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How to Prioritize Sabbath Rest

What comes to mind when you think about taking a Sabbath rest? Do you have a Sabbath practice you currently observe? Are you working so hard and so much that you only rest when your mind and body crash on you?How often do you really, truly, take time to rest?

Gods’ Sabbath Design

In the Bible we see that God gave us His perfect recipe for rest and work. He not only gave us the command to rest on the Sabbath, but he modeled it for us. Read the Scripture passage from Genesis below:

“Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”

Genesis 2:1-3

Genesis 2:1-3

Are you taking a day of Sabbath to rest from your work and to glorify God? Are you dividing up your life between rest and work the way God intended for you to do so? In episode 10 of the Connecting Faith and Work podcast, host Bob Willbanks breaks down his story of being overworked and under-rested. Take a listen below, or read on for the written version.

A Lack of Rest

Bob Willbanks asked himself many of the questions above around the time he was looking into starting Ambassadors for Business. He had several clients in his consulting business as well and he quickly found himself working seven days a week. On top of the non-stop work week, his days were filled with anywhere from twelve to eighteen hours or work. Any breaks he had when family was around found him fairly distracted with his tablet and phone, or sneaking off to his computer to knock out more to-dos.

If we are not careful, work becomes like a drug in our lives. Our computers, phones, and projects draw us in for hours on end.

Bob started thinking through his work schedule and the lack of dedicated rest time. He asked himself if this was really what God intended for his time. As he studied stories of men and women in the Bible who did incredible work for God, he came to the conclusion that God intended the Sabbath as a day of rest.

“What day we choose to rest on doesn’t matter. It matters that we take a day and glorify God by resting in Him.”

Bob Willbanks

Bob Willbanks

A Perspective Shift

Bob’s perspective on Sabbath rested began shifting when he looked at the kings of Israel in the Old Testament. He noticed how God was either with the king, or not with the king. A key reason for this was what the king did to worship God and how they honored the Sabbath day.

As Christians today, we are washed by the blood of Jesus Christ and are not bound to the laws of the Old Testament. However, the goal of our lives is still to worship God and glorify Him. A Sabbath day once per week allows us to do that. As we take rest, we are emulating God’s pattern of work followed by rest.

Sabbath and Business

Can taking a Sabbath day help you in your work week or business?

Bob shares how before he started observing the Sabbath, his weekends were spent frantically preparing for the week. He did this only to have every Monday be horrible no matter how hard he worked.

The thought of taking the weekend to rest and honor the Sabbath worried him as he considered his usual Monday woes. Would Monday’s get worse now that he wasn’t preparing for them over the weekend?

To his surprise, now that he takes Saturday and Sunday as Sabbath rest, his Mondays are generally quite pleasant as he gets back into the routine of work for the week.

Do you want your business to be blessed? To receive God’s true blessing in our business and our career we shouldn’t be doing our work on the Sabbath.

Practical Tips

Are you considering implementing a Sabbath practice for the first time? Do you have a day of rest already but want to adjust it? Here are some practical Sabbath tips for you to consider as you get started.

  • At the end of your work week, make a list of the items you need to attend to when you return after your Sabbath
  • Have a set time when you log off for the Sabbath
  • Have a family meal or activity that marks the start of your Sabbath
  • Turn off computers, phones, or other devices that are solely for your work
  • Plan time during your Sabbath to study Scripture, pursue hobbies, or spend with loved ones

Consider the Sabbath as a day to take a break from your normal work activities and re-charge. As you rest and worship God, you’ll be refreshed to return to work after your day or weekend away.