord
And I will cause you to ride in triumph
On the heights of the lane
And to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken. (Isaiah 58:13-14 NIV)
4) Schedule Sabbath Time in Your Calendar
What are the activities on your calendar that take you away from God? Which chores, tasks, or appointments create the most distraction or frustration in your week. Maybe you can’t remove them completely, but be intentional about creating a time in your week that’s free from these. Be firm about your boundaries and set this time apart to refocus on God.
I did this one year with laundry. I found I was spending all day Sunday doing laundry. I was frustrated and overwhelmed with the chore and it was distracting me from spending time with God. So, I decided to make Sundays a ‘no laundry’ day. This meant I had to rework my schedule to do laundry throughout the week and sometimes work a little extra on Saturday nights to catch up. Doing this, though, gave me time on Sundays to enjoy my family and God, and removed this source of frustration from my week.
How Will You Make Time For Sabbath Rest in Your Busy Life?
So, how will you find time in your week to observe Sabbath and find Sabbath rest in your life? What’s one way you’ll try to be intentional to spend focused, quiet time resting in God – delighting in him and allowing God to speak into your weary heart?
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