Sabbath. It is a topic I have recently become very interested in and passionate about. Growing up, I based the majority of my Christian “walk” on the 10 Commandments. I always knew I believed in God, I believed in Jesus, but looking back I realize just how much I didn’t know about what being a Christian is really about (if you want, read my testimony here!). The topic of my past naivety to the Christian faith will probably come up a lot, not because I am now a perfect, all-knowing follower of Christ (we all know I am far from that!) but because as my walk with the Lord has continued, I realize more and more every day just how little I do know, and how fortunate I am to be growing and learning what it means to walk with Him each day. One of the most beautiful things about a relationship with Christ to me, and one of the things that just strengthens my faith in Him daily is how having a relationship with Jesus, and studying God’s Word is a never-ending process, because it is REAL. Just as real as an earthy human relationship. He isn’t an entity that you can eventually know everything about. His Word isn’t a book that you can eventually know perfectly, have totally figured out, and never learn anything more from. Brilliant men and women devote their entire lives to studying the Bible, and can still get into it each day and learn something new. I think this is the most amazing thing.
I’ve strayed a little off topic, so let me get back. Sabbath. As I said, growing up I pretty much thought the entire Christian faith was based around the 10 Commandments. I thought if you did your best to stick to those, you were good to go. The 4th commandment is Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. To me, in my very limited knowledge, I figured this meant you should go to church. Being a kid I wasn’t able to take myself to church, and my family members were not active church-goers, so I didn’t give much more thought to that commandment. After I began attending church and came to Christ when I was 22, I began to grasp the ideas a little better, but the Sabbath was still something I didn’t focus much on. Over the past few years, I have just gradually felt more and more of a pull to recognize the importance of Sabbath. While my walk with Jesus is no longer as shallow as just trying to follow the 10 Commandments, the Sabbath is in fact one of them, and as well as being mentioned at least 50 times in the New Testament. I don’t know about you, but if God felt talking about the Sabbath was that important, I think it’s pretty important I pay attention! Even more so in today’s world, where we are all go, and no rest. We live in a time of instant gratification, no rest, schedules packed to the brim, and a constant state of exhaustion. Hearing someone say “I just need more hours in my day” is a common phrase. Just drive around the Atlanta area for 5 minutes, and you will know how much people are in need of some rest and refilling of their spiritual tanks! I think it is time we take back the Sabbath, and make it holy. I know it’s not easy, I know how hard it is to shut off the devices, put down the schedule, and put things off for getting done. But in a world where hearing people say they are exhausted, burned out, and overwhelmed is an everyday occurrence, I think it is something that needs to become a priority. That hectic burn-out life isn’t the life God created you for. He didn’t create us to be irritable, exhausted, spent, and always at the end of our ropes. Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” – Matthew 11:28-29. Jesus wants to give us rest. He wants us to find rest for our souls. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like an offer I want to take Him up on.
Over the next several weeks, every Sunday I am going to dive into this topic a little more. I am going to take a look at what the Bible says about the Sabbath, the struggles we face in a modern day world when it comes to being “able” to sabbath, and some practical steps you can take to re-establish the Sabbath in your life. This is a topic I am actively learning about and growing in as well, so I am excited to learn more as we go, and find new ways I can improve the way I sabbath – I hope you’ll join me!