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Friday, February 2, 2018

I Have No Excuse Not to Rest

In review of Exodus 34:21 it says, “Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest” (NIV).

Bottom Line:
Work, but take one day a week to rest.

What this means to me:
God tells me that I have six days during a week in which I would do ordinary work. On the seventh day I must stop working, even in the busiest of times/seasons. I need to rest, refocus and recharge.

Today’s verse explains that I have six days each week from my ordinary work, but on the seventh day I must stop working, even during the seasons of plowing and harvest, or the busiest of times to rest, recharge and refocus.

Today, the last part of this verse, “even during the seasons of plowing and harvest”, really stands out to me. In my life, and especially with this new job, things can be very busy and there are situations in which work just needs to get done. However, God is saying this, that I need to trust Him with what needs to be done. He will take care of it. My responsibility is to be obedient and take time for rest and reflection on Him, be recharged and to spend time with family/friends. This means I need to stop doing it all on my own, but rather “yoke up with Jesus” and trust God for the outcome.

God’s Word has lots of instructions about rest, recreation and relaxation. In fact, it’s so important that God put it into the Ten Commandments. It’s right up there with “Don’t commit adultery” and “Don’t murder.” He says that every seventh day, I need to take a day off. That’s how important a Sabbath is in my life.

Jesus said in Mark 2:27, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (NIV). In other words, God created this idea of me taking a day off every seven days for rest, recreation, worship, and restoration. It’s his idea, and it’s for my own benefit so I don’t burn out.

Yet in our culture, people aren’t doing that. Even on their day off they’re working. And even those who go to a church service go home afterward and go right back to work, trying to get all the stuff done that they didn’t get accomplished during their work week. That’s not a Sabbath!

To have a Sabbath means: “Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest” (Exodus 34:21 NIV).

Even in my busiest season, there is no excuse not to rest. Even a farmer must take a day off in harvest or planting season.

Here’s a short list of what God wants me to do on my Sabbath:

1. Rest my body. Sometimes the most spiritual thing I can do is to take a nap.
2. Refocus my spirit. That means I worship.
3. Recharge my emotions. Something that restores and re-energizes me, such as a hobby or a sport.

It doesn’t really matter which day is my Sabbath. It does matter that I’m are obedient. I may not rest when my wife tells me to or even when my boss tells me to take a break. But I must rest because God commands it and so I can give him your best.

As I come to this weekend, I know I have a lot of things to catch up on for work. I will really need to prioritize and schedule my sabbath.