Sabbath isn’t rules, but rest.

That’s what makes it hard.

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is nothing.

“For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel:
‘In returning and rest you shall be saved;
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.’
But you would not…”
(Isa 30:15).

That was my first hard lesson in Christ living. I’m still learning, decades later.

Why is it so hard?

A sense of self-importance, perhaps? (“I’ve gotta, I’ve gotta, I’ve gotta…” or it won’t get done, or the world will stop revolving, or we’ll starve on some dirty curb… ?)

Or, a compulsion to look good to all those other driven people? (What will all the Yankee-work-ethic folk think of me, just sitting here, gazing out the window,  cancelling out on busy plans, just to rest quiet in light-and-shadow flickers from the fireplace?)

Or, my desires that churn within me: to rise, to achieve,  to possess, to keep so busy I cannot see what I don’t want to see? (“I’m gonna, I’m gonna, I’m gonna…”?)

Really, doesn’t all that come down to this: Not wanting to just let Him be God?

And isn’t that why His first command for me to obey was “Stop!”…

Is that not why His first commemoration for man to note was a day of ceasing from labor, a day of rest (Gen 2:3)?

Cease, be still…
and know.
(Ps 46:10-11)
“Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. Do not fret…”

(Ps 37:7)

Come to rest.

Come to quietness.

Come to peace.


“Make every effort to enter His rest.”

(Heb 4:9-11)


Linked to

And joining with Shelly and the others in the Surrendering to Sabbath Sisterhood. (Would you like to join us? Click on the link and find out more.)

11 thoughts on “On Obeying Sabbath

  1. Sylvia, I’m reading a book called ‘God in the Yard’ about doing nothing but sitting and listening. It’s the hardest, most invigorating, enticing thing I’ve done as a Christian.
    You nailed it on the head–it takes effort to stop. Ironic, huh?
    Lovely snow photo, btw.

    1. Jody, you made me laugh with “It’s the hardest, most invigorating, enticing thing” you’d done as a Christian! Yes! That’s what I think, well put! Are we all some kind of hyperactive, or what? (heh) I’ve heard of that book, will have to check it out.

  2. Lovely post and lovely photo! (you are such a gifted photographer!) Interestingly, the hardest thing for me isn’t rest (per se), but resting *in Him* and especially the waiting patiently part. I can be a real oblomov as for as the rest goes and sometimes have to push myself to do things that really need doing. I’ts more that I need to confidently rest in Him to accomplish what concerns me spiritually….to rest and trust, to wait patiently. Ah, for me, that is the *hard* part. Thank youfor a wonderful post and for linking with Shelly.
    God bless you this Lord’s Day,

  3. I’m guilty of the same thing. Even when being close to our Father the flesh slowly pulls us away. It is a striving toward Him that gives us wisdom, strength, and rest… Gotta ponder that… Thanks.

  4. Interesting that you brought that up, Lynn. I hadn’t thought of what you’re talking about, but I’ve certainly been guilty of that dead immobility and lack of doing what I should be doing! But I don’t call that rest, rather sloth, or uncertainty and indecision, or the effects of depression or exhaustion. In fact, when God taught me that first lesson I mention above, it was at a time when I had come to a frozen, hopeless standstill—actually brought on by the “I’m gonna”s and “I’ve gotta”s all ending up in abject failure! You have hit the crux of the matter: rest in Him! Yes, that’s an entirely different thing from resting on our laurels or in our own smug sense of accomplishment. Thank you for adding this valuable facet of His rest: that it means rest *in Him.* Blessings to you!

  5. Our “self” always tends to get in the way, doesn’t it, Floyd? “Striving toward Him” — yes, that’s it! It’s ironic, isn’t it, how we have to “strive to enter His rest”?

  6. Yes, Sylvie! You hit this dead one w/ further elaboration, and the “rest” that I was talking about is slothfulness straight out. I love all you have added here (and of course, my oblomov comment underscores laziness, indecision…….and all else you said). Excellent! Thank you!

  7. I following Shelly on this Sabbath journey too and up to today failed miserably. At least today I did take some time away , rest and listened to God. A touch of Sabbath but not fully in obedience yet. Glad to read about your experience. Thanks for sharing

  8. Jean, there is so much working against Sabbath for us in this time we’re living in, I don’t know if anyone who’s taking any steps at all to establish it should think they’ve failed miserably. Every step is a movement in the right direction. This has been a long battle for me over many years, which I’m still fighting, even though some recent unplanned changes in my life situation have made it easier (an unrecognized gift from God?) No wonder Hebrews says, “Strive to,” or “Make every effort to” enter His (Sabbath) rest!
    Every piece of Sabbath we can grasp is a treasure to be savored.
    Prayers for God to bless you in this. Thanks for commenting.

  9. Such truth in this! So hard to slow, to let Him be God instead of trying to do it all ourselves. Thank you for sharing, friend!

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