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Honor the Sabbath

April 8, 2009

rest

Holy Spirit has been speaking to me for months about honoring the Sabbath and taking a day of rest, and I’ve been … well I’ve been ignoring Him. There’s really no way to make it sound okay.

The thing is – it’s difficult. I waste 24 hours each week – the better part of three days – doing nothing in the name of a paycheck. I’m not about to jump on the foreclosure bandwagon, though, so it’s fine. It’s fine, but I could easily fill those three days with stuff that’s already on my To Do list.

Two days a week simply aren’t enough to do graphics and student ministry, so it bleeds into the evenings and weekends. Half of said weekend is church and bible study and dinner with my parents – which I love, all of it, but it keeps me away from home. The remaining half of the weekend is almost enough to be Wife and Homemaker, assuming a significant chunk of something else isn’t still bleeding into it.

This is not, despite appearances, a sympathy plea. I’m just saying: There’s no time for a Sabbath. It’s not even that I don’t want to … I just don’t see how it’s possible.

So first He was just speaking and I was just ignoring. Then …

Anne Jackson‘s book came out, and became the talk of my little corner of the interwebs. Ya, ya – ministry burnout, whatever. It’s not the burnout that’s getting to me, although the book brought it up; it’s the idea that God actually commands a day of rest. What do we call it when God commands something and we don’t do it? Riiight.

So as much as I tend to think I know better than God sometimes, He’s been driving this one home.

Then, this morning, I found an article on Church Solutions. Some excerpts:

In his book, “Leading on Empty,” Pastor Wayne Cordeiro shares his story of recovering from exhaustion. “Schedule rests in before your calendar fills up. Rest is not an afterthought; it has to be a primary responsibility,” he advises. “We don’t forget that we are Christians. We forget that we are human, and that one oversight alone can debilitate the potential of our future.”

When it comes to refreshing, Cordeiro says, “God gives us rest, but sometimes we can’t seem to accept such an extravagant gift. We somehow imagine that the world won’t be able to go on without our involvement. There’s too much to do.”

The article also mentions Leviticus 23:32, “It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath.”

God is establishing an annual holiday, here, but He calls it a “sabbath.” I thought it was interesting that He says, “you shall afflict (some translations say, “humble”) your souls.” He’s basically saying, “It’s not easy, but neither is it a suggestion.”

So fine. I need to work on this. From now on, Saturday mornings are my Sabbath – effective immediately ’cause this Saturday I get breakfast with the ladies at church. I will not clean or design anything or meet anyone before noon on Saturdays. Don’t even ask … or I’ll shout something like, “Get thee behind me, Satan” loud enough to really embarrass you. (And if we’re not in public, I’ll randomly throw it out there the next time we are.)

What do you do to honor the Sabbath? When is your day of rest? Does anyone else have problems with what seems like it should be the easiest commandment to keep, or is it just me?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 8, 2009 3:45 pm

    There are two great books – Sit, Walk, Stand by Watchman Nee and The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan that both deeply influenced the chapter on rest and Sabbath in my book. I highly recommend picking them up!

    • Lex permalink
      April 9, 2009 8:28 am

      Thanks for the tips! I dig Watchman Nee, will check that out.

  2. April 9, 2009 8:41 am

    And…I saw your twitter! :) You’re too funny.

    • Lex permalink
      April 9, 2009 12:03 pm

      Totally lame, Anne. :) Did you see it on the blog? ‘Cause as soon as I posted it I remembered that. *sigh*

  3. April 10, 2009 7:28 pm

    Actually I have a google alert for it so I can chat with people who chatting! :) Not lame at all….glad I could spend some time on your blog!

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