I’ve been working long hours re-doing the organization and presentation of the content on our website to make it easier for you to experience the intimacy with Jesus that you long for — and invite others to join you. But now it’s time for me to take some Sabbath days with Jesus and Kristi!
How about you? Do you need some Sabbath rest? This is not the same as vacation. What’s the difference? Mostly your attitude. Eugene Peterson says that Sabbath is praying and playing with Jesus!
What is Sabbath?
I’ve learned a lot about Sabbath from Dallas Willard. (Talk about a hard worker! But he’s learned to set aside his work to rest.) Here are a few thoughts on Sabbath, mostly from my mentor.
Biblically, Sabbath is a day, once a week, when we do no work. We do nothing. We don’t try to make anything happen.
Very practically, Sabbath is simply “casting your cares upon Him,” to find out for yourself in your actual experience that indeed “He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
Solitude is Needed
For most of us in our culture today, Sabbath will not become possible without extensive time in solitude. This can only be learned through regular practice. We must experiment with time alone, out of contact with others. No appointments. No phone calls. No e-mails. No Facebook. Just being with Jesus.
A quiet afternoon walking by a stream or on the beach, in the mountains, or sitting in a comfortable room or yard is a good way to start.
Just make space for your soul to be quiet in God’s presence. Attend to what is around you. Learn that you don’t have to do to be. Accept the grace of doing nothing. Stay with it until you stop jerking and squirming.
A Soul Anchor
Solitude well practiced will break the power of busyness, hurry, and loneliness. You will be relieved to discover that the world is not on your shoulders after all! You will find yourself and you will be found by God in fresh ways. Joy and peace will bubble up within you and arrive from what is around you. Praise and prayer will come to you and from within you. You will experience Sabbath rest.
The soul anchor established in solitude will remain solid when you return to your ordinary life with others.
More Sabbath Rest
You can listen to “God’s Sabbath Rest for you Today,” a recent audio message that we gave at Thirst! (Just the picture of Jesus on Sabbath is worth a click!)