Daily Pointers for Connecting with God
Keep the Sabbath
Exodus 20: 8-10 says: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.”
Part and parcel of slowing down to connect with God is keeping the Sabbath. The Hebrew word Sabbath means “day of rest.” It was ordained by God as far back as Genesis 2:2 when God rested on the seventh day from all the work He had done, blessed it, and made it holy.
Since we have been created in His image, we, too, have been wired to have at least a day’s rest from work. In John Mark Comer’s words, a “day to let our soul catch up with our body.” There have even been productivity studies that back that idea up. They say that a person’s productivity tops out at 50 hours a week, which adds up to about 6 days of work. Beyond that, even if you work more hours, you’re not being productive.
God designed us to act like Him and make this day holy – set it aside from frenetic activity and for connecting deeply with Him and with each other. To pray, to play, and to powernap!
I’m sharing this with you out of a somewhat guilty conscience. It is not until a few months ago after reading John Mark’s book that Jennifer and I started re-evaluating things and realized we hadn’t been keeping a weekly Sabbath. Sure, we weren’t at our jobs, but we weren’t resting either. Sabbath encroachment meant setting the seventh day aside for the leftovers on our weekly to-do list – a little cleaning, laundry, shopping, and some ministry stuff we didn’t have time for during the week. No wonder we were burning out. Our souls never had a chance to catch up to our bodies.
We’ve repented of our disobedience and become very intentional now about keeping a Sabbath day, and I can tell you – it has made a huge difference.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a prolonged, forced Sabbath. Think of it as an excellent opportunity to re-examine this aspect of your life. Have you been keeping a Sabbath? A day to truly rest, not just from your job but also from honey-do lists, housework, shopping, and all the other stuff of life? Would you be up for taking a day to turn your smart-phone off and “sabbath” from the distraction it brings and just have fun? Do a puzzle? read a book? Phone a friend? Go for a walk? We can argue all day long which day of the week it should be, but I don’t think that matters as much the fact that you do it.
So I invite you to return to the first commandment. If God rested, so should we. Let your soul catch up with your body!