Deuteronomy 5:12-15 NIV “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 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 ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.
The Commandment about the Sabbath Day says as much about rest as it does anything else, in fact this Commandment is the one with the most written about it. This Commandment tells the Israelites to take a day off.
The Hebrew word shabbāt, translated in English as Sabbath means intermission. It is from a root word, shābat, that means, to repose, i.e. desist from exertion; cease, celebrate, cause; rest, rid, still, take away.
The Holy Spirit continues to remind me about ways to avoid ministry burnout and as long as He reminds me I will remind you. The latest reminder came in the form of an excerpts from Shelia Walsh"s book 5 Minutes with Jesus.
When you tell a friend to have a cup of coffee on you what you mean is that you want them to enjoy that coffee and not worry about coming up the the money to pay for it. It's the same way with God and the Sabbath. It's like God saying take a day to rest and recharge, "it's on Me.
Take a Day Off
from 5 Minutes with Jesus by Sheila Walsh
Do you ever feel that if you are asked to do one more thing you will physically combust? I’ve definitely had those moments.
I recently read an article about the exhausted American workforce. It mentioned a young working mother who was stretched so thin that she always entered the cook time on the microwave as 1:11, 2:22, or 3:33, instead of 1:00, 2:00, or 3:00. Hitting the same key repeatedly saved her time.¹
Yowser! That is one stretched-thin woman!
And she isn’t alone. Maybe you’re reading this and thinking, What a great idea! I think I’ll start cooking like that! I hope you don’t feel that pressed for time, but even if you don’t, you’re probably still overworked and deeply tired.
What if I could give you a day off? Not just from work but also from the burdens of your soul, to-do lists, and “should’ve”s? What if I said that, as a bonus, you had permission to shut out all the voices that are screaming at you to buy more, do more, be more?
The only thing for you to do on this day would be to rest in God’s presence and hear from Him how much He loves you. You would spend quiet time with Him, worship Him, and get outside. You would spend quality time with your family and friends, maybe share a great meal together and linger at the table. At the end of this beautiful day of recharging, you would find your strength and courage renewed for the week ahead.
Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? But it isn’t a dream. It’s called the Sabbath. As a culture, we’ve gotten away from observing the Sabbath. Maybe it was because some of us grew up under a legalistic observation of it. I understand. I’m certainly not suggesting legalism. God never meant for the Sabbath to be a burden.
But we miss something when we completely dismiss it. Without this special time set apart to be with God and hear from Him, our hearts grow dry and weary. One Jewish theologian said it beautifully: “Six days a week we wrestle with the world, wringing profits from the earth; on the Sabbath we especially care for the seed of eternity planted in the soul.”²
Reconsider God’s gift of Sabbath. You may feel like you’ll be endlessly behind if you take this time away from your responsibilities, but I promise you that a recharging takes place when you observe the Sabbath — a recharging that simply doesn’t happen any other way.
God gave you the gift of the Sabbath because He loves you. I think it’s time to open that gift!
HolySpirit, help me observe a Sabbath — in a step of faith that things that need to get done will get done.
Five Minutes in the WordHis delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither. - Psalm 1:2-3 NKJV
In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat — for He grants sleep to those He loves. - Psalm 127:2
Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. - Deuteronomy 5:12
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge. - Psalm 62:5-8
Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in the abundance of possessions. - Luke 12:15
Excerpted with permission from 5 Minutes with Jesus: Quiet Time for Your Soul by Sheila Walsh, copyright Sheila Walsh