It’s Sunday, the day when many Christians have their sabbath, a day of rest. Unfortunately, many of us fail to take God up on that, including this one… I think we need to look at this. After all, we serve an omnipotent (all-powerful) God who instituted this on day seven of creation. One week into history, the second day for humanity, God instituted a day of rest. No let’s get this straight, He commanded it. In Old Testament times, breaking the Sabbath was a capital offense. Seems to me God takes this seriously. How seriously do you take it? Maybe I should state it a different way, a way I have stated it before. If the all-powerful God of the universe rested, what makes us think we don’t have to.

I originally thought of this after waking at 3:30 a.m. wondering why I could not fall back asleep. Of course the enemy (or at least I think it was the enemy) was right there to remind me of these verses from Psalm 127:

Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. 2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves.

The reason I think it was the enemy was because there was this immediate thought that maybe God doesn’t love me and that is why I cannot sleep. Any time a question of God’s love comes to mind, I know it’s not of God, because God loves perfectly. (Maybe you need to remember that too.) If we look at that passage carefully we will see the real truth. There are things God asks us to do and things He doesn’t. The times when I begin to lose sleep are usually the times when I am starting to get “ahead of God” working in my own strength and acting if it all depends on me. These are the times when I don’t rest well. How about you? God has a time for me to work and a time for me to relax. I don’t sleep when I am worried and I worry when I’m not trusting God the way I need to.

The issue for a lot of us creatives, is the line between working and relaxing is blurry. There are things that are easy to rest from, namely those things I don’t really like to do. But I love to make art, I love to draw and paint and read and write and create. Those things are both work and passion for most creatives, so how do we relax from things that can be pretty relaxing? These especially apply to “sabbath” rest.

  1. Find a hobby. I relax by building models. It’s something I love to do. The skill set is similar to what I do for a living and yet it’s not work.
  2. Create for fun. Put your work projects aside and create just for the sake of creating.
  3. Try to sleep. I often wonder if those times when I can’t sleep are really times when I haven’t tried hard enough. What if I just laid there, closed my eyes and tried to sleep. At the very least I would have rested.
  4. Take a nap.
  5. Force yourself not to work. Do family time instead. Watch a movie. Take a day trip. Read an unrelated book
  6. Turn the phone (laptop) etc. off and unplug. The world won’t stop turning if you do this. If you think it will re-read the above passage.
  7. If ideas wake you up and rob you of sleep, keep a pad and pencil on the nightstand, write the idea down and go back to sleep. I get the importance ideas, but I also understand that we have to be healthy enough to implement our ideas and that requires rest.
  8. Worship God. What better way is there to remember who it all depends on than to worship the Lord?

I know what you might be thinking. Jesus said, “The sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath.” That is correct but don’t misuse it. A day of rest is a gift from God to be used wisely. Thinking it all depends on us and failing to depend on God is a subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) form of idolatry. I find it helpful to remember Philippians 1:6:

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

God began my good work and God will complete it. It depends on Him, not me. If I can trust in that, and trust in Him. I can rest and relax. I think over everything else, that is the whole point of Sabbath.

Trust God and rest.

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