By Mike Stickler
9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.
11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Have you ever noticed that the Lord gives us patterns to follow? Often, through His own actions, He demonstrates those patterns to us—one being where our generous God worked six full days in creating ALL for us: a place in which we can live, work, and, above all, minister to each other and to the world in His name, and worship Him.
Then, on the seventh day, He rested. ... and He commands us to rest, too.
Now I recognize there are many great teachings in regard to the Sabbath Day rest, including those of deep theological meaning. But I want to focus for a moment on a more practical level.
I have a friend who wears a button on his shirt that says, “No hurry.” He wears it as a conversation starter with other Christians about their very “busy” lives. He believes that our crazy, busy schedules can actually be destroying our lives. I agree.
For most of us, our days start out at full sprint, continuing throughout the hours which include getting to work, tacking all the details for work, shuttling kids to and from school, sports and social events. Even church services have shaved worship times down to accommodate our busy schedules (and short attention spans) on Sundays! Heck, our food is even fast. Multiply that by the speed in which we can obtain information and data in our technology-driven era, it’s no wonder our bodies can’t take the pace and demonstrate stress in incredibly life-threatening ways.
But, the Lord has given us a supernatural way to restore sanity to our lives—a way of which I don’t believe we take full advantage.
He commands us – and those with whom we have charge – to stop and rest in Him for just one day a week.
Sometimes I think we rationalize our non-observance of this command by relegating its concept back to an agrarian lifestyle that most of us do not experience today.
But, the fact is, not only do our bodies need the rest, so also our soul and spirit needs the rest, too!
This principal is timeless and fits today as well as it fit ‘way back then.’ He knew we need rest and designed us that to rest both part of each day—and for one whole day a week, too.
A Sabbath rest, our lives consciously redirected and dedicated unto the Lord, is spiritual rest, of supernatural origin, and is generously restorative. His commandment to redemption and renewal reflects the very nature of God Himself.
Today’s Generosity Challenge:
This is a scheduling and re-direction exercise—a holy fast from the activities of other six days of the week.
For the next 90 days, I challenge you to shut everything down on your Sabbath rest day.
Turn off your computer, hide your cell phone, leave off the television, and don’t set time aside to prep for the upcoming week. Simply take the day and commit it to worship, prayer, Bible study, and Christian fellowship.
At the end of the 90 days, make notes here on what you experienced. Write down things like:
1. Did your life seem to come into better balance?
2. Did time management become more controlled?
3. Did your stress level drop?
Share your thoughts here.
About Michael Stickler
Mike is an author, radio host, and a highly sought after motivational speaker. His best-selling book, A Journey to Generosity, is widely acclaimed throughout the Christian community. He is the publisher of Generous Living Magazine and writes for the Christian Post, 'A Generous Life' column.