So..It's Sabbath? Where do I start? 5 Simple Steps to Start Keeping the Sabbath
This is a question many of us new to the revelation of Sabbath have asked.
It was all fine and well to come to the revelation of when the Sabbath actually is and that we SHOULD be keeping it but now that you have actually come to this moment how do you do this right?
Coming from someone with experience the first piece of advice I can give you is this – RELAX. After all the Sabbath is not meant to stress you out – it is there to bring you rest – created for you to bring deep shalom from the craziness of this world.
# 1 Relax!
When I first began on this journey of discovering that the Sabbath has NOT been done away with and that it is not on a Sunday but the 7th day – from Friday evening to Saturday evening - my head was reeling. What could I do and what could I not do? The Bible is explicit in saying that we are not to work, we are not to allow those who work for us to work and we are not to kindle fires – but other than that it doesn’t say what is work and what isn’t. Could I cook? Could I garden?
Just let go of all the do’s and don’t for now and learn to relax. So, for me that means no emails – no work-related activities that are about earning an income. I don’t do anything that is connected with my business or my training. What I always remember is that Father stopped creating on the 7th day – He stepped back and surveyed all that he had done and He saw it was good.
# 2 Reflect
The fact that Adonai Elohim stood back and surveyed what He did – is my next cue – step back from your weekly activities and reflect. What worked for you – what didn’t? Process all the bits and pieces and lay it at Father’s feet – but don’t start coming up with strategies on how to fix it just yet – just put it down and look at it and take action after the Sabbath.
In this day and age there is so little emphasis given to the power and significance of reflection and the Sabbath gives us the perfect moments to do just that.
# 3 Revive
We don’t stop anymore. Our senses are so bombarded with media and noise that many of us don’t know how to just pause.
Shabbat is my PAUSE and BREATHE button.
It is a precious time of blessings where I can just pause, be still and listen to the voice of my Heavenly Bridegroom. It is the time where I can drink in the beauty of a week past and a day where I have no obligations. I spend time with my family and we have long and lovely conversations around the table or in the lounge, just being together with no agenda.
It may mean a long lie in on the Sabbath morning or a nap in the afternoon. A long bath or a beautiful time with good friends and family around a Shabbat table. Whatever revives you is what you should do (or not do).
# 4 Rest
Yes – you need weekly rest. It has been researched that people who purposefully rest live longer, healthier and more fulfilled lives.
Clear your diary and your to-do list (yes, you can do it!) and rest – put off what you are able to for the next day, prepare in the week for all the running around and make sure the Sabbath is clear of any tiring activities. Get a dishwasher if you can so that you avoid dishes for that day and just pause... You can do it – just choose it – make it happen – by ceasing to do. The sun will continue to rise and set... I assure you.
# 5 Recover
It all goes hand in hand with the other R’s – Shabbat is all about recovering and preparing your mind, body and soul for the week to come. Often, we think it is just a physical thing we need to do but we know when we walk with Father on this road it is always deeper than the physical because we are both physical and spiritual beings – so how can we not take care of the other bits of what makes us who we are?
Put your worship music on, read the Word, listen to a trusted teacher and recover from the bombardment of stress, worry and the crazy pace of this life. If you want to do something – then do this: lay it down and trust Abba for His divine provision both spiritually and physically. After all, He is the ONE who made it all – who provided the manna in the desert… do we really think that He would just leave it at that and not continue the process with and for us?
He longs for you to fall into His arms and find your rest. He longs to lead you to the quiet waters and the green meadows so that you can be made whole each week through the gift of His rest.
I know that this doesn’t tell you the how to of Sabbath but for me this was my beginning.
It is hard to keep something you don’t understand and for me this was how I began to understand His rest, by simply resting.
All the other things Sabbath is about, will come.
Just take this first step and find your feet in the new timekeeping and trust the Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit) to guide you the rest of the way.
He is always faithful to do so.
Don’t wait, start this week – it may take some practice but you can do it – it is written in your DNA!
It’s Time…To Choose His Ancient Paths!For some practical tips - keep an eye out for the next article on Sabbath and go and purchase or download our book - Shabbat Shalom and All that Jazz - What's it got to do with me? This will give you wonderful insight into keeping time with Abba Father.
Photograph – Tracey Rae Images
Joseph J Panackal
Inspired piece of advice.
Exactly what I was looking for.