“Give me a break!” Ever felt that way? Here’s some good news! God designed one for us! It’s called the Sabbath. God commands us to take a break; a day off every seven days. Here are a few of the benefits you will experience from keeping the Sabbath:
- Physical restoration
To His own disciples who had just returned from a busy season of ministry, serving and teaching, with so many people pressing them that they did not even have a chance to eat, Jesus said, “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” The King James Version puts it like this, “Come … apart into a desert place and rest a while.” I love the way one old preacher quoted that from the King James Version. He said that Jesus told His disciples to come apart so that they wouldn’t come apart! Are you coming apart at the seams? You need sacred margin for physical restoration. Keep the Sabbath. God didn’t design you to work 24/7. Rest is a gift from God to recharge us physically. Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people …’” Mark 2:27 (NLT)
- Emotional restoration
In Psalm 23 the psalmist learned the value of sacred margin when he said, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.” Our soul represents our emotional tank. It’s our mind, emotion and will that make up our personalities and character. It’s how we are defined by others socially and relationally. If it’s empty, we have nothing to give to those we love much less to others. Sacred margin allows God to restore our souls by keeping the Sabbath holy. To keep something holy means to simply obey. When I obey the Fourth Commandment I allow God to restore my emotional tank.
- Spiritual restoration
As with the other nine Commandments, you don’t really break this command. It breaks you. When we violate the Fourth Commandment it breaks us. We feel broken, exhausted and our lives can get so unbalanced that we begin to blame God. Psalm 73 is a classic example of one who did this. He thought he had served God in vain when he compared his lifestyle to others. He became bitter at God and desperately needed spiritual restoration. How did he find it? Look at what he said in Psalms 73:16-17, “When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood…” The answer for this poor, defeated and tired servant was a Sabbath of rest and worship. He just needed time with God in God’s house to be spiritually restored and gain perspective. The good news is that is exactly what he did and God gave him spiritual restoration. We are given the same opportunity today in church. The New Testament says, “Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see that the Day of the Lord is coming nearer.” Hebrews 10:25 (GNT) Once a week set aside a day of rest and worship in church. It will recharge you for the next six days of work!