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The Command to Sabbath


REST.


Do you do that? Until recently, I didn’t just not take time to rest, I didn’t even know how to rest. I knew how to stop doing all the things (in theory), but then what do you do to actually rest? Sleep? I can’t do that with four kids. Laze around? I could Netflix and chill (in the most non-suggestive meaning possible), but I after binging a show and laying on the couch, I still didn’t feel rested. Sometimes I felt even more tired than before.


Can you relate?


For the past year the Lord had been saying this word, “REST” to me and I still didn’t truly know how to do it or maybe even what it really meant. I would try to just not do chores or just not pick up my laptop for the day, but I found myself frustrated by the pile of to-do’s waiting for me and the lack of peace shirking off brought. How was this something God wanted me to do? I know the Sabbath is a commandment, not a suggestion, but I just didn’t understand it. Then enters my husband…


“I feel REALLY strongly the Lord is commanding us to put into place a true Sabbath. Not just half a day we chill periodically, but a set day each week that we do not work. It is extremely important we obey in this. And it needs to happen immediately.”


Ew. I didn’t like that statement. We both work full time jobs, my husband also works a part time position at our local church, I homeschool our brood of children, we have a baby, and live on a little homestead where the chores are plentiful and projects are endless. We have ONE DAY a week we can dedicate to our homestead and I happen work for Pretty & Wise on that day. He was messing with this system that we had set in place that (I thought) was working well for me. I was irritated and wanted to push back on his extremely strong statement. He doesn’t usually take such decisive tone with me. It’s usually a conversation and mutual agreement. Where does he get off bossing me around? He’s just putting his foot down like that?


I knew he was right. I knew in my spirit this was the Lord leading him to lead our family into obedience. It was a step I had not taken on my own, even though the Lord had been prompting me. So He pulled out the big guns. He pulled the headship card. And girl, I needed it.


I expressed that the Lord had been speaking to me about rest and sabbath for the past year, but I didn’t understand or know how to do it. I affirmed my husband that, yes, I knew this was the Lord leading him to move our family into greater obedience, but I was struggling to say yes. I mean, of course I will say yes to him and to Jesus, but I don’t like it right now.


Why don’t I like the idea of rest? Sabbath? Because I just didn’t get it. Sabbath felt like getting behind the ball. Sabbath felt like letting things slide. Sabbath felt like saying no to my passions and what I love to do. Sabbath felt like irresponsibility.


Then the Lord really began to teach me the beauty and purpose of Sabbath. He began teaching me AFTER I gave Him my yes. If you’re struggling with true rest and keeping the Sabbath holy, let me encourage you with what the Lord has shown me…


Sabbath is a GIFT. It’s a loving gift from my Father and it reminds me that it doesn’t all depend on me and what I do. It depends on God. I can take a day off and my world won’t fall to pieces because God is looking after me in my work AND in my rest. The world spins on HIS axis, not on what I accomplish or my busyness.


Sabbath is a reminder that I’ve been brought out of Egypt - the world - a place where the work is never enough and never ending. I’ve been rescued and brought into God’s Kingdom through Christ where all the work has already been finished. I can live in a place of rest knowing that whatever I do here doesn’t have to be “enough” and there is always a time when it’s all done for the day or week or season. There is a finish line. Nothing is endless but His love.


Since we’ve begun taking a weekly Sabbath, our lives have changed. We decided Mondays were meant for rest and play and Jesus. That’s it. The only projects we allow ourselves to do on a Monday are ones that we consider fun or play. We spend the day reading, resting, snuggling, playing, relaxing, and being together. We don’t cook on Mondays. We usually don’t have screens on during Sabbath. We try to make being out in creation a big part of the day. Our family Sabbath has ushered in so much peace into our lives. It has slowed the rush and the frazzle and shown me that taking one day to not produce, create, or do is not lazy, it is how we learn to BE in His presence instead of DO in His presence.


The work is still there come Tuesday morning. But somehow I am reset, refreshed, renewed, and rested when it’s time to hit the grind instead of running from one week of chaos into the next without a moment to catch my breath. It has helped me remember the Lord. Remember to connect to Him and slow down and just remember HIM. It has taught me to be still. It has taught me to enjoy my children. Not just do all the things with them or accomplish all the tasks with them, but just to BE with them.


Most of all, Sabbath has taught me God’s heart for me. To work is a gift and to rest is a gift. Both from Him. Neither a curse or hindrance. His heart is for me to have the joy and satisfaction of producing as one sign of being made in His likeness, but also the joy and peace of resting knowing that there is an end to work and I was made to lay in green pastures and beside quiet waters. I am made to pour myself out as an offering as He continues to fill me and restore me through rest. The Sabbath.


So what’s the secret to true rest, not just stopping the doing? The heart behind it. The way I engage with it. The obedient heart driving it. Rest is a posture of my heart and mind to obey the Lord and his response to that is to provide true rest.


So take your Sabbath. Make it a top priority in your life because it is a commandment from the Lord. If He commands it, we must need it. Burning the candle at both ends doesn’t make us better. We aren’t that important to the work. But our rest and ability to trust God to provide and fulfill while remembering we are not the end all be all for every project and pursuit in our life IS the most important work. Resting in Him is vital and commanded.


So rest, sweet sister.



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