Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.Exodus 20:8
I’ll never forget the morning I opened my empty sock drawer and just stared at it. My mind couldn’t process where all my socks had gone. Gateway Church was in its fifth year, and I had just returned from a long overseas ministry trip. The rigorous schedule of the trip capped off five years of very little rest, and as I searched for socks that weren’t there, I realized how tired I was.
Have you ever been so exhausted that doing something as simple as putting on socks caused you to break down? That’s what happened to me. I didn’t know what to do. I was so mentally exhausted that it didn’t even occur to me that I could do the laundry or buy more at Walmart. I thought, I’m losing my mind over socks!
Later that day, I told Pastor Tom Lane what happened, and he said, “You’re not losing your mind—you’re exhausted!” From that day forward, I became more diligent about stewarding my time and protecting the Sabbath day.
Isn’t it funny how Christians tend to keep all of the commandments, except the one about the Sabbath? No one has a problem with the commandments that say, “You shall not commit murder” or “You shall not steal.” But when it comes to the commandment about the Sabbath, so many of us think we can just ignore it. The truth is, God didn’t create us for the Sabbath; He created the Sabbath for us. It’s for our benefit (Mark 2:27). Think of it this way. God is giving you the day off for your good, not for His.
Remember the story of the Israelites traveling through the desert? God provided manna for them to eat each day, but they were to gather only enough for that day. Then on the sixth day, God instructed them to gather enough for two days. Normally, the manna would go bad after one day, but on the seventh day—the Sabbath—it was still fresh. God wants to use the Sabbath to provide for us supernaturally, just like he did with the Israelites. God can do more for us in six days than we can do on our own in seven. We just have to trust Him. And when we do, we’ll start to see blessings.
Imagine a day filled with family, delicious meals, a leisurely walk, a game of checkers, and maybe even an afternoon nap. This is a typical Jewish Shabbat (or Sabbath), but it sounds like Thanksgiving to me. The best part is, God instructed us to fit in all of our work, shopping, emails, and other obligations into six days, so we could enjoy this relaxing day every week, not just once a year.
This is the principle of stewarding our time and energy. So why do so many of us ignore this commandment? I believe it’s because we have a difficult time trusting that God will provide for us. We think we need to work all seven days, but the Bible says God will provide for us if we set aside one day a week to be our Sabbath. Will you commit to trusting God and making the Sabbath a priority?
What is the Holy Spirit saying to me?