Bible Verse: By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done. Genesis 2:2-3
Scripture Reading: Matthew 11:28; Hebrews 4:9-10
When I was in high school, I got a rudimentary set of weights that I started using diligently in my basement. Every day, I faithfully went to my workout. I was going to get so ripped that everyone would be blown away!
After a few months, I was not seeing much difference – a little, but not much, considering how much I thought I was doing. I was generally always “feeling the deep burn,” which told me that something was happening in my muscles, but the results weren’t matching the efforts.
It was my high school gym teacher who eventually taught me something I didn’t know – lifting every day was not good. In theory, more exercise should equal faster results, but in this case, the muscles never got a chance to heal and rebuild. The “deep burn” I was constantly feeling was my muscles telling me that they needed a rest so that they could mend, coming back firmer and bigger than before. I moved to an “every other day” format, and quickly saw better results.
We all know that we need to rest. If you’ve been around church for any length of time, you’ve heard this more than once. Our culture values busyness and productivity and profit, and so we feel a constant push to be productive at all times. Men feel the pressure to always be active, and can even view rest as laziness or a lack of character.
To suggest this, of course, is to suggest that the God who rested is lazy and lacks character, and you are free to do that, but I’ll just move out of the way so I don’t get hit with the lightning bolt.
Whatever your job title, whatever your church role, whatever your family and home and landscaping demands, whatever your workload – you are not God. You don’t work harder than God. You are not more indispensable than God.
And God took a day off to rest.
And He carved out a day of rest for us and commanded us to take it. To not do so is sin.
There was to be one day a week where our only priority is faith and family. The world can spin without our labours for 24 hours. On this day, our faith is refreshed, our relationships are refreshed, our energy is refreshed, and our bodies and souls are refreshed. We are more effective taking a day off than trying to add an extra day of work because we are in better shape and because God’s blessing is with us as we obey Him.
To kickstart your spiritual life, carve out the Sabbath day and make it holy. Trust God that He can watch over your work for a day. Press into Him on that day, and spend the rest of it with people you love. Do things that bring you joy and refresh your soul. Feast on good food. Rest in the Lord. It is not only commanded – it is life-giving.
Prayer: Father, come and meet me on my Sabbath day, refreshing me in You and restoring me to life again.
Reflection: What is something that brings you joy in life that you can engage in on your Sabbath day?
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