8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:8-11

For some reason or another, pastors really struggle with having a Sabbath. I’d go as far as saying many leaders who are believers have tension with finding true Sabbath.

What is true Sabbath? And why do people avoid it so much?

In the verses above, you see that God set an example for us. He rested after six days of labor. And we’re expected to do the same. Yet, why do we fight this holy day of rest? Excuse me if this is too harsh, but I think a lot of it has to do with arrogance. We think we’re smarter than God, smarter than nature. We think we can get it all done, and all done well, without rest. And it simply isn’t true! In a culture where “there just aren’t enough hours in the day,” it feels unproductive to take an entire day to do the things that bring you rest, peace, and joy. We have to keeping going, going, going until everything is finished. But here’s the thing: There will never be a moment when everything you need to do is finished! You have to make time for rest, worship, and thankfulness to keep you going on the other six days of the week. [bctt tweet="There will never be a moment when everything you need to do is finished!" username="dukematlock"] Even nature has a season where things go dormant … and we need to have that in our lives too.

How do you take legalism out of the Sabbath?

Creating stressful rules around your rest seems like it defeats the purpose of having a Sabbath in the first place. If this is a day focused on personal rest and gratitude, it’s okay if your Sabbath looks a little different than others’. Think about the things that bring you life, energy, and happiness. If you weren’t busy working, what would you be doing? Simplifying the Sabbath has tremendous benefits. It allows us to let go of the stress of “doing the Sabbath right” and just focusing on God’s magnificent gifts and blessings on our lives. Let’s stop avoiding the Sabbath. Let’s start living in the fullness we’re allowed when we put our hard labor aside and just take a break.    


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