Welcomed Interruptions

Exodus 20:8-11 (KJV) 8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Matthew 28:18-20 (KJV) 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

We take the Great Commission very seriously, as we should. We live and breathe Christianity 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. However, we can’t do this to the detriment of ourselves and the most important people in our lives. Too much of anything can negatively impact our goals of carrying out the mission of evangelism. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t evangelize to the world and your local community. When we find a balance between our work for the Kingdom and rest, we can live a truly dedicated and devoted life to God. 

When off balance, we can self-destruct and even derail the plan of God for our lives. I invite you to ask for and seek the “and” to your commission in life. For example, if your ministry is outreach and you are dedicated to winning the lost, what is the and? You cannot evangelize to the lost 24/7 without neglecting your own spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being. In other words, the “and” is the balance we must strike to serve the Kingdom to the best of our ability.

Apprentice of Jesus 

As an apprentice of Jesus, we don’t have to look too far to find that unique and healthy balance of rest and recreation represented in God’s Word. In Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG), Jesus says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me, and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me, and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Rest is essential to your spiritual walk with the Lord. Many Christians, including pastors and ministers today, do not appreciate the value of rest. Most modern Christians do not even observe the Sabbath. Rest allows our mind, body, and soul to renew and restart with even more strength and focus. This is how you carry out the Great Commission. Jesus demonstrated that He must be about His Father’s business and found time to rest and refuel. Jesus truly understood God’s design for prioritizing what comes first. He followed the natural order that He needed to rest and refuel if He was going to succeed in His reason for being made incarnate.  

If we are going to be the best versions of followers of Jesus, we must learn to REFUEL physically, emotionally, and spiritually. A common theme in maintaining good physical, emotional, and spiritual health is the importance of self-investment. The Sabbath is a time for focusing on rest and allowing the physical man to catch up with the spiritual man. 

The Hebrew word for this Biblical principle, Shabbat, means rest. In a postmodern Christian world, if we are not going to observe the Sabbath, then we need to remember to take a periodic sabbatical. Remember, the Sabbath was made for man, designed to make us rest. The Bible says God rested and created the Sabbath for us. He built a rhythm into the DNA of creation: that we work and rest, not one or the other. 

God blesses life which can give life. He blessed three things in the Bible: the animal kingdom, humankind, and the Sabbath! The Sabbath has life-giving, life-sustaining properties.  If we are to truly live the spirit-filled, joy-filled, and abundant life He has planned for us, we must learn to take care of and honor the physical, emotional, and spiritual man.

Originally published in Pentecostal Life.