We all want to live our lives in God’s strength, that place where despite the outward difficulties we find peace, despite the struggles and hard work, we carry no burden. Once we have experienced God’s way, we desire to walk his path forever, and while some do, most of us find ourselves at some point wondering why we are struggling and feeling the weight of the world on our shoulders.
So how do we tap into God’s strength?
God gave Moses the answer, written on a stone tablet (to help us remember) and yet we often skip right over it. For me it is the most challenging of all the 10 commandments.
‘Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.’ Exodus 20:8
I struggle with this. We’re a busy family, and I reassure myself that Jesus too worked on the Sabbath.
‘One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grain fields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels. Some of the Pharisees asked, ‘Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” Luke 6:1-2
Why did Jesus feel free to do this? His response to the other commandments was quite different; he strengthened them and added to them, so why break the Sabbath?
Jesus understood, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27
The commandments keep us on the right path despite our human nature. So what does keeping the Sabbath do for us? It ensures we prioritise time with God.
Jesus, in His perfect nature, didn’t need this rule. He understood the power of time with God.
In the midst of the crowds welcoming Him to Jerusalem and shouting His praises, what did Jesus do? You or I might have got caught up in the excitement, the adoration, but not Jesus, he ‘left and hid himself’. John 12:36
He knew what was ahead of Him, He knew He needed God’s strength and He knew how to get it.
Time with God is the only way to tap into His strength and power. So do we need to observe the Sabbath?
Well, do you prioritise time with God, even when life is at its busiest and is most exciting? Do you feel you are walking in God’s strength and on His path for you?
The Sabbath is not a rule to follow; it is a gift from God, given to us by a God who understands our nature and our weaknesses, a God who wants us to walk with Him in His strength – not burdened, but carrying His easy yoke.