Sabbath | Part 2

Pastor Chris continues our Sabbath series with Part 2, Sabbath for Us. What does is really mean to Sabbath when it comes to our Time, Work and Health?

When it comes to our life, there is a cycle of work and rest. God instituted this from the beginning in the Garden of Eden. Our bodies move to a rhythm of work and rest that follows the rhythm originally strummed by God on the waters of creation. As God worked, so shall we; as God rested, so shall we. Working and resting, we who are human are in the image of God. Creation sets the flow and pace for all of humanity.

But what does this mean when it comes to our work? We all get caught up in work and what we do becoming our identity.  I think God knew humanity would sin. And I think God knew we would be prone to worship our work, which is why God initiated rest and Sabbath before the fall. Work is not the problem—it is our replacing God with work that is a problem.

It is a balance, working and resting. Mark Buchanan says, “Sabbath is not the break we’re allotted at the tail end of completing all our tasks and chores, the fulfillment of all our obligations. It’s the rest we take smack-dab in the middle of them, without apology, without guilt, and for no better reason than God told us we could.”

But exhaustion is a real thing that we have watch out for.  Exhaustion is even a common experience for biblical characters. Elijah walks in triumph on Mount Carmel only to be lonely, tired, depressed, and exhausted (1 Kings 19:3–9). Gideon, likewise, pursues his enemies and grows exhausted (Judg. 8:4). David, after Shimei’s abusive attacks of bitterness, arrives at his destination exhausted (2 Sam. 16:13–14). And Daniel gives into exhaustion and gets ill (Dan. 8:27). It is possible to be close to God and yet experience exhaustion. Sometimes the pursuit of God is an exhausting enterprise.

Satan knows this and exploits it.  Corrie ten Boom once wrote, “If the devil cannot make us bad, he will make us busy.”  Think of it this way: every yes takes a little space out of our lives. Soon, after a thousand yeses, we find ourselves exhausted and marginless. Before we know it, our calendars are filled with who-knows-what for the purposes of who-knows.  – Henri Nouwen said “We aren’t rest-filled people who occasionally become restless. We are restless people who sometimes find rest.”

So how do we find rest, become refueled, and restoration? How will you Sabbath?

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