(This is apart of the series: Redeeming Rest)
This series is based on a book from, Mark Buchanan, who wrote the book, The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath. If you havent read it I recommend it. You need to read this book!
Have you ever thought about the 10 commandments?
We live in a culture where we would never think to break a lot of the 10 commandments. Lets look at the 10 commandments found in Exodus 20(NIV taken from Bible Gateway). 1 And God spoke all these words:
2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 “You shall have no other gods before[a] me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
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.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
When we glance over the 10 commandments we respond with of course we won’t break those things. We won’t kill, we won’t go out and purchase a buddha statue, we don’t use God’s name as a swear word. When it comes to sabbath, to resting, why do we struggle to keep this command?
On average the number of words of the 9 commandments range from 4 words(15 “You shall not steal.) to 84 words (verse 4). The commandment on sabbath is the largest commandment with 102 words directed at keeping the sabbath. Is it because this could be the hardest commandment to keep?
We live in a culture where busyness is a title that we wear with honor, and at times we use the title to justify our job as a youth pastor. The teenagers that we are working with are watching us, and are aware of our time. The teens I work with see me on my sabbath day with my son, and my wife. There is a difference to the day. I tend to take friday as my day, but it is obviously flexible (we are youth workers and we have weird schedules).
The first few years of being in ministry I never slowed down. I was busy and I wanted people to know how busy I was! I thought that people that slowed down and took a sabbath were weak people. I found out that these people ended up staying in ministry the longest. My first realization that I needed a sabbath was on a holiday. When I stepped back for 3 week, I felt like crap. I was completely exhausted. I wondered how did I get here. On these times away I realized that I needed to take a day off that is set apart for God.
Here are a few things I have learned:
1. I need a plan. I need a regular day off, and I need to make sure that the day off isn’t constantly interrupted by email or phone calls.
2. I need a goal. Keeping a sabbath day seems so vague. I wrote in my life plan a end result of my sabbath keeping and that seems to help me be intentional about my time.
3. Getaways. I need to do this more. 2-4 times a year getaway for 24 hours and spend time with God seeking his will for the next few months. I find it easy to let the busyness creep in.
This is my journey I am on, and I look forward to the coming weeks with you.
Why is it so easy to break this commandment?