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More than a Vacation

More than a Vacation
Are you feeling overworked and stressed? Then what you need is a vacation. If you can’t afford to take a restful trip, don’t worry; God has you covered by giving you a weekly break called the Sabbath. In an article titled, “Feeling overworked and stressed? Find time to rest in God,” Sally Carpenter suggests that in our overworked society, “God never intended life to be nonstop drudgery. After creating the vast universe, he took a day off.” She then quotes from Genesis 2:3 and Exodus 31:12–17 to support the idea of a weekly day of rest.

Certainly, Sabbath was made to provide healing and refreshment for our bodies. And, as Carpenter rightfully notes, “it includes freedom from worry and fear by resting in God’s strong arms.” She suggests, “In our busy lives, taking an entire day of rest each week may not seem possible, although it’s a good idea to shoot for.”

But does the Bible present God’s holy Sabbath as only a good idea for stressed out people? Or is Sabbath meant to be more than a weekly vacation?

When we consider God’s final message to humanity, we discover it is a call to worship our Creator. “Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people—saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water’ ” (Revelation 14:6, 7).

Worship means to honor the Creator with great respect and devotion. Worship shifts our focus from ourselves to God. When we keep Sabbath only as a form of stress relief, Sabbath is really centered on ourselves. While the result of truly resting in Christ brings physical, mental, and emotional health, the primary focus should be on lovingly obeying God (see John 14:15). Otherwise, we set ourselves up to decide whether we will keep God’s commandment if it fits into our schedule or not.

Sabbath is not just a helpful tip; it is at the core of demonstrating our absolute commitment to the Lord. God explains, “Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them” (Ezekiel 20:12). The Sabbath is not like an on-and-off dating relationship with God; it is an all-out commitment—like a marriage vow that says, “I am yours and belong to nobody else.”

Carpenter concludes her article by suggesting, “This summer, take time away from the job and have a blessed time of rest.” Perhaps, as we consider the fuller meaning of Sabbath, we could say, “Every week, not just during the summer months, stop your work and honor God by keeping the Sabbath holy. In doing so, you will not only demonstrate your loyalty to the Lord, but you will also be refreshed.”
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