How much vacation time do you get? What if it was possible to not just have 2 weeks or 4 weeks of vacation. What if I could add to your vacation time another 7 ½ weeks every year!!!
No, I’m not talking about becoming a teacher.
What if every week you could have a vacation?
I know you’re thinking that would be nice, but it’s impossible.
One of the great things about the God of the universe is that He loves you so much He wants you to have just that. He wants you to take a day off every week to do nothing but to love Him and enjoy the world He has placed you in.
The word the Bible uses for this vacation is Sabbath which means to cease, to stop, or to keep. Sabbath is referring to our work. We are to cease from our labors, to stop working, and to keep the Sabbath.
In the Old Testament, we see the Jews taking off Friday evening to Saturday evening, still to this day we see faithful Jews honoring the Sabbath. In the New Testament, we see Christians moving the Sabbath to Sunday, the first day of the week, in honor of Jesus’ resurrection.
But which day doesn’t matter so much as that you take a day (Romans 14:5-6).
The whole idea of a Sabbath rest comes from God. He modeled this for us in the creation story. After God finished making everything – He rested. He didn’t rest because He was tired but as an example for us to follow. It was to be the rhythm of life. Just in case His example wasn’t clear enough God made it one of the 10 Commandments.
Now think about that for a minute. The 10 Commandments which consist of, “Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not commit adultery” and then God adds in “thou shalt take a vacation every week.” One of these is not like the other.
This clues me in on a couple of things. First, rest is very important to God. It also tells me I might be wrong about God.
Some of you might have God all wrong too. You thought He was all about getting rid of your fun and keeping you from joy. The reality is the exact opposite. He is wanting you to take a day and enjoy the life He has given you and the world He has created for you.
By simply obeying God and taking one day off a week you gain 7.5 weeks of vacation! Incredible! We are leaving a lot of time on the table.
Something weird just happened. Did you feel it?
You know this is the best pathway, you want this to be true, but yet something inside of you bristled at this idea. You starting coming up with all kinds of reasons why you can’t take a day off. Why this would never work and how everything will spin out of control if you tried it. You feel like you’ll have even more work to do the next day if you don’t stay on top of it.
If I’m right and that happened then let me ask you a question…
When will your work be finished? When will your emails be caught up?
There will always be something that needs your attention. You’ll always have emails, laundry, dishes, and calls to return.
We fall for a lie and tell ourselves “As soon as I get this finished then I’ll relax.”
The problem with that kind of thinking is we are confusing a reward with a gift.
A reward is something you earn.
A gift is something you receive.
God isn’t giving you a vacation every week because you earned it. He isn’t rewarding you with recess because you finished all of your work.
No, you are being given a gift because your Father loves you. A gift without guilt. You don’t apologize for it, sneak it, or steal it. You simply enjoy it.
Some of you have been saying, “God I need a break! I’m so tired! I can’t remember the last time I laughed. Restore the joy of my salvation!”
God has already answered your prayers. He gave you this gift long before you knew you would need it.
It’s the gift of baking cookies with your kiddos and having time to eat the cookies.
It’s the gift of laying in bed and having your kids join you for a lazy morning.
It’s the gift of making a snowman before they are too cool for such things.
It’s the gift of putting together a 1000 piece puzzle, playing Barbies or Legos.
It’s the gift of discovering a waterfall together, or screaming down a roller coaster.
God gives us this gift every week, but we say, “No thanks, I’m busy.”
No wonder we lose our joy. No wonder why we hate our jobs. No wonder why we have friction in our families. No wonder we feel distant from God.
The consequences for disobeying God’s way is already built in.
We would never think of justifying murder, but for some reason it seems far more acceptable to justify breaking the command of taking a vacation every week.
Instead of using your creativity to get around the Sabbath use it on how you are going to enjoy it.
How much richer would your life be if you took one 24 hour period and only did the things that replenished your soul? God designed you to take a vacation every week. In fact, He commands it.