Blog – 9-26-18
“Do you Sabbath?” It was a simple question asked by my friend Rachel Barrentine. We were on tour together in Arizona a few years ago when she asked me this simple, yet loaded question. She wasn’t trying to condemn me. She wasn’t trying to make me feel bad. She was simply asking out of love and concern. She saw firsthand how caught up I was in doing and striving and being overly busy.
As I sat there pondering her question, my heart sank. I felt convicted immediately and my honest reply was, “Not really.” Being in ministry, I usually work on the weekends, and I had not been intentional about taking a different day of the week off to Sabbath.
Last week when I returned home from a solo tour in the exact same places we had been in Arizona two years earlier, I found myself struggling with that same issue: “Jill, do you Sabbath?” I did really good with it for a while after her initial question, but I had slowly and surely fallen into old routines. I stopped making it a priority, telling myself, “I can’t afford to take a day off during the week. There’s just too much to be done!”
Am I really THAT important?
The thing about the Sabbath is it’s not just a “good idea,” it’s actually a commandment. Yes, it’s one of the Big 10! It’s right up there with thou shall not murder, thou shall not commit adultery, thou shall not steal. I wouldn’t think about disobeying those commandments, so why is the command to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy so easy to ignore?
I know we don’t live under Old Testament laws, but in Exodus 35:2 it tells us, “Whoever does any work on it must be put to death.” Whoa! That’s pretty serious stuff right there.
When I think of it in this light, it takes on a whole new meaning for me. God truly knew what would be best for us. He knew each and every distraction that was going to be a part of our lives. He knew the busyness that would seek to destroy us. He knew that if we were left to our own devices we would work ourselves to the bone.
He also knew how much we needed Him. And truthfully, that’s what the Sabbath is all about, drawing close to Him.
To be honest, I think the biggest part of me not observing the Sabbath is my lack of trust. I don’t trust that I can really get everything done that I need to in six days. I don’t trust in the supernatural ability of God to accomplish more when I rest than I could ever do on my own. I let arrogance drive me into thinking that the world and my to-do list can’t live without me for one day.
God is convicting me more and more that, plain and simply, it is disobedience, blatant disobedience, when I don’t rest. Even if the work I’m doing is for Him, I still need to rest.
It’s absolutely crazy when I think about it. God is giving us a day to refresh and renew ourselves, a day to worship Him and reflect on His goodness in our lives, a day to focus on something other than work, and yet we ignore the invitation and continue on our merry ways. It’s like a beautiful gift sitting in the middle of our living rooms that we refuse to open. We would never simply walk by and ignore it.
But that’s exactly what we do when we don’t Sabbath.
Think about it, a God who loved us so much that He provided us with a day to rest each and every week is truly amazing! When we honor Him by remembering the Sabbath and keeping it holy, we demonstrate and live out how important God is to us. Spending time in Sabbath refreshes our souls and makes us ready to do His work.
So I want to ask you, my friend, do you Sabbath?
Trust me, there’s no judgment here, but I absolutely do want to challenge you to choose rest! Choose to let go of the things on your to-do list for one day and simply rest and worship our Mighty Creator. Trust God to bless your obedience and allow you to get everything you need to get done in six days.
I invite you to listen in as Laura and I discuss some other benefits of choosing rest on our Choose Chat. Just click the button below to hear it.
And join us in Choosing Rest!
Hugs and love,