Don’t you love a good savasana? The soothing music, perhaps some calming touch, and a time to quiet the hustle and bustle of our busy minds…there is nothing we need to accomplish in that moment, and there is time to talk to God. I can’t help but recognize the similarities between our beloved final resting posture and Sabbath rest.
Many of us today have some mixed feelings about the idea of Sabbath. It feels legalistic like there are too many rules. One pastor tells us he turns off electronic devices for Sabbath, and another is seeing a brand-new movie in the theatre on his Sabbath. Some of us are just unsure, which is the “right” way to rest.
The Sabbath did not originate with the law; it began at creation. “On the seventh day, God completed his work, and he rested from all the work that he had done. God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy – for on it, he rested from all his work of creation.” Genesis 2:2-3
God Himself labored six days, creating the heavens, the earth and all that inhabit them. And then, He rested. In the New Testament, the religious leaders had added so many new guidelines to the Sabbath law that its purpose became clouded. People were condemned for drawing water or carrying something out of their house. Even Jesus was criticized for doing the “work” of healing on the Sabbath.
But Jesus rebuked these leaders saying, “The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath,” (Mark 2:27) meaning the Sabbath was meant to be a blessing to God’s people, not a burden. Sabbath was meant to be a wise practice from God to rest from our labors, fellowship with God, and do things that rejuvenate us, so we are better equipped to begin our next six days of work.
Paul told the church at Colossae that others could no longer judge them by how they spend a Sabbath day, and that the law of Sabbath was only a shadow of real rest that comes from Christ alone (Colossians 2:16-17).
I would love to say I recharge automatically every week, but that’s not the truth. Sometimes I find myself mindlessly clicking on my Gmail app, or running through my to-do list for the next week. Instead of seeking God’s face, I find myself rehearsing all the potential scenarios and solutions of a situation at work.
God created us as finite, limited beings. Not only do our bodies require food, water, and sleep for survival, but He created us requiring rest for our souls. Friends, that is why Holy Yoga is such a fruitful practice. Not only do we move our bodies, and tend to the temple of the Holy Spirit (which is fantastic!) In Holy Yoga, we take time to surrender to inactivity.
We live in an over-connected world where busyness is worn as a badge of honor, and the only way to achieve what we want is to “hustle harder.” It is increasingly more challenging to rest in the world we live in.
Practicing Sabbath rest requires that we make a choice. Determine to create space in your calendar (if you’re married, as a family) to deliberately rest. We make time for what is important to us. Carve out 10 minutes to meditate on a passage of Scripture. Spend 30 minutes journaling about how God is speaking to you through your Holy Yoga practice.
Decide what brings you life and what you consider work. Do you love cooking? Great, make your favorite meal. Do you hate cooking? Great, consider prepping the day before or ordering in.
Set up boundaries. If you can Sabbath as a family, have a “family meeting.” Discuss which things would bring you joy and what you’d like to postpone on Sabbath days. I have heard of couples choosing to delay serious discussions or even arguments if they take place on their Sabbath day!
Begin habits that cultivate intimacy with God. Maybe you read a passage from the Bible together. Or you do a Holy Yoga TV flow together to get your bodies moving. Perhaps sitting outside in a garden or at the beach, admiring creation feels restful.
How can we be ready to tackle all God has ordained for us to accomplish when we are weary and burnt out all the time? When we set aside regular time to rest, we have the opportunity to: fellowship more intimately with God, cultivate healthy habits with our family, and prepare for our next six days of work.
So if there are no rules, how should I Sabbath?
Practicing a weekly Sabbath demonstrates we believe God is in control. By taking one day off, we communicate the reassurance that God is our ultimate provider.
It is futile to work 24/7, 365 days a year to “make things happen.” Our future is sealed in Christ. Often we want to know the 5-year plan and how the story will end.
The reality is, we don’t know what the future will hold. But we know that God is good and will bring what He began to completion (Philippians 1:6) Luckily, our worth is not tied up in our achievement of doing “all the things.” So with that reality, you can rest assured.
Post by: Kaleigha is a Holy Yoga instructor and Christian writer residing in sunny Miami, Florida with her pastor husband. She is a coffee-loving, book-devouring, sun-bathing, twenty-something who’s heart is to lead others to encounter Jesus with their entire being: heart, soul, mind, and strength. Website: Kaleigha Jae